claim that they are the least respected of the entire production
team. Irony is what it is. Akkineni (the elder one) claims that
the nuts and bolts aside, it is the story/screenplay that is the
driving force for the movie. The candyfloss, the window dressing,
the designer sets, the exotic locales, the glamour dolls and the
other innumerable trivia that pervade the silver screen, seem
totally out of place, without that one essential ingredient -
the screenplay. And yet, the writer is the most un(der)-appreciated
technician of the lot. "Director is the captain of the ship"
extol the actors, "I take blame/credit for the movie"
claims the director (as if, it was his, to start with). Week after
week, movie after movie, the charade of (screen)play-less movies
continue to capture the minds and the pockets of the audience
and yet "We get no respect" say the writers. This is
the silent era, when the directors were the true captains of the
ships, let's enter the 50's era, which celebrated the golden era
for those talented technicians - the one who wielded the pens.
production house had its own team churning out quality screenplays
out of stories that were both created and borrowed. Vijaya (Prod.
Nagi Reddi and Chakrapani) had Pingali Nagendra Rao, Vauhini (Prod.
B.N.Reddi) had D.V.Narasa Raju, Annapoorna (Prod. D. Madhusudhana
Rao) had Aatreya, and N.A.T (Prod. N. Trivikrama Rao) had Samudraala.
Pingali had the knack of weaving folklore and mythology, Narasaraju
was a scathing satirist, Aatreya was adept at practicality and
Samudrala was the master of mythology. You hear a dialogue and
you immediately could guess (and rightly at that), the pen that
the example of Paatala Bhairavi - Mayala Phakir, who is
regaling the crowd with his magic tricks, at one point during
his act, asks Dingari, if he should entertain the crowd with what
he knows or entertain them with what they like ("janam
meccaedi manam saayaDama, manam caesaedi janam cooDaDamaa").
This dialogue has been the hallmark and the driving force behind
Pingali Nagendra Rao's works. He was a true entertainer. Add to
the mix, the directors' (K.V. Reddi, L.V. Prasad etc) sensibilities,
he churned out one block-buster after another - Paatala Bhairavi,
Mayabazaar, Jagadeka Veeruni Katha, Appu caesi Pappu kooDu (with
Sadasiva Brahmam) etc. Coining new words, that almost sounded
like real words, asmadeeyulu - tasmadeeyulu, alamalam, talpam-gilpam,
kambaLi-gimbaLi (Mayabazar) and justfying the process with
"evaroo puTTincakunDaa maaTalelaa puDataayi, vesukO veeDiki
oka veera taaDu", was something that was typical of Pingali
- winking at the audience and being aware of it. He was an ambidexter,
in that, his ease of the dialogue flow was equally evident in
the grace of his lyrical flow. Who can ever forget a "laahiri
laahiri", "vivaaha Bhojanam", "kalavaramaayae
madilO", "enta ghaaTu praemayO" and
those other lilting numbers from Missamma, Gundamma Katha,
a good writer in his own right, reverentially gave way for Pingali
and made him the final authority on any script matters. He was
one writer, who enjoyed the true benefits of a great writer contracting
for a good production house.
- It is a tad sad affair that not many people know about this
"Father of telugu cinema satire", without mentioning
his social dramas that hit the nail right on the head hard - Pedda
Manashulu, Gundamma Katha, Yamagola, Bhakta Prahlaada, Raamudu-Bheemudu
remain the highpoints in his career.
It is an amazing feat that he worked through almost the entire
period the Telugu Film history. He inherited the wit of Chakrapani
and passed on his satire to Aatreya. Pedda Manashulu, a
satire on village politics, remains his best work till date. The
dialogues penned for Relangi in that movie, evoke a healthy laugh
to a sad situation. His movies had every character that was author-backed,
in that, the characters remain true to their characters and speak
the language that befits the character. Consider the role of Ramana
Reddy in Gundamma Katha - an opportunist at best, he neither
fully apologizes for his actions nor does he seem indifferent
to his actions. The role walks on a fine line between villany
and comedy and Narasaraju's words assist him ably to balance the
fine-walk. It is a true situation of loving to hate a character.
Same goes with Rao Gopala Rao in Yamagola. It is not a mean feat
to dominate the hero and more specially when NTR dons the hero
role, but Rao Gopal Rao not only holds his ground, but almost
surpasses the hero's character. Consider the wit/satire in the
little speech about hero rescuing the heroin from engulfing fires
- "aa ee Madhya sineemaallO cooDDamlaa! heroin vonTari
gaa venltoo unTundi, hero gaaDu daani meedaki rowdeelni pampistaadu,
vaaLLu daanni paTTukunTaaru, adi labO dibO manTadi, aa pakkanae
unTaadu kadaa mana hero, veeDu vacci vaaLLani utukutaaDu, vaaLLu
paaripOtaaru, heroin bikka moham vaesukuni nela vanka coostoounTadi,
mana hero kaalar egaraesi nuncunTaaDu, love, duet, EVADIKI TELEEDU
EE SINIMAA KABURLU". It cannot get any irreverent, funny,
self-abrasive and self-aware dialogue than that. The satirist
here for part - 2)
Srinivas Kanchibhotla how you liked the article.