Behind the Movie Onamalu: After ‘Aa Naluguru’ and ‘Mee Shreyobhilashi,’ the perception of audience towards the movies of Rajendra Prasad is totally changed. Accordingly, the Nata Kireeti is also waiting to offer meaningful films now and then. ‘Onamalu’ stands one among them and let us see what these basics all about are?
In the Movie Onamalu: Narayan Rao Master (Rajendra Prasad) is a Teacher in small village. Born as an orphan, this village grows him up with many good people around like Village President (Chalapati Rao), his wife (Siva Parvati), Zamindar (Giri Babu) and all others. Narayan Rao has huge affection with the village and the atmosphere here. He is married to beautiful girl (Kalyani) who dies in middle of her life journey with husband. However, situations turn unavoidable and Narayan Rao is made to travel USA for spending time with his son, daughter-in-law and grand children. Years pass on but the Teacher’s heart beats only for his village. Without any prior-intimation to his busy son, Narayan Rao leaves America and comes back to India and to his native village where position is not the same. How painful is this for Narayan Rao? How did he compete with adverse circumstances? Where did he begin a journey to bring back the glory to village? What kind of message did he offer to each of us reminding the roots of our culture?
Values & Out of the Movie Onamalu: Story of this film is a real journey from past to present accepting the facts as it is. It’s a lecture on enlightening ourselves. Like what Mahatma Gandhi has said ‘India Lives in Its Villages,’ the very soul of ‘Onamalu’ lies in village and the rural backdrop. In the name of development, we are aiming high with advent of new technologies but we are forgetting the very basic roots of our villages and our own people.
‘Onamalu’ touched on each and every aspect of socio-cultural-economical-political-religious change-over in last few decades of our developing country. Apparently, there are plenty of characters in this film each given a specific purpose or an issue to point out. May it be agriculturist Chitti Raju or journalist Khadar or teacher Sarala and few more? Projecting too much only on one side of a coin could have made the narrative boring. Director Kranthi Madhav has cleverly gone for a well mix of feel good, sentiment, emotion, humor, drama and above all without missing his actual thread. While first half mainly lives on feel good factor with superb rural refreshing picturesque locations and good music, second half keeps a reality check with plenty of questions and very few answers.
Dialogues by Khadir Babu are the very heart and soul to director Kranthi Madhav’s ideologies. Being a journalist, Khadir Babu couldn’t have stressed his pen too much to exploit the situations given by director. However, keeping in tact the emotional crispness was the demand for this kind of story and as a writer, he achieved that with ease. Hari Anumolu’s camera work offered much more sincerity and honesty to the narration while Koti’s background score generated the feel. Great are the lyrics of Seetarama Shastry and Gowtham Raju’s editing made patrons to remain awe-stuck.
Performance wise, there can be no alternative for Rajendra Prasad. We might have seen numerous extraordinary performances from this genius artist in past but ‘Onamalu’ will be a special one. Kalyani is brief while Chalapati Rao, Giri Babu, Siva Parvati, Raghu Babu and others done their job to perfection.
Being flooded with regular formula based commercial mass films, Tollywood definitely needs a mark of its own and ‘Onamalu’ is one such attempt. Movies like these come once in a while and it should be the responsibility of our own audience to give some respect. Technically speaking, ‘Onamalu’ might look like a radio drama with string of characters living into respective episodes, just coming in and disappearing quickly. When emphasis is given on screenplay, it is highly difficult to sustain a mood for so long time. That is the specialty in ‘Onamalu.’
Few highlights are worth to mention here. Calling ‘Chepala Pulusu’ as ‘Jala Pushpala Pulusu’ or Anglicizing ‘Adda Gadida’ and ‘Charala Dunnapothu’ or explaining the real definition of Teacher as a ‘Helper’ and not a ‘Tutor.’ There are many more like these excelling the writing abilities of Khadir Babu who became the lifeline for ‘Onamalu.’ Producer cum director Kranthi Madhav should be appreciated for coming up with such a message oriented film.
For those kinds of audience who love message oriented subjects with less worried about lavishness and grandeur, surely ‘Oanamlu’ will offer a great memorable experience. This is our own story and those who hail from villages and living in cities or overseas will instantaneously strike the chord. Frequent applauses from a section of audience in theatre proved that we still give our paining hearts and wetting eyes to touching movies. Learn ‘Onamalu’ once again by becoming a student of Rajendra Prasad. I assure you, he will teach more than what you know.