It is true that, The Ramayana, the story of Lord Sri Rama, is shaped the culture of India since ages. Many aspects of Indian Family System, including the archetypes of ideal husband and model wife had originated from Ramayana and thus, the ultimate aim of Indian culture lies in making every Indian to become Complete Man on the lines of Sri Rama! The same impact of Lord Sri Rama had also happened to Telugu Movies too. The Telugu Cinema, since its first show in 1931, had influenced by the Ramayana in general and the towering Persona of Sri Rama in special, in their stories and plots. It is co-incidentally surprise to note that, every turning point in the exodus of Telugu Cinema had caused by one or the other story of Sri Rama!
The epic Ramayana is the source of inspiration for making many movies in Tollywood, like Lavakusha (1934), Sri Seetharama Jananam (1944), Sita (1960), Seetha Rama Kalyanam (1961), Lavakusha (1963), Sri Ramanjaneya Yudham (1975), Sri Rama Pattabhishekam (1978), Sri Rama Rajyam (2011)! The Telugu Filmdom has taken a rescue measure in Ramayana, whenever it is fallen to its standards and in popularity. In other words, the story of Rama had lifted the spirits of Tollywood and gave fresh breath of air at each and every stage of its sojourn. It can be explained with the following instances:
It is the first movie made on the theme of Ramayana in Telugu. Though the first movie was released in 1931, the public at that time were still averse to cinemas and stick-on to the traditional art forms of only. But it is Lavakusha , which made all the magic and spell-bound them to shift their attention towards cinema as the best means of entertainment. It is the first major commercial hit in the history of Tollywood, by which the producers found for the first time a possible market in cinema.
It is the first movie to be produced by a Non-Telugu Producer (Motilal Chamria of Mumbai) and opened new vistas of “remake” trend too, as it is remade from a Bollywood movie, Sita! The Technicalities of Dubbing and Re-recording too introduced with this movie and it created a milestone of ”365 days run” , which is a first-ever experience in Tollywood’s history.
This movie had established the trend of “Dubbing movies” in Tollywood. Actually, dubbing movies have entered to Telugu Arena with “Ahuthi” (1950). But the subsequent dubbed movies were not fared well at box-office. The film, Sita(1960), originally made in Malayalam with Prem Nazir as Sri Rama, had broken all the earlier misconceptions and proved hit with Telugu audience.
The Telugu Film Industry had experienced a great blow in 1970’s, as it is at the cross-roads in many aspects then. It is a“Transition period” between the earlier “formulaic drama films” and the emerging “social mass commercial entertainers”! At this indecisive stage, Lavakusha came and connected both the ends of “ Traditional Cinema” (with mythological theme) and “Modern Cinema” (with the color technique) and gave the new direction to Tollywood.
The film had given inspiration to the later producers, directors, technicians to take dare steps in introducing new techniques and technologies. The film ran into packed houses upto 500 days and created a mile-stone of its own.
SRI RAMA RAJYAM OF 2011
It is another co-incidental fact that, as the Tollywood is turning its 80th leaf in filmdom, Sri Rama Rajyam had released. It rejuvenated the missing genre of “Mythological cinema” in Tollywood and witnessed again the indelible mark placed by Ramayana in Telugu Movie world.
Sri Rama is not only the JAGADRAKSHAKA but also become TOLLYWOOD’S RAKSHAKA in many instances!