Maro Charitra

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Maro Charitra
Maro Charitra Kamal.jpg
Directed byK. Balachander
Produced byRama Arangannal
Written byK. Balachander
Music byM. S. Viswanathan
CinematographyB. S. Lokanath
Edited byN. R. Kittu
Distributed byAndal Productions
Release date
  • 19 May 1978 (1978-05-19)
Running time
169 minutes[1]

Maro Charitra (transl. Another History) is a 1978 Telugu-language Indian romantic tragedy film written and directed by K. Balachander.[2] It stars Kamal Haasan and Saritha in the lead with Madhavi appearing in prominent roles. The film deals with cross-cultural romance between a Tamil boy and a Telugu girl. Upon release, it was commercially successful and remains a cult classic. Owing to its success in Andhra Pradesh, the film was released in the neighboring states of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka without being dubbed into the respective languages. This film dubbed in Malayalam as Thirakal Ezhuthiya Kavitha.[3] This movie ran 693 days.[4]

Balachander won a Best Director at the Southern Filmfare Awards in 1979. Later in 1981, Balachander remade the film in Hindi as Ek Duuje Ke Liye with Kamal Haasan reprising his role. Saritha, the female lead, was, however, replaced by Punjabi actress Rati Agnihotri. The Hindi remake became a success as well. Both the films were listed among CNN-IBN's 100 greatest Indian films of all time in 2013. This film was also remade in Kannada in 2005 as Love Story and in Odia as Tu Mori Paeen.


The story revolves around a Telugu girl and Tamil boy who fall in love. Their families interfere and ask them to stay away from each other for a whole year which results in a tragic end.



Rama Arangannal, who produced Balachander's previous films agreed to produce the film.[5] Balachander decided to launch Kamal as a lead actor in Telugu cinema upon the latter's request. Kamal had entered Telugu cinema through the director's Anthuleni Katha (1976), albeit playing a supporting role. That was followed by a dubbed version of the Tamil film Manmadha Leelai released during the same period. As both the films had a 100-day run at the theatres, Kamal was approached by many Telugu film producers.[6] The actor had to refuse all the offers citing that he wanted to be launched as a lead actor through a film directed by Balachander, his mentor.[6] As Kamal is a Tamil, Balachander characterised his role as a Tamil man who falls in love with a Telugu girl and developed the screenplay.[5] Most of Kamal's dialogues were in Tamil.[5]

The film was made by Balachander with the sole intention of introducing Kamal Haasan as a lead actor in Telugu cinema.[6] Having chosen the male lead, Balachander was on a lookout for a female counterpart. As the film deals with cross-cultural romance, he decided to cast a new actor to play the female lead. To choose the character, he auditioned a number of girls and finally ended up choosing a "dark-skinned girl with big eyes" named Abhilasha, who was in tenth grade.[5] Though the members of the production unit were unsatisfied with her dark complexion and fat physique,[5] Balachander went ahead in finalising her for the role as he felt she had a homely look and was of the right age to fit in the role.[5] Later, she was rechristened Saritha by Balachander himself.[6] In a 2005 interview with The Hindu, she said that she was the 162nd girl to be auditioned for the film, while also noting that she did not even look good in the photographs that was sent to Balachander.[7] Besides the lead actors, Madhavi who made an impact with Thoorpu Padamara was signed up to play an important role in the film.[8] The film was shot in Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh. Contrary to most of the films that released during the period, Maro Charitra was shot in black and white.[5]


Maro Charitra
Soundtrack album by
GenreFeature film soundtrack
ProducerM. S. Viswanathan
External audio
Audio Jukebox on YouTube

The music and background score was composed by M. S. Viswanathan and lyrics were penned by Aatreya. Randor Guy wrote the English portions of a duet picturised on Kamal and Saritha.[9]

Track listing
1."Bhale Bhale Mogadivoi"Aatreya, Randor GuyS. P. Balasubrahmanyam, L. R. Eswari 
2."Kalisi Unte Kaladu Sukhamu"AatreyaS. P. Balasubrahmanyam, Ramola 
3."Padaharellaku Neelo Nalo"AatreyaS. Janaki 
4."Vidhi Cheyu Vinthalanni"AatreyaVani Jairam 
5."Ye Teega Poovuno"AatreyaP. Suseela, Kamal Haasan 
6."Ye Teega Poovuno (pathos)"AatreyaS. P. Balasubrahmanyam 
Malayalam Track listing
1."Bale Bale Assaami Nee"Mankombu Gopalakrishnan, Randor GuyS. P. Balasubrahmanyam, L. R. Eswari 
2."Hello Darling Nee Ente Lahari"Mankombu GopalakrishnanS. P. Balasubrahmanyam, Ramola 
3."Pathinezhaam Vayassil"Mankombu GopalakrishnanS. Janaki 
4."Vidhi kattu neelakandu"Mankombu GopalakrishnanVani Jairam 
5."Ariyaatha Pushpavum (Female)"Mankombu GopalakrishnanP. Suseela 
6."Ariyaatha Pushpavum (Male)"Mankombu GopalakrishnanP. Jayachandran 

Release and reception[edit]

Maro Charitra was released on 19 May 1978. During the first week of release the film performed poorly at the box-office.[6] The film's distributors cited that choosing a dark-skinned girl to play the female lead to be the reason.[6] However, after the second week, the film had a highly successful run in the theatres; it ultimately ended as a box-office success as it ran for 450 days in Andhra Pradesh.[6] Owing to its success in its native state, the producers released the film in the neighbouring territories of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka without dubbing in Tamil and Kannada. It ran for 596 days at Safire Theatre in Chennai,[6] while had a 693-day run in Bangalore at Kalpana theatre and 350-day run in Mysore at Kayathri theatre.[4] The performances of both the lead actors along with the director won critical acclaim. In 2010, South Scope noted "Maro Charitra once again saw Kamal transform himself, but this time into an out and out urban male ... Kamal let none of them get left out of his wardrobe in the film."[10] In 2013, while Indian cinema was celebrating its 100th anniversary, CNN-IBN listed out "100 greatest Indian films of all time" where both Maro Charitra and its Hindi remake Ek Duuje Ke Liye were mentioned.[11] In November 2015, Kamal noted, "Visual appeal has always gone hand-in-hand with content, since the days of Chandralekha and [Mayabazar], not just after Baahubali. Maro Charitra had beautiful visuals in black and white."[12]


Balachander considered remaking Maro Charitra in Tamil, but Kamal felt it was pointless to do so since the film already had many Tamil dialogues and was so successful in Madras.[13] The film was remade into Hindi as Ek Duuje Ke Liye by Balachander himself in 1981.[1] The film like its original became a box-office success and attained cult status. It also marked the Bollywood debut of many South Indian artists including Kamal Haasan, Madhavi and playback singer S. P. Balasubrahmanyam. In the 1981 film, Balachander chose Rati Agnihotri over Saritha as he conceived that a Punjabi girl would be more suitable to the Hindi audience. In 2005, the film was remade in Kannada as Love Story (dubbed in Tamil as Uyirullavarai).[14] Despite being labelled as a "frame-to-frame remake" of the original, the film was described as "no match to the original film in any aspect of its making" by K. N. Venkatasubba Rao of The Hindu.[14] Five years later, Ravi Yadav remade the story with the same name in Telugu with Varun Sandesh, Anita Galler and Shraddha Das.[15] Unlike the original, the film was a failure and received negative reviews.[16] A review from noted, "the new-age Maro Charitra is no patch on the original".[17]


Award Ceremony Category Nominee Outcome Ref.
Filmfare Awards South 1979 Best Telugu Director K. Balachander Won [18]


  • Lal, Ananda (2004). The Oxford companion to Indian theatre. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-564446-3.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • Rajadhyaksha, Ashish; Willemen, Paul (1998) [1994]. Encyclopaedia of Indian Cinema (PDF). Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-563579-5.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • Ramachandran, T.M. (1982). Film World. 19.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • Reed, Sir Stanley (1984). The Times of India Directory and Year Book Including Who's who. Bennett, Coleman.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
  • "Southscope July 2010 – Side A". South Scope. July 2010.


  1. ^ a b Rajadhyaksha & Willemen 1998, p. 437.
  2. ^ Lal 2004, p. 32.
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b "அழியாத கோலங்கள்" [Enduring Patterns]. Kungumam (in Tamil). 18 May 2015. Archived from the original on 22 February 2018. Retrieved 22 February 2018.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g "வரலாற்றுச்சுவடுகள் – திரைப்பட வரலாறு 1049". Daily Thanthi (in Tamil). 12 November 2008. கமல் நடித்த தெலுங்குப்படம்: தோல்வியில் தொடங்கி வெற்றியில் முடிந்த "மரோசரித்ரா"
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h "வரலாற்றுச்சுவடுகள் – திரைப்பட வரலாறு 939". Daily Thanthi (in Tamil). 9 June 2008. கே. பாலசந்தர் இயக்கத்தில் கமல் நடித்த "மரோசரித்ரா" சென்னையில் 600 நாள் ஓடியது
  7. ^ Umashanker, Sudha (27 April 2005). "Second time also lucky". The Hindu. Retrieved 25 January 2014.
  8. ^ Ramachandran 1982, p. 51.
  9. ^ Guy, Randor (2 May 2011). "The KB school". The Hindu. Retrieved 16 April 2018.
  10. ^ Southscope 2010, p. 51.
  11. ^ "100 Years of Indian Cinema: The 100 greatest Indian films of all time". CNN IBN. 17 April 2013. Retrieved 19 September 2013.
  12. ^ Devi Dundoo, Sangeetha (3 November 2015). "'My focus is to give quality films at great speed'". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 24 November 2015. Retrieved 24 November 2015.
  13. ^ Kumar, S. Shiva (21 March 2019). "'Mike' Mohan: The unsung phenomenon". The Hindu. Retrieved 29 March 2019.
  14. ^ a b Venkatasubba Rao, K.N. (27 November 2005). "A frame-to-frame remake of Marocharitra". The Hindu. Retrieved 25 January 2014.
  15. ^ Dundoo, Sangeetha Devi (17 February 2010). "The saga returns". The Hindu. Retrieved 25 January 2014.
  16. ^ Southscope 2010, p. 43.
  17. ^ Rajamani, Radhika (26 March 2010). "Maro Charitra lacks soul". Retrieved 25 January 2014.
  18. ^ Reed 1984, p. 234.

External links[edit]