|Directed by||Dorai - Bhagavan|
|Produced by||Parvathamma Rajkumar|
|Written by||Chi. Udaya Shankar|
K. S. Ashwath
|Music by||Upendra Kumar|
|Editing by||P. Bhaktavatsala|
|Distributed by||Vajreshwari Combines|
Jeevana Chaitra (Kannada: ಜೀವನ ಚೈತ್ರ) is a Kannada language feature film released in the year 1992. It marked the re-entry of Rajkumar in films after a gap of 3 years and was an instant hit. Rumoured to be Rajkumar's life story, the character had 3 sons like Rajkumar had in real life. It re-affirmed the hold Rajkumar had on Kannada audiences.
Jeevana Chaitra tracks the life and times of Vishwanath, from his youth, through the days of his jodi inamathi- when he becomes Jodidar Vishwanatha Raya to his end. Being an ideal son, he expresses his interest in Meenakshi (Madhavi) as his life partner, and presents the case before his parents. Though Meenakshi is enamoured towards Vishwanath, she fears that she is too poor to join ranks of Jodidar's. However, Vishwanath's father is more than satisfied with his son's choice and accepts the marriage proposal. Meenakshi and Vishwanath get married. Vishwanath takes over the mantle of Jodidar of Simhaadri and other 8 villages from his father and tries to better the lives of the people of his 8 villages.
He fights illiteracy, the illicit liquor racket and other social evils, in order to help villagers. They are blessed with 3 children. The parallel comedy track of the movie is handled by Putta Joisa, who joins as the priest of the family-entrusted main temple. Caught when trying to steal gold from Jodidar's home, he pleads guilty. Vishwanath, the generous man he is, gives him money and asks to leave the village. He reasons that if the villagers learn he has robbed the Jodidar, they are sure to kill him. Putta Joisa leaves in tears, knowing that he does not deserve to be with Jodidar's.
The rift at home begins, when their children come of age. The elder son, a doctor, falls for his classmate, the daughter of a liquor baron (Toogudeepa Srinivas), who had been thrown out of the village by Vishwanath for brewing illicit liquor during their younger days. Toogudeepa creates a rift between father and son, and verbally insults Vishwanath, when he approaches Vishwanath to discuss the marriage proposal.
The real bone of contention is the hospital that Vishwanath has envisioned for the village, which he wants his son Gurudutt and daughter-in-law, both doctors to oversee and maintain for the well-being of the community. However, Toogudeepa berates him for his short-sightedness in presuming that his well-educated and sophisticated daughter-in-law would stay back in a lowly village. Vishwanath is firm, and he insists that if Toogudeepa's daughter is to marry his son, she will have to stay with her husband in their village.
Toogudeepa walks away threatening Gurudutt that he can choose either his father's village or his love. Gurudutt fights with his father and leaves home. This comes as a first blow to Vishwanatha Raya.
Abhijit, the second son, gets married but his wife is not very happy staying in the village and serving her in-laws. Meenakshi pleads with her brother to allow her niece Lakshmi (played by Sudharani) to stay with her for a few days.
Bubbly, chirpy and sprightly Lakshmi fills the home with happiness. Vishwanath and Meenakshi plan to get her married to their last son Narahari (played by Balaraj). Narahari, who has a secret love affair, wastes no time in marrying his love and brings her home, once he learns of his parents' plan.
Meenakshi and Vishwanath are shocked to see Narahari and his wife. Meenakshi sinks into despair thinking about the heartbreak this would cause her brother, who is delighted to have his child become a bride of the Jodidar household. The burden is too much for Meenakshi and she dies, while welcoming her daughter-in-law.
Vishwanath feels lonely and goes on a theertha yaatre, has an accident and loses memory. He wanders around and is shown visiting Badri, Rishikesh, Kedara and Varanasi. When he finds the beauty of Himalaya, he is spellbound by nature and sings his heart out.
Putta Joisa finds his old employer, clothed in rags and singing on a Ghaat. He helps Vishwanath regain memory.
Meanwhile, Toogudeepa sweet-talks Vishwanath's three sons into handing over the ancestral property, and takes over Vishwanath's property. The 3 sons, who have by now become addicted to sloth and a luxurious life style, even throw their Granny out.
Vishwanath returns, only to find his home turned from a temple to a tavern. He single-handedly beats the daylights out of drunkards gathered over there and questions his sons about his mother. Learning that she is passing days in a lonely hut, he visits his mother.
Pandari Bhai is filled with joy to find her son alive. She pleads his son to take cudgels against the liquor baron Toogudeepa. Life comes a full-circle to Vishwanath. He once again starts the task of fighting liquor racket, gambling and other evils.
He ends up on a winning note, as the gamblers den is made into a primary school and the liquor factory is closed down. His children too learn their lesson and join hands with him.
A happy man, Vishwanath creates a will dividing his assets among his sons and leaves to a higher calling. The last scene shows Vishwanath ascending a hill, far away from Simhaadri.
|K. S. Ashwath||Vishwanath's father|
|Pandari Bai||Vishwanath's mother|
|Tennis Krishna||Putta Joisa|
- Story – Vishalakshi Dakshinamurthy's novel Vyaapti-Praapti
- Screenplay, Lyrics and Dialogues – Chi. Udayashankar
- Music – Upendra Kumar
- Direction – Dorai-Bhagawan
Jeevana Chaitra created a sort of hysteria, when it was released and the movie tickets became a prize commodity. There were no release by Rajkumar in previous years. People were so craving for wholesome entertainment that Satya Harishchandra, a black-and-white movie of Rajkumar, was re-released and ran to packed houses.
Jeevana Chaitra, on release ran to packed houses across Karnataka. The movie completed 100 days and had to be removed from theatres, to help other producers release their movies! Rajkumar's cut-out of suit clad hero had the usual ritual of getting soaked in milk at many places. Chinne Gowda, Parvathamma's brother had left Vajreshwari Combines before the movie was started and it was expected that commercial constraints (budget, distribution and theatres) would limit the movie from becoming a success. However, the movie re-iterated that Brand Rajkumar was a sure success.
The film ran for 375 days and owing to the audience reception, Rajkumar had to announce that he would act in another movie, Aakasmika.
|2||"Ninna Cheluva"||Rajkumar, Manjula Gururaj||Chi. Udaya Shankar|
|3||"Aralida Tanuvidu"||Rajkumar||Chi. Udayashankar|
|4||"Lakshmi Baramma"||Rajkumar, Manjula Gururaj||Chi. Udayashankar|
Reviews and critiques
The movie received rave reviews, owing to the storyline and message about combating liquor barons.
- Inspired by the movie, there were many instances of people closing down liquor houses across Karnataka.
- This movie was rumoured to have been based on Rajkumar's real-life. Rajkumar's elder son Shivarajkumar is happily married to Geetha, daughter of S Bangarappa, who is very close to liquor barons. However, in the movie, Gurudutt, the elder son married the daughter of liquor baron Toogudeepa Srinivas against his father's wishes. It is noteworthy that Rajkumar and S Bangarappa belong to the same community Idiga, whose profession involves brewing liquor (arrack). The third son was also involved in illegal granite business with forest thief Veerappan.
- There were wide spread rumours from time-to-time that Rajkumar had consumed poison or diamond, owing to family pressures. Yellow press had been insisting that all-is-not-well within the household. Jeevana Chaitra was made at such a time. However, such rumours were not seen after this movie.
- Kasturi, a television channel owned by Devegowda family purchased the rights for Jeevana Chitra and the movie was telecast first time on Kasturi channel.
- Rajkumar won the national award for having sung the song "Naadamaya". It must be mentioned here that while the movie had some good songs composed by Upendrakumar, the song "Naadamaya.." is said to have been composed by renowned Kannada film music director, M. Ranga Rao, who had died by the time "Jeevanachaitra" was made.