Time travel is one of the most fascinating topics which have emerged among the scientific community. Though there are few staunch academicians and scientists (Including everybody’s favourite Einstein) who opine that Time Travel can be called only as a fiction theoretically and practically impossible due to various scientific reasons, the thought of traveling in time either into future or past has always been a breathtaking idea. There were countless books from authors such as H.G.Wells, Isaac Asimov which came under this category which never failed to entertain and take the readers into a new fascinating world altogether! Time travel is one of those rare aspects where Science meets Arts, Creativity Imagination and even Sky is not the limit for this amazing union!
Cinema, which is one of the most powerful mediums which has the power to influence a wider audience and school of thought, was also influenced deeply by Time Travel. This influence took new bounds when George Lucas made the Star Wars series during late 70s-Early 80s, light-heartedly based on Isaac Asimov’s series- The Foundations. It is to be noted that the same author wrote I,Robot which has influenced generations of Sci-Fi lovers and partly an inspiration to the latest sensational movie with Rajni as Chitti the Robo in Enthiran (Robot in Telugu!).
It was during the mid-80s one brilliant movie series took its birth in Hollywood called Back to the Future series. This was perhaps one of the most popular movies which introduced the “Time Machine” through the scientist character Doc and the hero Marty’s experiences in traveling from present to either Past or Future.
Wait a minute..you must be thinking what made me talk countlessly about Hollywood movies in Marapuraani Chitralu- a blog truly dedicated to the excellence of Telugu Cinema? Well, there is a reason for it and the reason being today’s movie of discussion- the one path breaking Sci-Fi movie in Telugu- Aditya 369 released in 1991!
People who did not watch the movie or watched but did not observe it deeply would definitely think what is so great about this movie when it is directly influenced from Back to the Future series. I was one among them who used to feel it must be directly influenced at a large scale from the English counterpart. But when I watched the Back to the Future series few years back at thorough, I understood it is only the concept of Time Machine which was taken from the original but the remaining story in Aditya 369 is something a marvel as it not only suits the Indian Living (Andhra Pradesh living in particular as the movie is in Telugu) but also takes us to the Glory of Krishnadevaraya Empire and the Enthralling Culture and Arts which prevailed in that period.
Coming to the brief storyline of the movie, it speaks simply about how brilliant is to travel in time – Both Past and Future. At the same time the innovation does not end here. The story revolves around a precious diamond which is irrespective of Past,Present and future (at the point of this story telling) and its resemblance to the lives of people in different eras. But where does this Time-Machine come from? Invented by the most intelligent yet absent minded professor Ramdas ( Tinu Anand gave life to this role), the movie begins the rigorous experiments which he makes for the invention of Time Machine. The title cards itself shows how rigorously the Scientist is involved in working for his life-long dream of inventing a machine which can travel in time. Music by Maestro ILaiyaraaja definetly needs a great mention even before his name appears on the title cards! The way in which the sound of clocks converge to Violins, Trumpets, and then to symphony will take the viewer to a new world of Imagination and gives complete idea about how Time Travel sounds like to the viewer in the first place! The voice of SPB given for Prof.Ramdas is of course an added attraction and gives so much of nativity and at the same time dignity for his character in the right proportion!
I am posting the video of the Title Score here in order to get the feel of how brilliantly our dear Director Singeetham Srinivasa Rao has achieved the tempo for the movie in just three minutes of its beginning!
Now,everyone must be wondering where is our dear hero for this movie! It is none other than Krishnakumar (Balakrishna’s best- in all due respects!) who loves the daughter Hema (Mohini) of Prof.Ramdas.
One of the most intriguing things in this movie is that even before the Hero’s introduction, we see the villain Raja Varma (Played by Amrish Puri) introduction that too in a musically villainy way! The reason for this being that our character is so obsessed with collecting the most exquisite things which have historic and aesthetic importance (Similarities with the protagonist in Dhoom-2 topped with evil?)! This itself shows the value of story at higher proportions than the star hero value which we often observe in Commercial Telugu Movies. Raja Varma plans to get hold of a very rare diamond in the Museum at Hyderabad and plans to replace it with the duplicate with his assistants in a swift fashion (We see the similarities of Dhoom and even Oceans Twelve over here!).
The story takes a new leap when Kishore Kumar (Tarun at his best again!)school kid who accidentally gets trapped in the Museum after coming for a trip with his school mates witnesses this theft. It so happens that our hero Krishna Kumar rescues Kishore during this escape, but nevertheless does not believe the story of the original diamond being replaced by the duplicate by some thieves.
We get to see scenes where Krishna Kumar gets introduced to the Time Machine with so much zeal by Ramdas and after trying a feeble attempt to go back to Independence Day (15th Aug 1947), we all take the concept of Time Machine somewhat in a lighter vein.
Another important yet comical character which I need to introduce here is the Constable played by the brilliant comedian Sutthi Velu. His tremendous comedy lines and timing are a real treat for this movie! It has added the indigenous touch to the film and he speaks about many thoughts which a common man thinks in a brilliant way! He happens to interact accidentally with Krishna Kumar and Hema whenever he chases a thief and fails to catch eventually!
The story goes on in a relaxing pace when Marriage of Krishna Kumar and Hema gets fixed and incidentally Kishore also gets introduced to the Time Machine by Ramdas. Our dear professor is so fond of his Time Machine that he takes every person who visits his house to his laboratory and explains how the machine works! He is so prepared for the Time Travel Journey that he even has the luggage packed in the Machine along with his daughter to be ready to go for a trip anytime they need!
It is at this time Kishore gets an idea which he shares with his kid friends. He feels if they go few days back in time to the place where the diamond theft has taken place, they would be able to identify the thieves and get back bravery award from the Government! Kishore is a kid who is very mischievous and thinks a lot more than his age!
The movie gathers real tension and pace when Kishore along with his friends sneak into Professor’s laboratory and into the Time Machine as well. With his timid nature, Kishore tries to malfunction the Time Machine which creates lot of disturbance in the area around. Krishna Kumar and Hema , who are at the Professor’s house at that time come to rescue these kids who are trapped in the Time Machine and our dear duo gets trapped in the Time Machine instead!
It also happens out of coincidence that the Constable also comes over to this laboratory and trapped into the Time Machine in an attempt to catch his petty thief!
What happens next is History…Our duo along with the Constable (Who becomes Unconscious due to the clash with the thief) travel back in time in a breathtaking manner. The background music, the visuals where the duo watch the events which shaped up India, the Independence Movement were shown phenomenally in the film with the availability of special effects in India during the time when this film was made! Due to the messing up Time Machine by Kishore, a random date and time in Krishnadevaraya Empire becomes the destination for our duo in this legendary Time Machine!
A confused Krishna Kumar and Hema happen to save the dancer of Krishnadevaraya’s court Simha Nandini (Smitha) and gain an invitation to the court as a reward for the help they did. Our duo watches some of the most spectacular things which we can only read in History books these days. Right from the way of living to the currency used…everything is artistic and unique in Krishnadevaraya’s Empire. When we watch these scenes we feel maybe this is the reason why some Empires remain untarnished in History even after hundreds of years pass by- Krishnadevaraya’s Empire being one among them!
A very special mention to the brilliant writer Jandhyala is needed here. He has showed his laughter brilliance through the conversations of Hema and Krishna Kumar depicting the lessening knowledge of Telugu and Literature during early 90s with the domination of English Language! He has created wonders in simple yet powerfully magical dialogues which are remembered till date!
I would like to include some of the conversations between Krishna Kumar and Hema when they happen to see the legendary Ashtadiggajas (Eight Poets in the Royal Court of Krishnadevaraya).
Scene 1: Krishadevaraya’s Court-Funny Conversations
Krishna : :Hema, Allasani vaari allika Jigi Bigi ani manam chaduvukunnam chusava?Aayane Eeyana!”
“Hema, didn’t we study that Allasani’s style of design (Tailoring word is used metaphorically for poetry at times in Literature) is zig-zag? He is that person” (Shows the poet)
Hema: Allika ante aayana tailoring chesthara?
“By saying Tailoring, you mean he is a Tailor ? (Of Clothes!)”
(A distraught Krishna giving a huge sigh says this)
Krishna: Adhi nee Telugu Gnanam, English chaduvulu chadavatam valla mana telugu gurinchi aavaginjaina telusukune avakasam poyindhi meeku
“This is your knowledge in Telugu!! Due to English studies, you didn’t get even a grain of opportunity to learn about our Telugu and its literature!”
Now the another legendary poet Nandhi Thimmana arrives to the Court, Krishna out of enthusiasm tells Hema in this way:
Krishna: Chusava?Aayane Thimmana gaarata!Aaayanane Mukku Thimmana ani kooda antaru!Paarijathapaharanam raasare?
“Did you see?He is the poet Thimmana! People call him Mukku Thimmana popularly! The person who wrote the book Paarijathaparahanam!”
(Parijathapaharanam is a legendary historic book which features Lord Krishna and Satyabhama who go to capture the beautiful Paarijatha Tree from Heavens)
But our innocent Hema says:
“Parijathapaharanam ante Paarijatha aney ammayini kidnap chesi etthukupothara?”
“Does it have the story where a girl named Paarijatha is kidnapped?”
(Krishna couldn’t take this anymore…he just gives a horrific sigh!)
It might be comical but I should say that is the fate of many youngsters in our state who are crazy about English and its Literature but have very minimal knowledge about the Telugu and its richness in Poetry and Prose!
Its time to give a “Dot” to this post and come back with loads more adventure and fun with the amazing Time Travel Journey with Literature, Arts, Dance, Science and excellent Comedy!!