Kathanayakudu (2008 film)
|Directed by||P. Vasu|
|Produced by||C.Ashwini Dutt |
|Written by||Marudhuri Raja (dialogues)|
|Screenplay by||P. Vasu|
|Music by||G. V. Prakash Kumar|
|Distributed by||Ayngaran (Worldwide)|
Pyramid Saimira (U.S.)
Kathanayakudu (transl. Hero) is a 2008 Indian Telugu-language drama film produced by Aswani Dutt and G. P. Vijayakumar. It is directed by P. Vasu. The film is a remake of the Malayalam film Kadha Parayumbol (2007) and stars Jagapati Babu and Meena , with Rajinikanth in a cameo. Sunil and Dharmavarapu play pivotal roles. The film was a commercial success and received positive reviews. It was simultaneously made in Tamil as Kuselan, which released to mixed reviews and was a below average grosser. Most of Rajinikanth's portions were dubbed from the Tamil version, except the climax scene with Babu.
The film explores the pressures of friendship, and revolves around a villager who had shared a strong friendship with a popular cinema actor while they were in their youth. However, due to their different career routes, they are eventually forced to part ways; one becoming a national figure, the other becoming a village barber. Decades later, the actor returns to the village to participate in his film's shooting. Whilst the entire village becomes excited about the prospect of seeing the actor, the barber fears that his old friend would have forgotten him and eventually neglected him.
The plot tells the story of two childhood friends: Balakrishna (Jagapathi Babu) and Ashok Kumar (Rajinikanth). Balu stops at nothing to make his friend happy. As time passes by, they take different paths, and Balu becomes a barber in a small village called Siricilla. He marries Devi (Meena) and has three children and leads a happy life. However, his finances are poor and he is often led to the door of Dharmaraju (Dharmavarapu), the financier. He has tough competition from the smarter and more clever Shanmugam (Sunil), who has a salon opposite his shop. Balu is a man with self-respect and honesty. His life continues the same, until one day there is news that a film shooting is going to happen in a place near their village and the hero of the film is superstar Ashok Kumar. The news spreads rapidly, but Balu hesitates to reveal himself to be a friend of Ashok Kumar. However, people around Balu learn about their friendship, and suddenly those who have been ridiculing him start doing favors for him—only with the intention of meeting Ashok Kumar, or at least watching him from outside. Balu is hesitant to do what they want, and soon people start shunning him. Balu faces poor treatment even from his own children. At last, Ashok Kumar publicly acknowledges Balu as his childhood friend who made him a superstar, and he meets Balu.
- Main cast
- Jagapati Babu as Balakrishna. Balakrishna, more commonly referred to as Balu, is a village barber. He lives care-free with his wife and three children, despite his financial struggles. His salon fails to earn profits due to his reluctance to accept assistance from others. Balu has a dilemma when his old friend Ashok Kumar returns to the village.
- Meena as Sreedevi. Sreedevi is the wife of Balu, who is commonly known for being rather boisterous and open-hearted despite her poor state of living. She shares great affection for her husband despite the villagers' hate towards him.
- Sunil as Shanmugam. Shanmugam is a rival barber in the village, whose business is more profitable than Balu's.
- Dharmavarapu as Dharmaraju. Dharmaraju is the financier who helps Balu manage the latter's money.
- Supporting cast
- Nayanthara Chakravarthy as Balakrishna's daughter
- M. S. Narayana as Dharmaraju's assistant
- Duvvasi Mohan as Dharmaraju's assistant
- Narsing Yadav as Dharmaraju's assistant
- Venu Madhav
- Tanikella Bharani as School teacher
- R. Sundarrajan as Srinivasan
- Manobala as Constable
- Chinni Jayanth as Pasimani
- Vijayaranga Raju
- Baby Shafna as Balakrishna's elder daughter
- Chitti Babu
- Gundu Hanumantha Rao
- Gautam Raju
- Mohan Raman as Ashok Kumar's PA
- Thalapathi Dinesh
- Potti Rambabu
- Garimalla Visweswara Rao
- Geetha as Headmistress
- Rajitha as Sister
- Fathima Babu as Sister Maria
- Sona as Sona
- Saira Banu
- Master Amal
- Baby Revathi
- Guest appearances
- Rajinikanth as Ashok Kumar.
- Nayantara as Nayantara. Nayantara is the co-star to Ashok Kumar in the film under production in the village.
- Brahmanandam as Koya Dora
- Prabhu as Inspector
- Nizhalgal Ravi as himself
- Vijayakumar as himself
- Mamta Mohandas as Assistant director
- Special appearances in the song "Cinema Cinema"
(in order of appearance)
|Film score by|
|Released||30 June 2008|
|Producer||G. V. Prakash Kumar|
|G. V. Prakash Kumar chronology|
The soundtrack of Kathanayakudu was released on 30 June 2008. The soundtrack consists of five songs. The song Cinema Cinema commemorates the 75th anniversary of Telugu cinema. Footage of Suriya, Kushboo, and Sneha and archival footage of famous superstar actors N. T. Rama Rao (popularly "NTR"), Akkineni Nageswara Rao ("ANR"), M. G. Ramachandran ("MGR"), and Rajkumar are shown with each chorus of this song. The verse alternates between clips shot of an actual movie crew filming on location, intercut with real-life superstar actor Rajinikanth — who plays a fictional superstar actor in this film — spoofing blockbuster movies such as Zorro, Lawrence of Arabia, House of Flying Daggers, and the James Bond series.
|1||"Cinema Cinema"||Shankar Mahadevan||6:08|
|2||"Challe Challe"||Hariharan, Sujatha Mohan, Baby Rajini, Baby Pooja||6:13|
|3||"Om Zaarare"||K. S. Chithra, Daler Mehndi||7:12|
|4||"Vatche Vatche"||Shreya Ghoshal||4:34|
|5||"Ra Ra Ra Ramayanna"||Kailash Kher, V Prasanna||5:36|
Following P. Vasu and Rajinikanth's film Chandramukhi in 2005, Vasu had been keen to cast Rajinikanth in another role. Before signing Kathanayakudu, he had narrated a story titled Vettaiyan, which would have been a sequel of a character featured in Chandramukhi. Early in 2008, Rajinikanth signed up for S. Shankar's Robo, while Kathanayakudu was launched at the Taj Coromandel in Chennai on 14 January 2008, coinciding with Pongal. P. Vasu signed up Rajinikanth and Jagapathi Babu to portray the lead roles, while Aswani Dutt agreed to produce the film in Telugu. The film is a remake of the Malayalam movie Kadha Parayumbol, which was written by Sreenivasan, who also played the lead role in the movie. The shooting lasted 82 days, with the versions being shot simultaneously. Most of the movie was shot inside the Ramoji Rao film city, with other destinations including Kerala and Pollachi. The promotional event took place on 19 July 2008 at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.
Vasu made it clear that Rajinikanth would not perform an honorary role in the film, which Mammooty had portrayed in the original, but would play a full role, stating that, "the whole story revolves around him [Rajnikanth]". The film's launch was on 7 March 2008 at the AVM Studios in Chennai with the leading artists present. P. Vasu said that the shooting lasted 82 days, with the versions being shot simultaneously and that most of the movie was shot inside the Ramoji Rao film city, with other destinations including Kerala and Pollachi.
In the Telugu version, comedy actors Sunil, Brahmanandam, Tanikella Bharani and Venu Madhav all signed up to play the roles of Jagapati Babu's fellow villagers. Ileana D'Cruz turned down an offer to act in the film, citing scheduling conflicts. Like the Tamil version, it was said that several prominent Telugu actors had been approached to be a part of a song in the project, but none were selected.
Rediff gave the film two and a half stars (2.5 Star) and wrote: "P Vasu conceives everything in a larger than life canvas keeping in sync with the image of the superstar he is directing. And while he seems to have gone overboard by moving away from the original, Kathanayakudu is worth a watch for the touching last moments."
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