In an era of 2000s when Telugu Cinema was totally in a different world of Rayalaseema, Fast Paced Fight sequences, Punch Dialogues and heavy budget in the form of expensive sets for the film production, there was a whiff of fresh air in the year 2004. Then came some films which not only made the audience re-think where they are going, and what they really want from life. The classic debate of simple vs glorified life started again after these films were released. These films made people think in the “slower” and more realistic pace away from the commercial cinema.
Such films made the audience as well as film makers realize the importance of Simple Living and the importance of story/dialogues more than needless action sequences and ear-breaking background music.
Such films proved once again that for a film to be unforgettable- the characterization of lead roles is of prime importance more than anything else.
While Aanand (Already discussed in Marapuraani Chitralu) by Shekhar Kammula falls under the category of relationships, women independence and love, Aa Naluguru falls under a bigger category of thought- about the importance of Humanity in life.
At the first look, the film might look very preachy and idealistic for the common film goer. That sure must be because , in the frightening pace of modern era, we feel suspicious about a stranger who would want to offer unconditional help to us also!
When we come to think what life is really about- we come to the prospect of priorities. If the sole priority of life is Money for one person, it can be living happy with what one has for other. There is another category of people (Very few-unfortunately!) who live by sharing/helping others and love family as well as outside world equally and dearly! Aa Naluguru talks about one such character Raghuram (Played Phenomenally by Rajendra Prasad) and the problems he faces in life with such attitude and his journey beyond worldly living.
The film begins with a sad note of the demise of our protagonist Raghuram and the servants from Hell arrive to take the soul from Raghuram’s body . As per Hindu Mythology, there is death to the body but not to the soul, and based on the deeds performed during the lifetime, the soul will be sent to either Heaven or Hell in order to get the goodwill/ punishments respectively. The servants from Hell get Raghuram’s soul out of his body and make him realize that he is dead. Raghuram gets obviously shocked with the news and he starts worrying about how his family would be reacting about his demise.
After getting stabilized about his death, Raghuram requests the servants to wait until his funeral as he wants to see how people would be talking about him. The servants get irritated with the repeated requests and finally agree for what Raghuram asked for. We get to see Raghuram’s wife (Played by Aamani- another good performance) crying over her husband’s body and after sometime, she goes to eat. We get to see Raghuram’s daughter who is not much bothered about her father’s death. And finally we get to see Subrahmanyam (Subhalekha Sudhakar) , best friend of Raghuram who also takes Raghuram’s death for granted.
It is a common situation when a person wants to be slightly different from the norms of current day living, people either start feeling he is acting smart or he is just trying to gain others’ attention. People even try to change the person so much by applying pressure (Family/Society/Money/ Friends/ Career..the list goes on!) in all these aspects of life and trouble the victim in return. If the person is weak enough to succumb to such pressures then nothing can be said about it. But the story of Raghuram is something very different which we get to see as the story unfolds!
Looking at all this, the servants make fun of Raghuram saying he must not have did atleast one good to the people in life, that is why nobody is bothering after his death. They even say that one should try to do good to people, then only people will love him and remember about his good life.
Raghuram replies in a sad tone saying that is what he did throughout his life- Loving family and the outsiders equally, and being humane to people around. We get to see the flashback now, about a day in Raghuram’s life, in the form of the song. A newspaper editor by profession and a philanthropist by heart, he cannot see anybody suffering around him, whether it is a family member or a stranger.
He happens to meet a mad person on the street and manages with huge difficulty to get him admitted to the mental hospital. This scene itself shows the tremendous patience in dealing with troubled people, and trying his best to help them.
Watch the meaningful song in the link below:
The scene drifts to another important character in the film , Kotayya ( Kota Srinivasa Rao), the pure business person who gives debts to people around. Money is the sole purpose of his life and he is extremely miserly in even small issues such as food, and family member’s needs. People arrive at his house to get debts for excess interest rates and his way of dealing with people itself shows how harsh and focused he is in getting the debts back.
Coming to Raghuram’s best friend Subrahmanyam, he is a loving father and pampers his son like anything at home. He believes that one has to provide the children all the comforts needed and should make them happy.
Raghuram’s family comprises of his wife, and three kids (Two sons and one daughter) in a happy and contented home. The elder son played by Raja is an aspirant of Police Department and the younger son is an Intermediate student. His daughter is loving and innocent (At the first look!) . They all highly despise their father’s excess love for the society and not bothering about the family much. This anger gets vented out when Raghuram gets hurt while rescuing a Muslim family in riots and requests Hindu activists not to commercialize religion for violent purposes.
They decide to make him sign a personal agreement that he would never involve in any other person’s affairs and get troubled in return. Just at the moment he is compelled to sign it, his friend Subrahmanyam also joins the group. He tells his friend to be practical in life and provide good living to his family instead of worrying about what is happening to the world. But things turn around when Raghuram immediately rushes off to some hospital after hearing the news about some blood donation for a patient.
Raghuram faces a challenge at work as well where the MD asks him to cover a fashion show event in front page, while he wants to cover a serious topic about farmer suicides. As the MD insists him to publish the fashion picture on newspaper, Raghuram resigns the job feeling it is like working without values. Despite MD convincing him that in this modern era of life, we need to gain business by doing such actions, he comes out of the office.
What challenges Raghuram faces at his home without work?
And what happens further in his life, and how optimistic is Raghuram in life?
More to come by in Part 2..