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|Directed by||P. N. Ramachandra Rao|
|Produced by||Giri Babu|
|Written by||Giri Babu|
Merupu Daadi or Merupudadi is a 1984 Telugu action-adventure Western film directed by P. N. Ramachandra Rao, written and produced by Giri Babu, with music composed by Ilaiyaraaja. This successful movie was released under the banner of Sri Bramarambika films and was shot in the Talakona forests of Chittoor district.
Professor Varma discovers a hidden treasure belonging to Ratnagiri Dynasty, by researching ancient books and maps. Professor Varma decides to find the treasure by gathering a team of brave people. Bhanu, an orphan cowboy robs a bank, but the loot is robbed by Raja, another orphan cowboy. After a horse chase and fight between them, they both become friends – after revealing their pathetic flashbacks. They both have the same lockets on their necks which are commonly involved in the flashbacks, and it is known that Bahadur was a common enemy who murdered their family members for the treasure secret.
In a restaurant, professor Varma gathers Mala Devi, a cowgirl after a fight. Raja and Bhanu visits an entertainment feat. In the show, Gandadu on a horse, throws some swords around his sister Sivangi, who stands at a door. Pleased by the feat, Raja and Bhanu offer some money and jewelry for Gandadu and Sivangi. Bhanu identifies a culprit who wears the locket which resembles his locket, but the culprit escapes. Raju and Bhanu purchase revolvers in a gun shop. Gandadu and Sivangi saves Raja and Bhanu from the police capture. Professor Varma gathers Mruta Sanjeevaraidu, a famous Ayurvedic doctor for the treasure hunt. Raja and Bhanu escape from a bar and are joined with Professor Varma, Mala Devi and Sanjeevaraidu. Raja and Bhanu are surprised that professor Varma knows the secret of the treasure. Raja and Bhanu reveal their stories to professor Varma.
Sivangi is abducted by some men to capture Gandadu, for the treasure secret. Gandadu tries to redeem his sister Sivangi, but he is captured by a net. The men torture Gandadu and Sivangi for the treasure secret. They both are saved from the torture by the team of Varma. Gandadu and Sivangi welcome the team to their village in the forest for a dance function. Professor Varma finally forms a team with Raja, Bhanu, Mala Devi, Mrita Sanjeevaraidu, Gandadu and Sivangi as members for the treasure hunt. The team, along with Anji starts its journey for the treasure into a dense forest. Meanwhile, Bahadur rides to the house of Professor Varma and knows the place of the treasure.
In the forest, the team is captured by a ferocious tribe. They are tied to the trees with ropes. Bhanu is loved at first sight by Vasaka, a tribal girl. The team comes to know that they are going to be scarified to the goddess. Vasaka is assured by the tribal head that she can marry Bhanu, provided Bhanu wins in sword fight against another tribal man. Bhanu wins the sword fight and Vasaka is married to him. On the wedding night, Bhanu pleads to Vasaka to help his team escape from the sacrifice. That night, Vasaka arranges a program for the team's escape, but in the horse chase she is killed by the pilums.
At one place, the team dismounts the horses and start to walk. Mritasanjeeva Raidu eats an egg which puts him in a temporary misbehavior, but he is saved by the team with a few herbal remedies. The team rests at a place, where Sivangi falls in love with Raja. Gandadu dislikes the union of his sister Sivangi with Raja. He fights with Raja and accepts the union when Sivangi tries to commit suicide. One night, Mrita Sanjeevaraidu and Mala Devi try to steal the map of the treasure from Professor Varma. Mruta Sanjeevaraidu kills Anji who tries to stop him. Next morning, the team finds Anji killed.
Mrita Sanjeevaraidu is taken away by the men of Bahadur for the map. Mala Devi is found unconscious at a stream by the team. The team finds a stupendous cave entrance resembling a monstrous head. The team goes into the dark cave through the mouth of the head. In the cave, they descend into a hole which leads to a hall of treasure. The team finds the treasure chest in huge box and escapes with it. Gandadu hides the treasure chest at a place and brings his tribe for help. Outside of the cave, Mruta Sanjeevaraidu awaits along with Bahadur. The team is captured at the cave by Mruta Sanjeevaraidu and Bahadur. Bahadur reveals that he killed Varma's two friends who are fathers of Raja and Bhanu, in knowing the secret of treasure. Sivangi and Mala Devi are tortured by Bahadur's men to make Gandadu come to the place. Gandadu comes with his army and rescues the team. Bahadur and Mrita Sanjeevaraidu finds the treasure chest in the bushes and tries to escape with it. The movie ends with the team taking the treasure chest after killing Bahadur and Mrita Sanjeevaraidu.
- Suman as Raja
- Bhanu Chander as Bhanu
- Ranganath as Professor Varma
- Giribabu as Gandadu, a tribe (also called Ganda)
- Sumalatha as Sivangi, sister of Gandadu
- Jayamalini as Mala Devi
- Gollapudi Maruthi Rao as Mrita Sanjeevaraidu, an ayurvedic physician
- M. Prabhakar Reddy as Bahadur
- Saradhi as Anji, friend and co-tribal of Gandadu
Significance of the title
Merupu Daadi is a Telugu title which means lightning attack. In the movie, each member of the search party is skilled and invincible. The team moves into the forest by facing many hazards and achieve the treasure chest. Thunder and lightning have the power to strike anything. So the search party is compared to Merupu (Lightning), which achieved the treasure chest.