Oct 011997

This is what prosperity does. It bends us, it saps away our will, it makes a homogenous crowd out of us. For the jews, what thousands of years of diaspora, couldn’t do, prosperity of America did. For me, what education and years of schooling outside the state, didn’t do, prosperity of America did.

Look at me: there were times, when I was bound by Telugu traditions and refused to buy a book. I read most of my books, (borrowed from some untelugu people) while walking on the roads, hiding on the attic, all to avoid my parents catching me read a non-text-book.

Now, things have changed. I buy books. I buy books from Second Hand book stores like "Strand". I have a Dalton’s book club card. I order books from Amazon.com. Quelle Horreur! I even consider buying Videos.

Anycase, here are my picks for the ten video cassettes that I would like to own.

10) nartana Saala
This movie people might buy it for SVR. I buy it for the dancer (salalita raaga sudhaa rasa raagam). And, it makes the characters as next door telugu characters including Hidimbi, Krishna. For me it is a snaskritic story converted to Telugu.
9) padahaarElla vayasu
Sridevi was sixteen in this movie. May be that is reason enough to see this movie, if not for the nostalgia for the lost youth.
8) gopaala raavu gaarammayi
In the best of the traditions of comedy of errors from the acting of jaya sudha, raavi goopaala raavu, and mOhan baabu. It is one of the best comedies that didn’t depend on three-stooges style physical humor to generate laughter.
7) andaala raamuDu
What can I say? Anybody who loves the river Godavari must love this movie. Entirely a telugu movie, delightfully pictured with ANR etc.
6) aakali raajyam
For the Sri Sri songs alone this movie is worth buying. Throw in Kamal Hasan and add a bit of Sridevi, it becomes a irresistable.
5) devadas
Haven’t seen it. I have seen only parts of it in another movie. That alone convinced me that I should buy this movie.
4) konDa veeTi donga
Epitome of all superhero movies. It has the fights, songs, heroines, outrageous story line, and outdated heroics. Essentially all the things that Telugus like. And, it is quite enjoyable too! (This is one of the genre movies; you see one, you seen all.)
3) kshaNa kshaNam
The difining moment for me is when the kid places the coin on the rail road and runs off. With an extremely active imagination, and equally careful picturization, the director shows off himself as a professional, more than anybody in the Telugu field. "He is good, he is very good".
2) mutyaala muggu
If there is a movie that is telugu, I would say this movie is. I can remember the eyes, the river, the "muggu", the reddish sky, the kids, the dialogs. All of it coming together to make an entire movie into a Telugu movie, a Baapu picture.
1) missamma
I would like to remember this movie, frame by frame and word by word. It is a master piece where all the technical, artistic talents have come together. The acting was superb, and screenplay flawless, the dialogs almost to the point ("mana mahaalaxmini kanukkunna vaariki veyyi roopaayalu ivvachuuna attayya?" "veyyEm kharma, padihenu vandalivvachhu!").

Ramarao Kanneganti
Sep, 1997

 Posted by at 12:51 pm