|Directed by||Dorai - Bhagavan|
|Produced by||Parvathamma Rajkumar|
|Written by||Vishalakshi Dakshinamurthy|
|Screenplay by||Chi. Udaya Shankar|
|Based on||Vyapthi Prapthi
by Vishalakshi Dakshinamurthy
|Music by||Upendra Kumar|
|Cinematography||S. V. Srikanth|
|Edited by||P. Bhaktavatsalam|
Sri Dakshayini Cine Combines
|Budget||₹2.5 million (US$39,000)|
|Box office||₹30 million (US$460,000)|
Jeevana Chaitra (English: Life History) is a 1992 Indian Kannada language feature film directed by the duo Dorai — Bhagavan starring Rajkumar and Madhavi in lead roles. It marked the re-entry of Rajkumar in films after a hiatus of 3 years and was an instant hit. The film is based on a Kannada novel Vyapthi Prapthi written by Vishalakshi Dakshinamurthy and was earlier named as Simhadriya Simha. The film re-affirmed the hold Rajkumar had on Kannada audiences.
For the song "Naadamaya", Rajkumar won the National Film Award for Best Male Playback Singer at the 40th National Film Awards. The film won four awards at the 1992–93 Karnataka State Film Awards; First Best Film, Best Actor (Rajkumar), Best Music Director (Upendra Kumar) and Best Dialogue Writer (Chi. Udaya Shankar).
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 (Thoogudeepa 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|
|Chi Guru Dutt||Elder son|
|Tennis Krishna||Putta Joisa|
|Soundtrack album by Upendra Kumar|
|Genre||Feature film soundtrack|
|1.||"Aralida Thanuvidu"||Chi. Udaya Shankar||Rajkumar||5:07|
|4.||"Ninna Chelava Vadana"||Chi. Udayashankar||Rajkumar, Manjula Gururaj||4:45|
|5.||"Lakshmi Baaramma"||Chi. Udayashankar||Rajkumar, Manjula Gururaj||5:48|
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.
The film ran for 375 days and owing to the audience reception, Rajkumar had to announce that he would act in another movie, Aakasmika.
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.
- Kasturi, a television channel owned by Devegowda family purchased the satellite rights of the film and was telecast for the first time.
- Rajkumar won the National Film Award for Best Male Playback Singer for having sung the song "Naadamaya". The song was supposedly recorded for another Rajkumar movie Amruthavarshini which was never made. Although few people say M Ranga Rao composed the music for this song but was not alive at the time of its release, it has to be reminded that Ranga Rao died between 1995-96.
- "Who, in contemporary filmdom, has Rajkumar's appeal?". Rediff. 4 April 1997. Retrieved 11 May 2014.
- "40th National Film Awards" (PDF). iffi.nic.in. Retrieved 30 March 2014.
- "Jeevana Chaitra (1992)". kannadamoviesinfo.com. Retrieved 30 March 2014.
- "Jeevana Chaithra (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) - EP". iTunes. Retrieved 10 November 2014.