Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||C. Pullaiah
C. S. Rao
|Produced by||Shankar Reddy|
|Written by||Sadasivabrahmam (Telugu dialogues)
A. K. Velan (Tamil dialogues)
|Starring||N. T. Rama Rao
T. L. Kanta Rao
|Music by||Ghantasala Venkateswara Rao,
K. V. Mahadevan
|Cinematography||P. L. Rai|
|29 March 1963|
Lava Kusa (also spelled as Lava Kusha) is a 1963 Indian bilingual Hindu mythological film directed by C. S. Rao and his son C. Pullaiah. The film's script was written by Samudrala Raghavacharya. The film was produced by Shankar Reddy under Lalita Sivajyothi films. The film was shot in both Telugu and Tamil languages with the same title, but with slight differences in the cast. The film was a remake of 1934 film of same name which was also directed by C. Pullaiah. The story is an adaptation of the Uttara Kanda from Ramayana. It revolves around the roles of Lava and Kusa, sons of Seetha (Anjali Devi),Rama (N. T. R.). The Telugu version stars Kanta Rao, Shoban Babu, S. Varalakshmi, Kaikala Satyanarayana in supporting roles, replaced in that order by M. R. Radha and Manorama in the Tamil counterpart.
Production began in 1958 but was stopped due to financial constraints. When it restarted, C. Pullaiah's health was deteriorating, so his son C. S. Rao took over. The soundtrack features 27 songs, with the musical score primarily composed by Ghantasala and KV Mahadevan, and the lyrics by Vempati Sadasiva and Samudrala Raghavacharya (Telugu) and Maruthakasi (Tamil). The film has won the National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Telugu for that year. It was also dubbed in Kannada, and later in Hindi in 1974. This film was later remade with the title Sri Rama Rajyam in year 2011.
This movie is based on Uttara Kanda which is the later part of Ramayana written by Valmiki Maharshi. It depicts the lives of Lava and Kusa, the sons of Sita and Rama. The story depicts Sri Rama Pattabhishekam and about the brief period of Rama Rajyam, Rama sending Seeta exile on hearing the accusations of a washerman, Birth of Lava and Kusha, their visit to Ayodhya, Ashwamedha Yagna and conflict between Rama and his sons and Pattabhishekam of Lava and Kusha and Rama finally ending his Avatar.
|Nandamuri Taraka Rama Rao||Lord Rama (Both versions)|
|Anjali Devi||Goddess Sita (Both versions)|
|Chittor V. Nagaiah||Valmiki(Both versions)|
|Tadepalli Lakshmi Kanta Rao||Lakshmana (Telugu version)|
|Gemini Ganesan||Lakshmana (Tamil version)|
|Sandhya||Shantha-sister of rama|
|S. Varalakshmi||Bhudevi (Telugu version)
Bhoomadevi (Tamil version)
|Arja Janardhana Rao||Anjaneya|
|Ramana Reddy||Valmiki's disciple|
|Suryakantam||Wife of Valmiki's disciple|
|Relangi Venkata Ramaiah||Washerman (Telugu version)|
|M. R. Radha||Washerman (Tamil version)|
|Girija||Wife of washerman (Telugu version)|
|Manorama||Wife of washerman (Tamil version)|
|Sukumari||Dancer (Special appearance)|
Lava Kusa was a remake of film of same name which Pulliah had directed in 1934. Production began in 1958 but was halted for four years due to financial constraints. When it restarted, C. Pullaiah's health was deteriorating, so his son C. S. Rao took over. During the production, Kanta Rao was offered the role of Rama finally he was even offered the role of Shatrughna as he became physically weak due to eusinophilia but he was finally chosen for the role of Lakshman. The set of Valmiki Ashram was built at Ramavaram Garden, Chennai.
Soundtrack was composed by Ghantasala and lyrics for Telugu version were written by Vempati Sadasiva, Samudrala Raghavacharya. K. V. Mahadevan composed music for Tamil songs and the lyrics were written by A. Maruthakasi. The film has 37 songs and Poems (Padyam), many are very popular and memorable. Telugu track list
|1.||"Sri Vidyam Jagatam Dhatri (Shlokam)"||Vempati Sadasiva||Ghantasala Venkateswara Rao||01:14|
|2.||"Saptashva Rathamarudham Prachandam Kashyapatmajam (Shlokam)"||Ghantasala Venkateswara Rao|
|3.||"Navajyotyo (Poem)"||Ghantasala Venkateswara Rao|
|4.||"Intaku Bunivachchi Vachiyimpaka Podune"||Vempati Sadasiva||Ghantasala Venkateswara Rao|
|5.||"Jaya Jaya Rama Srirama"||Samudrala Raghavacharya||J. V. Raghavulu, Sarojini|
|6.||"Ramanna Ramudu Kodanda Ramudu"||Samudrala Raghavacharya||P. Susheela, Jamuna Rani|
|7.||"Virise Challani Vennela Marala Eenadu Maa Kannula"||Samudrala Raghavacharya||P. Susheela, Jamuna Rani|
|8.||"Ravanu ni Samharinchi Raghuramudu (Poem)"||Samudrala Raghavacharya||Ghantasala Venkateswara Rao|
|9.||"Vollanori Maamaa Nee Pillani"||Ghantasala Venkateswara Rao, Jikki, J. V. Raghavulu, Swarnalata|
|10.||"Ye Mahaniya Sadhvi Jagadeka Pavitrata (Poem)"||Ghantasala Venkateswara Rao|
|11.||"Ye Nimishaniki Yemi Jaruguno Evaruuhinchedaru"||Kosaraju||Ghantasala Venkateswara Rao|
|12.||"Jagadabhi Ramudu Sriraamude"||Samudrala Raghavacharya||Ghantasala Venkateswara Rao, P. Susheela, P. Leela, Mallik|
|13.||"Enduke Naa Meeda Kopam Emite Ni Paritaapam"||Pithapuram Nageswara Rao, Swarnalata|
|14.||"Ramakathanu Vinarayyaa Ihapara Sukhamulanosage"||Samudrala Raghavacharya||P. Susheela, P. Leela|
|15.||"Vurake Kanniru Nimpa Kaaranam Eemamma"||P. Susheela, P. Leela|
|16.||"Vinudu Vinudu Ramayana Gaatha Vinudee Manasara"||Samudrala Raghavacharya||P. Susheela, P. Leela|
|17.||"Sriraamuni Charitamunu Telipedamamma"||Samudrala Raghavacharya||P. Susheela, P. Leela|
|18.||"Sriraghavam Dasharathatmajam Aprameyam"||P. Susheela, P. Leela|
|19.||"Srirama Sugunadhama Jayarama Parandhama"||P. Susheela, P. Leela|
|20.||"Sandehinchaku Mammu Raghuramu Premanu Sitamma"||Kosaraju||Ghantasala Venkateswara Rao|
|21.||"Ashwamedha Yagaaniki Jayamu Jayamu Jayamu"||Samudrala Raghavacharya||Ghantasala Venkateswara Rao, Madhavapeddi, Raghavulu, Rani, Sarojini|
|22.||"Savanaashwambu idi Veeramaata yagu Kausalya (Poem)"||Samudrala Raghavacharya||P. Susheela|
|23.||"Hreemkaraasana (Poem)"||P. Susheela|
|24.||"Leru Kushalavula Saati Sari Veerulu Dharunilo"||Vempati Sadasiva||P. Susheela, P. Leela|
|25.||"Stree Balavrudhula Tega"||Samudrala Raghavacharya||Ghantasala, P. Susheela, P. Leela|
|26.||"Sriraama Parandhamaa Jayarama Parandhama"||Samudrala Raghavacharya||P. Susheela, P. Leela, Jamuna Rani|
Tamil track list
|1.||"Sri Rama Paramathma"||AP Komala, K Ranee|
|2.||"Eedu Inai"||P. Leela, P. susheela|
|3.||"Jaya Jaya Rama"||Ghantasala Venkateswara Rao, P. Leela|
|4.||"Jagam Pugazhum"||P. Leela, P. Susheela|
|5.||"Jagam Pugazhum 2"||P. Leela, P. Susheela|
|6.||"Ramanna Ramudu Kodanda Ramudu"||Samudrala Raghavacharya||P. Susheela, Jamuna Rani|
|8.||"Rama Suguna Seela"||P. Leela, P. Susheela|
|10.||"Vetri Murasu"||P. Leela, VN Sundaram|
Box-office and Impact
The film ran for 75 weeks uninterruptedly. This is an unbroken record. It was released in 26 centres and had a 100-day run in all the centers, which was a record and ran 150 days in all those centers and 175-day run in 18 centres. Due to the huge demand for the film from other centres in Andhra Pradesh, most prints had to be shifted to other centres. It had run for 100-days in 62 centres and 175-day run in 18 centres, grossing more than 10 million.
- National Film Award for Best Feature Film in Telugu
- Rashtrapati Award- best acting N. T. Rama Rao and Tadepalli Lakshmi Kanta Rao.
Lava Kusa is considered a classic of Telugu cinema. In January 2007, M. L. Narasimham of The Hindu listed Lava Kusa with Mala Pilla (1938), Raithu Bidda (1939), Vara Vikrayam (1939), Bhakta Potana (1942), Shavukaru (1950), Malliswari (1951) Peddamanushulu (1954) and Mayabazar (1955) as films impacting society and Telugu cinema. Rama Rao reprised the role of Rama in a number of films over a two-decade career.[a] Bapu used Lava Kusa's storyline in his 2011 film, Sri Rama Rajyam starring Rama Rao's son Nandamuri Balakrishna.
- "லவகுசா [முழுநீள கேவாகலர்]" [Lavakusa [Gevacolor Feature]] (PDF) (songbook) (in Tamil). Lalitha Sivajothi Films. Archived from the original on 19 October 2016. Retrieved 19 October 2016.
- "Actor passes away". The Hindu. Hyderabad. 5 November 2007. Retrieved 23 October 2014.
- "LAVA KUSA (1934) - Anantapur — The Hindu". Hindu. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
- "Nostalgia — Lava Kusa". Cinegoer. Archived from the original on 16 January 2009. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
- "The Hindu: Andhra Pradesh News: Film director C. S. Rao is dead". Hindu. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
- "The Hindu: Life Hyderabad: Kathula' Kantha Rao on the mark". Hindu. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
- "The original swashbuckler — HYDB — Hindu". Hindu. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
- "Lava Kusa by Ghantasala — Telugu". Saregama. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
- "Lava Kusa Tamil". Saregama. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
- "11th National Film Awards". International Film Festival of India. Retrieved 13 September 2011.
- Ramachandran, T.M. (1973). Film world. 9.
- Narasimham, M. L. (19 January 2007). "Reliving the reel and the real". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 4 February 2015. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
- "Telugu cinema celebrity — Nandamuri Taraka Rama Rao". Idlebrain. Retrieved 18 October 2015.
- "Bapu's Lava Kusa with Balakrishna". Sify. Retrieved 18 October 2015.