Money is the most alienating factor in the society. Film scribe
turned filmmaker K.N.T. Sastry's directorial debut, "Tiladaanam"
lays emphasis on this Karl Marxian theory, with a realistic
portrayal sans melodrama.
Subramanya Sastry (Played by H.G. Dattatreya) is a much-respected
Vedic scholar and priest in his native village. But unable
to make out a living there, he moves to the city along with
his daughter-in-law Padma (Jaya Sheel). His son Raghuram (Brahmaji)
becomes a naxalite. In the city, he becomes 'tiladaanam'
Subbaiah, as he accepts the daanam given to ward off
the evil effects of Saturn and as a corpse carrier. Old and
haggard, he is a dumb spectator of the fall in values in his
profession and modernization of the society, which has made
the smaller minions of his group (represented by Thanikella
Bharani and A.V.S.) to forego human kindness.
On the other side, his young and energetic son Raghuram, who
dreams of becoming part of a new order is, in the process,
hounded by the police.
On the night the child is born to him, Raghuram clandestinely
comes to his house, only to be challenged by the police (led
by Prasad Babu).
In the milieu, Raghuram escapes, killing a cop. He now carries
a reward of Rs. One lakh. On his return, he finds his family
in penury. By then, he becomes disillusioned with the movement
and surrenders to the police through a trusted friend, so
that the friend can collect the reward and give it to his
But the shock of this son's surrender kills Subbaih. Padma
calls for the municipal van to dispose to the body. She waits
in vain for the reward for two years.
The friend amasses the reward money. Sastry concludes on the
note that money is the root cause for all sins. Dattatreya
as Subramanya Sastry, on whom the central plot revolves, has
underplayed his role as per the script.
He has excelled in the scene in which he requests the 'rich
and arrogant purohits' A..V.S. and Bharani to come to his
home to perform the navagraha shanty; and in the subsequent
scene where he expresses to the deity at the temple.
Brahamji as the confused youth is adequate. The wordy duel
between the father and the son, with punchy dialogues, is
thought provoking. Caught between the two, daughter -in-law
Jaya Sheel has essayed her role with less of dialogue and
more of expression. She impresses in the scene where she picks
up the small change from the plate given to her by Subbaih.
Other mainstream artistes Annapurna and Athili Lakshmi have
L. Vaidyanathan's background score sets the mood, with brisk
editing by Sreekar Prasad and candid camera work by Sunny
As a beginner, K.N.T. Sastry has done a neat job, selecting
a rather complicated theme. But he could have added a few
more scenes and dwelled deep into the psyche of the principle
characters, instead of abruptly ending some characters and
This would have helped the movie go commercial. But now, the
film's screening is restricted to film fests, like the earlier
NFDC Telugu production, K.S. Sethumadavan's 'Stree'.