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Movie review - Grahanam

Jeevi rating: 3.5/5
: Strictly for art film aficionados
Can kids watch this film?
Yes (no vulgarity and no violence)
Kanakadhara Creations
Cast: Tanikella Bharani, Jayalalitha, Surya, Kamal, Tallavajjula Sundaram, Goparaju Ramana, Sivannarayana & Tallavajjula Mehaneesh
Story: GV Chalam
Cinematography: PG Vinda
Music: K Vijay
Art: Bhupesh Bhupati
Editing: Lokesh
Executive producer: Phani Prakash
Producers: BV Subba Rao & Anji Reddy
Screenplay - direction: Mohana Krishna Indraganti

Release date: Not yet released


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Saradamba (Jayalalitha) is a beautiful wife of a landlord Narayana Swamy (Tanikella Bharani) in a village. She is a kind woman who is well known for her charitable work. Kanakayya (Tallavajjula Mehaneesh) is a bright student from a poor family and he gets a free lunch (vaaraalabbai) at Saradamba's house. Saradamba is very fond of Kanakayya.

One fine day, Kanakayya falls ill. The medicine offered by the regular doctor is of no use. Parents of Kanakayya call in Kalimata's devotee and medicine practitioner Gopayya (Tallavajjula Sundaram) from neighboring village for an advice. After the check-up, Gopayya declares that Kanakayya is suffering from Doshagunam. According to him, Doshagunam is caused when a boy has sexual intercourse with a middle-aged woman. Gopayya advices Kanakayya's parents that the only panacea for Doshagunam is a concoction prepared with the blood extracted from the thigh of woman who had sex with Kanakayya. That night Kanakayya utters the name of Saradamba repeatedly in the sleep and it turns the needle of suspicion towards Saradamba.

Did Saradamba seduce Kanakayya? Would she give blood for Kanakayya's medicine? Is Doshagunam really a scientifically proven ailment or a myth? To know the answers, you must watch this film on the big screen.

Artists Performance

Jaya Lalitha: Jayalalitha is the protagonist of the film. It's rather a risky decision to cast an actress who is known as a vamp girl in an art film as the leading lady. She is perfectly apt for the role and she performed very well. However, there is a bit of artificiality in her dubbing. And casting her helped the director in putting the audiences in two minds about the character of Saradamba about whether she has actually indulged in sex with the boy or not.

Others: Tanikella Bharani is perfect for the role of Narayana Swamy that has different shades. Tallavajjula Mehaneesh is pretty confident in a vital role. This film opens on Surya. He did extremely well as the doctor who narrates the flashback. The other actors in the film are fresh faces and all of them did their bit well.

Technical Departments:

Story: The total credit of this film solely goes to GV Chalam - who is known as the most controversial and sensational Telugu writer we have ever seen. This film is inspired by his story 'Doshagunam'. Chalam is said to have written this story after being inspired by a true story. This story also has a big moral value attached to the society that is filled with lots of men who don't trust their loyal wives even after staying together for decades.

Screenplay - direction: The debutant director Indraganti Mohana Krishna - son of Indraganti Srikanth Sharma - turned out to be a decent technician with his plain and pleasant presentation of Chalam's work on the screen. The entire movie is shown in black and white except for a couple of fond memories (as dreams). Probably the director might have felt the dreams to be colorful and the reality to be in black and white. The screenplay of the film is good and narration is slow.

Other departments: Music by K Vijay complements the mood of the film well. Dialogues are appropriate. Photography by PG Vinda is good. He did not have to bother about color combinations as the film is presented in black and white. Artwork by Bhupati is fair. Editing by Lokesh is OK. The producers need to be patted on their back for producing the greatest work of Chalam without seeking monetary returns/gains.

Analysis: This film is a one and half an hour duration film made with a digital camera on a shoestring budget of approximately Rs. 8 lakhs (It is learnt that artists and technicians worked without taking any remuneration). This film is an out and out art film aimed at international film festivals. This film was already sent to Toronto Film festival. The present generation does not have time/patience to read literature. It is a great effort on the part of makers to produce Chalam story on a big screen. By looking at this film, the present generation youth would get the opportunity of realizing the revolutionary thought process of Chalam. It is a pretty decent film. And a must watch for all art film aficionados.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> End of Grahanam Review
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