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Pelli Chesi Choodu

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Pelli Chesi Choodu
Pelli Chesi Choodu.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by L. V. Prasad
Produced by B. Nagi Reddy
Aluri Chakrapani
Written by Aluri Chakrapani
Pingali Nagendrarao
Starring N. T. Rama Rao
Garikapati Varalakshmi
Yandamuri Joga Rao
Savitri
S. V. Ranga Rao
Music by Ghantasala Venkateswara Rao
Cinematography Marcus Bartley
Edited by C. P. Jambulingam
M. S. Money
Production
company
Release date
19 February 1952
Running time
156 minutes
Country India
Language Telugu
Tamil

Pelli Chesi Choodu (English: Try to conduct a marriage) is a 1952 Indian bilingual satirical comedy film directed by L. V. Prasad and produced by B. Nagi Reddy and Aluri Chakrapani under their company Vijaya Vauhini Studios. The film was made simultaneously in Telugu and Tamil, the latter titled Kalyanam Panni Paar (English: Try getting married). It features N. T. Rama Rao, Garikapati Varalakshmi, Yandamuri Joga Rao and Savitri in the lead roles. S. V. Ranga Rao, Dr. Sivarama Krishnayya, Doraswamy and Suryakantham are seen in supporting roles in the Telugu version while C. V. V. Panthulu replaced Krishnayya in the Tamil version.

Pelli Chesi Choodu deals with the negative effects of the dowry system in India through the marital life of Venkata Ramana (Rama Rao) and Ammadu (Varalakshmi). The film's production began after the release of Vijaya Vauhini Studios' Pathala Bhairavi (1951). Marcus Bartley was recruited as the cinematographer and the film was edited by C. P. Jambulingam and M. S. Money. Ghantasala composed the film's music.

Pelli Chesi Choodu was released on 19 February 1952 while Kalyanam Panni Paar was released on 13 April that year. Both versions were commercially successful and achieved cult status. Pelli Chesi Choodu was remade in Kannada as Maduve Madi Nodu (1965) by Vijaya Vauhini Studios and in Hindi as Shaadi Ke Baad (1972) by Prasad. While the Kannada version was commercially successful, the Hindi version was not.

Plot[edit]

Rathamma lives in a village with her sons Raja and Kundu, and her daughter Ammadu. Raja is a teacher and a theatre enthusiast. Along with Kundu and a group of fellow actors, Raja performs plays in a local theatre during his free time. Raja's maternal uncle Govindayya, a pleader, wants him to marry his daughter Chitti, who is in a relationship with a bodybuilder named Bheemudu. Raja rejects the proposal and Govindayya offers to find a suitable bridegroom for Ammadu if Raja marries Chitti. Raja rejects the proposal and with Kundu he sets out to find a suitable bridegroom for Ammadu.

In a distant village, Raja and Kundu meet Dhoopati Viyyanna, a zamindar (aristocrat) and the president of the panchayat. Viyyanna is a complex character of declining fortunes and generous spirit who believes in respecting his guests. Raju and Viyyanna's daughter Savitri fall in love and their wedding is quickly arranged. Viyyanna also finds a bridegroom named Venkata Ramana, a pleader living in Madras (now Chennai), for Ammadu. Ramana's father, Venkatapathy, demands a large dowry, which Viyyanna promises to pay.

At the marriage venue, Govindayya plots revenge by inciting Venkatapathy to insist on the dowry being paid before the marriage. Viyyanna issues a promisory note; Venkatapathy rejects it and drags Ramana from the marriage hall. However, Ramana leaves for Madras and lives there with Ammadu. When Venkatapathy arrives, Ramana feigns mental illness while Ammadu and Raja pretend to be a nurse and a doctor. Ammadu endears herself to Venkatapathy by showing interest in his recitals of the puranas.

Ramana 'recovers' from the mental illness and Ammadu, who has been pregnant, gives birth to their son, causing a fresh round of gossip in the village. Govindayya tries to take advantage of this and after numerous failed attempts, he persuades Venkatapathy to conduct Ramana's marriage with Chitti. Viyyanna considers this to be an insult and conducts the marriage of Chitti and Bheemudu at his residence. Govindayya and his wife Chukkalamma refuse to acknowledge the marriage.

When Venkatapathy asks Ramana to marry Chitti, he refuses and foregoes the wealth he is entitled to inherit in exchange for Ammadu and their newborn son. Govindayya asks Venkatapathy to marry Chitti and Chukkalamma protests, reuniting Chitti and Bheemudu. A helpless Govindayya is confronted by Viyyanna, who threatens to use his influence as a president of the panchayat to have him arrested if he does not reform himself. Govindayya begs pardon and flees with his family. The film ends with everyone present in Ramana's house, laughing maniacally.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

When differences arose between Aluri Chakrapani and Garikapati Varalakshmi, the former wanted to scrap the near-complete film and replace her with Anjali Devi (pictured). Devi however mediated between them and solved the differences.

After producing Shavukar (1950) and Pathala Bhairavi (1951), B. Nagi Reddy and Aluri Chakrapani announced a film titled Pelli Chesi Choodu, which would be directed by L. V. Prasad and financed by their company Vijaya Vauhini Studios.[1] Pelli Chesi Choodu was made as a bilingual film; it was shot simultaneously in Telugu and Tamil, with the Tamil version titled Kalyanam Panni Paar,[2] the first Tamil film directed by Prasad.[3] Chakrapani wrote the film's script, which was based on the negative effects of the dowry system in India. Marcus Bartley was recruited as the cinematographer and the film was edited by C. P. Jambulingam and M. S. Money. Madhavapeddi Gokhale and Kaladhar were the film's art directors, and the music score was composed by Ghantasala. Chalapathi Rao and Jagannadham were the production executives. Pasumarthi Krishnamurthy choreographed the song sequences.[4] Tatineni Prakash Rao worked as an assistant director under Prasad; Rao directed Palletooru (1952) during the post-production phase of Pelli Chesi Choodu.[5] Kalyanam Panni Paar was partly colourised using Gevacolor.[6]

N. T. Rama Rao and Garikapati Varalakshmi were chosen as one of the leading pairs of actors. During the songs' shoot, Ghantasala taught Rama Rao to play harmonium and gave him a few music lessons so he would look believable in the film.[1] Yandamuri Jogarao and Savitri, who had played minor roles in Shavukar and Pathala Bhairavi, were chosen as the other leading pair. In playing the role of the zamindar, S. V. Ranga Rao exhibited a strange body language, inspired by a stranger he had observed at a railway station.[1] Dr. Sivarama Krishnayya and C.V.V. Panthulu played the role of Rama Rao's father in the Telugu and Tamil versions. Padmanabham played two roles; a postman and Ranga Rao's friend.[1]

The child artists in the film were members of Nyapathi Raghavarao's 'Balanandam' troupe.[7] They were trained by Gnapadi Kameshwara Rao, whose nephew Gade Balakrishna "Kundu" Rao played a key role in the film's Telugu and Tamil versions. Vijaya Vauhini Studios hired actors on a monthly salaried basis for this film; one of these was M. Mallikarjuna Rao, who later directed films Prameelarjuneeyam (1965), Muhurtha Balam (1969), and Gudachari 116 (1976).[1] Differences between Chakrapani and Varalakshmi occurred during the last stage of principal photography. Chakrapani wanted to replace Varalakshmi with Anjali Devi and reshoot the entire film. However, Devi mediated between them and resolved the differences.[7]

Differences between Rama Rao and Varalakshmi due to the latter's tantrums, also occurred. When Varalakshmi refused to touch Rama Rao's feet in the scene in which his father drags him from the marriage hall, Prasad asked Nagi Reddy's son B. L. N. Prasad—the second assistant cameraman working under Bartley—to wear a dhoti and stand before her.[7] Chakrapani liked a scene in a play in which a group of police officers in ascending hierarchy, each junior gave up his chair for the senior; he used the same idea in Savitri's marriage sequences in the film.[1] Similarly, Prasad incorporated part of a stage play enacted by children into the film, which Nagi Reddy's son Venkatarami Reddy was a part of.[7] Prasad also made a cameo appearance in the film.[1] Mohan Kanda, who later became the Chief Secretary of Andhra Pradesh before its bifurcation, also appeared in the film as a child artist.[8]

Music[edit]

The official soundtracks of Pelli Chesi Choodu and Kalyanam Panni Paar were composed by Ghantasala. The sound mixing process was supervised by A. Krishnan and Siva Ram. The soundtrack was processed by N. C. Sen Gupta and was orchestrated by Master Venu.[4] This was Ghantasala's third film as a music director under his five-film contract with Vijaya Vauhini Studios.[1] Utkuri Satyanarayana wrote the lyrics for "Amma Noppule" and "Brahmayya O Brahmayya", while Pingali Nagendrarao wrote the lyrics for the other fifteen songs.[7] Four of the songs featured the child artists.[1]

The song "Pelli Chesukoni" was composed using the Kalyani raga.[9] Ghantasala recorded the songs "Manasa Nenevaro Neeku Thelusa" and "Yedukondalavada Venkataramana" first with Jikki. He was not satisfied and recorded them again with P. Leela; the soundtrack's gramophone records featured both versions.[7] The soundtrack was released in December 1952 under the Saregama music label.[a] It was a critical and commercial success,[7] Ashish Rajadhyaksha and Paul Willemen, in their book Encyclopaedia of Indian Cinema, termed the songs "Amma Nopule" and "Pelli Chesukoni" as "especially popular".[12]

Track listing[10][11]

Track list
No. Title Lyrics Artist(s) Length
1. "Yevaro Yevaro" Pingali Nagendrarao Ghantasala, P. Leela 03:19
2. "Raadhanuraayedavaku" Pingali Nagendrarao Garikapati Varalakshmi, Ghantasala, Joga Rao, P. Leela 05:38
3. "Yevadosthado Choosthaga" Pingali Nagendrarao G. Bharathi, Ghantasala 01:51
4. "Brahmayya O Brahmayya" Utukuri Satyanarayana A. P. Komala, K. Rani, T. M. Sarojini 06:29
5. "Yekkadoyi Priya" Pingali Nagendrarao P. Leela, Pithapuram Nageswara Rao 04:07
6. "Amma Noppule" Utukuri Satyanarayana V. Ramakrishna, Sakuntala 03:13
7. "Pellichesi Choopisthaam" Pingali Nagendrarao Pithapuram Nageswara Rao 02:44
8. "Yechati Nundi" Pingali Nagendrarao V. Ramakrishna, T. M. Sarojini 00:55
9. "Yevoori Dhaanavey" Pingali Nagendrarao V. Ramakrishna, T. M. Sarojini 02:34
10. "Manasa Nenevaro Neeku Thelusa" Pingali Nagendrarao P. Leela 02:49
11. "Manasuloni Manasa" Pingali Nagendrarao Ghantasala 02:42
12. "Yedukondalavada Venkataramana" Pingali Nagendrarao P. Leela 02:58
13. "Bhayamenduke Chitte" Pingali Nagendrarao Ghantasala 02:03
14. "O Bhavi Bharatha" Pingali Nagendrarao Ghantasala 03:23
15. "Pelli Chesukoni" Pingali Nagendrarao Ghantasala 03:23
16. "Ee Jagamantha Natika" Pingali Nagendrarao Ghantasala 01:43
17. "Povamma Bali Kaavamma" Pingali Nagendrarao V. J. Varma 03:25
Total length: 51:16

Release, reception and legacy[edit]

Pelli Chesi Choodu had its theatrical release on 19 February 1952, and Kalyanam Panni Paar was released on 13 April 1954.[13] Both versions were released with a final reel length of 5,243 metres (17,201 ft) and were given a "U" (Universal) certificate by the Central Board of Film Certification with a run time of 156 minutes.[14] Both versions were commercially successful; the Telugu version completing a 100-day run in 11 centres,[1] and the Tamil version completed a 100-day run in many centres.[b] The Telugu version completed a 182-day run at Durga Kala Mandiram, Vijayawada, where celebrations marking the film's success were held. Rama Rao and Varalakshmi did not attend the event because of the differences between them.[7]

Reviewing the film, M. L. Narasimham of The Hindu called Pelli Chesi Choodu a "text-book for filmmakers" on "how to make a clean and wholesome entertainer on a burning issue without resorting to slogan-mongering, and yet driving home the point in a subtle manner". Narasimham also said the actors "deserved full marks for excellent performance" in the film.[7] In his book Alanati Chalana Chitram, K. N. T. Sastry wrote that Pelli Chesi Choodu is an ensemble comedy that "abounds in intrigues and disguises gearing to the making and breaking of marriage alliances".[15]

According to the film historian Randor Guy, Pelli Chesi Choodu was the first in a series of satirical comedies directed by Prasad and produced by Vijaya Vauhini Studios. Guy said the film's box office performance made Prasad famous in both Telugu and Tamil cinema.[16] After Pelli Chesi Choodu, Prasad and Vijaya Vauhini Studios collaborated on Missamma (1955) and Appu Chesi Pappu Koodu (1959). All three films were profitable ventures and achieved cult status in Telugu cinema.[17][18] Pelli Chesi Choodu is considered as one of the acclaimed films in the careers of Prasad and Varalakshmi.[19][20] Relangi Narasimha Rao's 1988 Telugu film, which was also about the negative effects of dowry system in India, was titled Pelli Chesi Choodu.[21] Pelli Chesi Choodu was also used as the title of a 2014 theatrical play staged by Sri Sai Arts, which won a Nandi Award.[22]

Remakes and colourisation plans[edit]

Vijaya Vauhini Studios remade the film in Kannada as Maduve Madi Nodu (1965). It was directed by Hunsur Krishnamurthy and features Rajkumar and Leelavathi in the lead roles. Maduve Madi Nodu was a profitable venture.[7] Prasad remade the film in Hindi as Shaadi Ke Baad (1972), in which Jeetendra, Rakhee and Shatrughan Sinha reprised the roles played by Rama Rao, Varalakshmi and Ranga Rao in the original. Shaadi Ke Baad underperformed at the box office.[1][7]

In late November 2007, a Hyderabad-based company named Goldstone Technologies acquired the film negative rights to 14 Telugu films produced by Vijaya Vauhini Studios, including Mayabazar (1957) and Pelli Chesi Choodu, to release digitally re-mastered versions in colour.[23] The remastered and colourised version of Mayabazar was released in January 2010 and performed well in theatres, but Goldstone Technologies decided not to remaster the remaining 14 films, including Pelli Chesi Choodu; the company said most of the producers who sold the rights of the negatives to television channels lost control over them. Goldstone added that there were many legal issues over ownership and copyright whenever other producers tried to do something on their own.[24]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ iTunes estimates the release date as 1 December 1952,[10] whereas Gaana.com estimates the release date as 31 December 1952.[11]
  2. ^ M. L. Narasimham of The Hindu did not mention the number of centres.[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k APK (27 November 2007). "Pelli Chesi Choodu (1952)". Cinegoer.net. Archived from the original on 8 November 2015. Retrieved 8 November 2015. 
  2. ^ Pillai 2015, p. 191.
  3. ^ Pillai 2015, p. 10.
  4. ^ a b Pelli Chesi Choodu. YouTube (Motion picture). India: Shalimar Telugu & Hindi Movies. 18 October 2015. 
  5. ^ Narasimham, M. L. (12 May 2013). "Palletooru (1952)". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 10 November 2015. Retrieved 10 November 2015. 
  6. ^ "தமிழின் முதல் வண்ணப்படம்!" [The first colour film in Tamil!]. Kungumam (in Tamil). 3 November 2017. Archived from the original on 20 January 2018. Retrieved 20 January 2018. 
  7. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Narasimham, M. L. (21 July 2013). "Pelli Chesi Choodu (1952)". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 8 November 2015. Retrieved 8 November 2015. 
  8. ^ French, Patrick (28 February 2016). "Hanging up sacred thread: Yechury on combining class and caste struggle". Hindustan Times. Archived from the original on 28 February 2016. Retrieved 21 March 2016. 
  9. ^ Amruthavarshini (11 May 2014). "'Kalyani: The queen of ragas'". The Hans India. Archived from the original on 9 November 2015. Retrieved 9 November 2015. 
  10. ^ a b "Pellichesi Choodu (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)". iTunes. 1 December 1952. Archived from the original on 9 November 2015. Retrieved 9 November 2015. 
  11. ^ a b "Pellichesi Choodu". Gaana.com. 31 December 1952. Archived from the original on 9 November 2015. Retrieved 9 November 2015. 
  12. ^ Rajadhyaksha & Willemen 2014, p. 328.
  13. ^ Film News Anandan (2004). Saadhanaigal Padaitha thamizh thiraipada varalaru [Tamil film history and it's achievements] (in Tamil). Sivagami Publications. Archived from the original on 1 August 2017. 
  14. ^ Pelli Chesi Choodu. YouTube (Motion picture). India: Shalimar Telugu & Hindi Movies. 18 October 2015. 
  15. ^ Sastry, K. N. T. "Pelli Chesi Choodu (1952)". Idlebrain.com. Archived from the original on 9 November 2015. Retrieved 9 November 2015. 
  16. ^ Guy, Randor (25 January 2008). "Celluloid colossus". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 10 November 2015. Retrieved 10 November 2015. 
  17. ^ Narasimham, M. L. (16 October 2014). "Blast from the past: Missamma (1955)". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 7 June 2015. Retrieved 10 November 2015. 
  18. ^ Narasimham, M. L. (21 August 2015). "Appu Chesi Pappu Koodu (1959)". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 10 November 2015. Retrieved 10 November 2015. 
  19. ^ Narasimham, M. L. (8 September 2006). "A leader and a visionary". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 10 November 2015. Retrieved 10 November 2015. 
  20. ^ Guy, Randor (1 December 2006). "A maverick who made it". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 10 November 2015. Retrieved 10 November 2015. 
  21. ^ Pellichesi Choodu. YouTube (Motion picture). India: TeluguMovieCafe. 23 September 2015. 
  22. ^ "Dokka Seetamma, Vishnu Sayujyam win Golden Nandis". The Hans India. 31 May 2015. Archived from the original on 15 June 2016. Retrieved 14 June 2016. 
  23. ^ "Old classics in colour soon". The Hindu. 22 November 2007. Archived from the original on 28 May 2015. Retrieved 9 November 2015. 
  24. ^ Kumar, Hemanth (11 February 2014). "Preserving Tollywood's timeless classics". The Times of India. Archived from the original on 28 May 2015. Retrieved 9 November 2015. 

Bibliography[edit]

External links[edit]