Literature has a total and strange effect on people. It has grandeur, makes our imagination sours high. Many stories move us beyond a point, making our eyes wet and heart with a melancholic/joyous feeling. Such impactful writer is Mr. Devarakonda Bla Gangadhara Thilak’s most poignant story ever “ oori chivara illu” (The last House of Village) which is a favorite story of many. Written way back in 1950’s it’s a love story of a woman who is a sex-worker by chance and situations.
I happened to see the film adaptation or rather inspired by the film… a short film directed by mr. Mahesh kathi titled “ EDAARI VARSHAM (DESERT RAIN) “ in Telugu. It’s a short film of half an hour or so, but a mixed feeling watching the imagined characters coming to some figures and emote. The relevance of story in today’s modern relationships where Love has also become a business, the sensitivity definitely strikes a chord with the audience.
In a nutshell, its story of Rama, struggling with her body post mis-carriage and loss of her child hood love. In a rainy day, shekharam enters her life. They talk and they make a union of bodies and souls. But, misunderstanding the words of Rama’s care giver, an old wicked lady who lives on rama’s money. Shekhar wrongly feels rama to be a money mongering sex-worker.felt betrayed he leaves the house and rama. Rama runs back after him but to no avail, she collapses on the train platform in despair. Love and trust has entered her life a desert rain, before she quenches her thirst, it dried.
Well.. in the film adaptation and the author backed script, has many refreshing points.
- The direction: the direction of the film is so graceful without any wasteful angle. Its tough to elevate the real emotions out of a character which is supposedly a sex-worker. But I feel Mahesh did a great job in love making scenes and showing the bliss of woman after a lovable union. The credit here certainly goes to him
- The Actors/Acting: Its just amazing to see what miracle happen when actors trust the role and director. The character rama played by Ms. Swapna steals the show. With her innocence, despair and life she is leading all at one glance. Shekhar and old lady does justice to their roles. But as a woman who waited for real love rama is so convincing and much speaks of the time and culture and prejudices of others she lived in day in and out. Her poise and grace in re-living in love is a key point of the film
- The Lighting: Lighting is one character in this film. Rain is another one. The way light played and wrote a language on the faces of the characters speaks of technical brilliance of dedication and recreating the 1950’s
- Dialogues and Diction: well.. when the cross culture and influence of western dictions ruling every script of the film, its really refreshing to see characters speaking decent telugu in their own voices. It helped the authenticity of the film.
In every film, that too when it’s connected to literature, the journey is never so smooth. The criticism is bound to happen. Here are some which can easily be avoided.
- The lighting: the lighting which is so graceful in first and middle scenes seems to be fall short in creating the same magic in the last and important scene. It created a far away effect which could be better if played along with the mood of the character. The early morning time when rama runs searching her love towards the station could be much melancholic and racy if the morning light effect is created fully.
- The ending of the Story: in the original story, rama throws back the purse given by shekhar to old lady which is full of currency, in railway station as she is unable to catch hold of him. In this movie, she runs after him and couldn’t catch the train and collapses with despair. In original story, it was told that shekhar came to know rama is not money minded. As a token of true love, his photo in the valet is the only missing. The author leaves the story with a note that shekhar understands what a misfortune of him to suspect real love. Here no such attempt is made as shekhar leaves under suspicion only. The reason for this change is not convincing by just calling him.. a cursed. It’s a loss of two persons. Why the effort and positivity and courage shown in expressing woman’s love in 1950s is not portrayed in a film inspired by the film is beyond comprehension.
But, everything apart, director Mahesh kathi deserves a great credit in his maiden feature film in choosing a relevant story of real love of women and beautifully portraying it by his technically brilliant team.. More to go..mahesh garu.. all the best in making a symphony of love and literature in a powerful film medium. Congratulations!
– Sai Padma