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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Native Telugu Cinema Movement - ' Maa Voollo Osari Em Jarigindante..'

A couple of nights ago, I happened to catch a screening of a Telugu film at the Film Chamber theater.
I'll come to that in a minute..

Its obvious by now that independent cinema has a very limited distribution market in Andhra Pradesh.
My definition of 'Independent Telugu Cinema' is: cinema which is self produced, made on very tight budgets and schedules, may or may not have commercial elements and therefore is at the mercy of the distribution market to be picked up for a proper theatrical release. There are more poetic and creative connotations to Independent Cinema... but I think this is a realistic definition.

I've admired and envied the 'parallel' cinema movement in Tamil Nadu. One might also call it a sub-culture, native or new wave Tamil Cinema. These films have been received well by critics and audiences alike. They've also gone onto win National and International awards.

I've wondered, like I'm sure most of you have, will there ever be a 'New Wave Telugu Cinema Movement'? When will it happen? Will the market and the audiences allow it? Is there room at all for it?
In time we'll see, I suppose. But lets not argue that it legitimately exists even. I guess its upto us to make that happen.

We did have a legitimate 'sub-culture'/native movement in the few 'Angrez' type films. I thought it was the beginning of a new wave of sorts, but it seems to be diminishing fast. But this got me thinking. If a bunch of guys in Old City were making their very own genre films, crime/comedy, Hyderabadi-Biryani-Nawabi style. What is stopping our folk from other parts of the state?

Forget 'new wave'. A legitimate 'sub-culture' or native cinema movement is welcome and the need of the hour. Authentic, traditional, even commercial, but drenched in the nativity of the land, region and people it comes from. These need to be seen, these need to be theatrically distributed.

One such, charming, un-assuming, sweet, native, funny and really twisted little film is the one I saw a couple of nights ago. 'Maa Voollo Osari Em Jarigindante..'
Written, Produced and Directed by Chandrashekar aka Chendu.You'll hear more of him in the future, I can guarantee that.

Starring absolute amateurs, shot over a few days, on an unbelievable budget and 50 rolls of Kodak stock. This is a true 'sub-culture' Telugu film. Or wait, is 'native' the right word?

At this point some clarity on the word 'sub-culture' and 'native' is important.
The dictionary defines subculture as:  
1. (Sociology) a subdivision of a national culture or an enclave within it with a distinct integrated network of behaviour, beliefs, and attitudes.
and 'native' as
1.(adj)Originating, growing, or produced in a certain place or region; indigenous: 

In the case of ' Maa Voollo Osari Em Jarigindante..' probably native is the right term. Its a film which will remind of you the classic Pedda Vamsi films but without the sheen and without the glamor.

Its been a while since we've seen someone get that absolutely right. Chendu gets it 'bang-on' target.
The film tethers on being Malegoan like ( but straightens up to be a truly native and genuine effort.
I'm very confident this film will do well at the box office, if it finds the right kind of distribution, publicity and marketing. Setting the right expectations for the audiences might be crucial. You can see, I'm having a very hard time categorizing it efficiently.

But in a time, where commercial mainstream cinema, while entertaining has become increasingly predictable, 
' Maa Voollo Osari Em Jarigindante..' came as a breath of fresh air for me. And this effort needs to be encouraged and supported. My friends and I are trying to do our bit.. we hope for the best. Meanwhile,

Here's to Chendu and his team. Three cheers mate! You've made an honest, genuine and truly native film.

As I sign off and you look at poster designs; a word of advice: This is a film which must not be judged by its cover-literally. It shouldn't be judged by some of its un-assumed cheesiness. It shouldn't be judged by the amateur acting.
Trust me.. Beneath it all is a very twisted plot and extremely entertaining dialogs and characters.
What more does anyone need?


Aakarsh said...

Very interesting! The problem is audience I think. There have been films like Grahanam, Sira etc, which were rooted in the ethos of this region, borrowing from literary works. Yet, they were confined to DVD in few lucky households, who managed to find the DVD.

By the way, what are you currently making sir? Any interesting projects?

Anonymous said...

But you tell where one can see this film. Where can I get to see it?

Kathi Mahesh Kumar said...

ఒకప్పుడు వంశీ తీసిన సినిమాలు కథాకథనాల పరంగా, పాత్రలపరంగా ఎంతో సహజంగా ఉండి అలరించేవి. ఆ తర్వాత అలాంటి దర్శకుడూ రాలేదు. ఆయనలోనూ ఆ చేవ మిగల్లేదు. అర్బన్ హీరో పోకడల్లో, సిటీలైఫ్ ప్రేమల్లో, విదేశీ యాక్షన్ మోజుల్లో, అతివేగపు దూకుడుల్లో ఎక్కడో ఆ "నేటివ్ సినిమా" జాడలేకుండా పోయింది. అలాంటి సినిమా త్వరలో ఒకటి రాబోతోంది. నిజానికి ఒక నిజమైన ఇండిపెండెంట్ నేటివ్ సినిమా "మా ఊళ్ళో ఓసారి ఏంజరిగిందంటే". ఒక ఊర్లో ఉన్న కొందరు కలిసి, సినిమా తీద్దామనే ఆలోచనతో కొంత డబ్బులు పోగేసి, తెలిసినవాళ్ల సహాయంతో వాళ్ల ఊళ్ళోనే సినిమా షూటింగ్ లాగించేశారు. అదీ 35 ఎమ్.ఎమ్ ఫిల్మ్ కెమెరాతో. సంగీతం ఇళయరాజాని తలిపిస్తే చిత్రీకరణా వంశీకి ఏమీ తీసిపోదు. కథాకథనాల విషయానికొస్తే ప్రపంచ సినిమాలో పర్ఫెక్ట్ గా ఎగ్జిక్యూట్ చేసే మల్టిపుల్ నెరేటివ్ ని కూడా లోకలైజ్ చేసిన సినిమా ఇదే అనుకుంటాను. హీరో హీరోయిన్లు పక్కా ఊరివాళ్లవడం నటనలో ఎటువంటి తర్ఫీదూ లేకపోవడంతో కొంత అలవాటు పడాల్సి వస్తుందేమోగానీ, ఒక పదిపదిహేను నిమిషాల తరువాత "వార్నీ ఏం తీశార్రా" అని మన నోటితో అనిపించే సినిమా ఇది. ప్రస్తుతానికి ఆడియో రిలీజయ్యింది. సినిమాకూడా త్వరలోనే వచ్చేస్తుంది. వస్తే మాత్రం ఏ ఆలోచనా లేకుండా సినిమా చూసెయ్యండి. ఫుల్ ఎంటర్టైన్మెంట్ గ్యారంటీ నాది.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Mahesh. Are you associated with the movie?

Anonymous said...

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Anonymous said...

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Sekhar said...

I too loved this movie. Is there a chance of getting a DVD or BRay of this movie anywhere. I would surely buy it. Please help :) Thank you.