In part 1 of Mayabazar post, the story was in an interesting point where Kauravas plan to please Balarama and also think of getting Duryodhana’s son Lakshmana Kumar in marriage to Sasirekha. Things so happen that Balarama visits Kauravas kingdom and get quite pleased with their hospitality (Which was cleverly arranged by Shakuni and Duryodhana) and their apparent goodwill. Balarama being to his obvious self gets very happy with the respect offered to him and starts having a conversation with the Kauravas.
Getting hold of the right opportunity, Kauravas manipulate Balarama’s mind by speaking ill about Pandavas and also say that they are speaking ill of Balarama in public. Being a tempermental person at heart, Balarama gets highly offended listening to it and start developing hatred for Pandavas. Kauravas also put forth the request of alliance between Lakshmana Kumar and Sasirekha at this moment. With immense anger on Pandava brothers, Balarama gives the word to Duryodhana about the alliance in the weak moment.
Speaking of Lakshmana Kumar (Relangi), unlike Abhimanyu who is valiant and bold, he is very timid and falls easily for praises by others. Infact the director makes it so obvious in the first scene itself where he appoints two poets who always praise him by comparing him with Abhimanyu. The funny yet happy expressions of Relangi when he hears these praises shows his acting skills and the amazing way in which he portrayed the role!
Shakuni’s role played by CSR deserves a very special mention. The tremendous yet peculiar dialogue delivery he has- gives Mayabazar a wonderful feel at ever frame he appears on the screen. He looks too funny at some scenes but at the same time deadly in terms of the evil plans he devises. It shows the meticulousness of the director who took utmost care in not only the positive characters in the film but also the opponents who are equally important for the film.
Meanwhile, Subhadra along with his son Abhimanyu arrive at Balarama’s kingdom – looking quite dejected and depressed; owing to the Pandavas lost kingdom back in Hastinapur. But Abhimanyu feels a tinge of relief as he can see Sasirekha and spend some good time with her. Things turn to a shape when Balarama’s wife insults Subhadra as the latter lost all her wealth and glory now. She even tells Subhadra about giving up her plans of Abhimanyu getting married to Sasirekha as they are fortunate to get a better alliance with Lakshmana Kumar who has good wealth and riches.
Sasirekha gets distraught listening to this and her mother stops her from going anywhere outside her room. Abhimanyu being the warrior manages to free her from this trouble and they sing a lovely song “Lahiri Lahiri” going on a boat ride in the lake during night! The backdrop used for this song has become a real trendsetter for many years to come where boat ride with moonlight and breeze was the ideal atmosphere for a couple to sing a pleasant song!
The most interesting aspect of this song is that, one of the security people spot Sasirekha and Abhimanyu boarding the boat and inform Sasirekha’s mother about the same. Here Lord Krishna comes into the picture but cleverly backing off the young pair (Abhimanyu-Sasirekha) and go for ride in the same boat along with his wife Satya Bhama- singing the same song! Balarama and his wife come hurried up near the banks of the lake to spot Krishna and Satya Bhama instead, leading to utter shock! The final touch by the director occurs where even the most stern and aged pair Balarama and his wife also go for the ride singing the same song yet again!
All the main lead pairs in the film are involved in this song – and the song sounds equally pleasing to only to these couples but every classy couple from Andhra Pradesh out here!
Another wonderful aspect of this movie is mesmerizing songs for every ten minutes of its progress. Let it be a short poem, or a great classical based song- Mayabazar strikes magic even in the music and of course the Art Direction department!Abhimanyu and Sasirekha- the youthful couple sing yet another most popular and melodious song Choopulu Kalasina Subhavela. Watch the song below!
Abhimanyu and Sasirekha continue to meet in secret and forgetting all their troubles and going around in their world of Love. But their families get to trouble where Balarama finally confirms her sister that Abhimanyu cannot become his son in law because of lack of wealth and he is concerned about her daughter’s comfortable life after marriage as well. The helpless Subhadra pleads Lord Krishna for help, and even the viewer feels hopeful that Krishna will definitely support Pandavas instead. On the contrary, Krishna calmly asks her sister Subhadra to take Abhimanyu and leave. He says that when their brother Balarama told so clearly that the alliance is not possible, it is foolish to stay back and expect more.
Subhadra and Abhimanyu get distraught with Krishna’s reaction and they immediately leave the place. But, the surprise awaits for all where Krishna already guides the chariot driver to lead them not back to Pandavas but to Ghatotkacha’s abode (Who is the son of Bheema- one of the strongest Pandava brothers). The best arrives now in the form of the introduction of Ghatotkacha, played phenomenally by S.V.Ranga Rao. The tribal atmosphere and the drums, along with people dressed in antique forest costumes is shown and the chants of “Hai Hai Nayaka!” (Hail Hail Leader!) are heard before Ghatokacha makes his first appearance. We hear a great poem about the glory of Ghatotkacha in his own voice (Playback by Ghantasala) , giving us the idea of the grandeur the character is going to have.
The first look of Ghatotkacha is marvelous. Clad in a variety of beads and animal skins, with a colourful feather crown on head, S.V.Ranga Rao sure looks like a million bucks!! That is the wonderful aspect of Mayabazar, just as one feels the best is finished, beyond best will be ready next! Ghatotkacha is an ardent admirer of Pandavas (Obviously!) and his mother Hidimba (Suryakantham) always worries about his well-being. Ghatotkacha is an angry young man, who doesn’t put up with mischief or arrogance at any moment. It is this nature which makes his mom worried about him. The way she worries about him is another treat to watch!
Ghatotkacha tries to give training to some of his sluggish assistants- who are good at magic but very bad at language! They are so bad at language that they break every word into pieces as they utter them! For example, Ghatotkacha teaches them saying “Pandavulu Asmadeeyulu” (Pandavas are our friends), they say “Paaandavulu As-aa-ma-dee-yu-lu”! These scenes are hilarious to watch! Look out for another wonderful actor Ramana Reddy who is the head of these silly assistants! Another funny phrase which they change is Dushtachatushtayam (Du-Sha-Ta-Chatu-Sha-Ta-Yam!)
Watch the wonderful scene below:
In the mean time, Abhimanyu and Subhadra travel in the thick forests – apparently distraught and we hear a great song Bhali Bhali deva in the background. The song gathers pace and tension to the viewer, thanks to the music and the wonderful direction as well. Ghatotkacha gets a warning that some strangers are entering his forest kingdom ( In a unique drum rhythm- that is magic!) ,and he sends off his assistants to make some mischief and do some invisible magic, thereby stopping them. The assistants become victims of Abhimanyu’s valour instead, and come back home defeated.
Ghatotkacha gets furious with this and he himself launches into the fight. Abhimanyu challenges Ghatotkacha to come in front of him and fight,instead of being a coward. But owing to the blood relation or some good will ( Ghatotkacha doesn’t know Abhimanyu is his cousin) , he says he somehow is unable to fight him. After a few taunts by Abhimanyu, Ghatotkacha gets angry and the duel begins between both cousins! At a point of time, Ghatotkacha injures Abhimanyu and the latter falls down defeated. Subhadra gets too furious with this and she herself takes the bow and arrow and starts singing a great poem, saying that she is the wife of warrior Arjuna, the valiant of Pandavas.
Ghatotkacha immediately realizes his mistake and apologizes for not recognizing them and happily invites them to his forest kingdom!
What will Ghatotkacha do to stop the wedding of Sasirekha and Lakshmana Kumar?
In what way he will create trouble for Kauravas and make Balarama realize who is good and who is evil?
What will be Lord Krishna’s role in all these happenings which commence further?
Time for the crucial break here, and watch out for reading about more fun,drama, magic and amazing performances in the next part!