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Naa Illu (1953)
Nagaiah
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to Feel Nostalgic

In the early 1950, raising stars like NTR and ANR are making the hey. At that time people thought that it was Nagaiah turn to bid adieu. During that period Nagaiah made a film on 'Our India Films' banner. He directed and acted in this film, 'Naa Illu'. His favorite cameraman MA Rehman was roped in. This film was based on a story by Devulapalli Krishna Sastri. TR Raja Kumari, Girija, Vedavathi, Chaya Kumari , Rama Sarma, Lingamurthy Darai Swamy were the other actors in that film. 'Naa Illu' is a bilingual film. It was also produced in Tamil as 'En Veedu' simultaneously. That's the reason why TN Rajakumari was chosen for the role of heroine.

Just like the Nagaiah's films, 'Naa Illu' too is a musical film. 'Adigadigo' is the highlight song of the film. It was based on Saranga Raagam. 'Naa Illu' best describes the Nagaiah taste of good music. Without upsetting the tradition, he used to make a fusion of Hindustani and Karnatic music. Nagaiah is the first south Indian music director to induce non-regional music. There are two Hindi songs in 'Naa Illu'. These two songs are story based ones. Hero Nagaiah goes to Bombay in this film. He made Meena Kapoor sing to songs, 'Pushponka Rani' and 'Main Haste Gaate Chali' to have the nativity. Vidya in this film is a Bombay dancer. So Nagaiah included a couple of Hindi songs to justify it.

The story of 'Naa Illu is based on how rich people cheat naive people. Nagaiah narrated it in an investigative approach. This film revolve around the kids of Sivaram, who want to become musicians and singers. Nagaiah donned the role of an ideal man. He gave up his romantic image in this film.

In 1953, Kutumba Rao wrote in the magazine 'Kinema', "In this film Nagaiah introduced two characters 'Radio Akkayya' and 'Radio Annayya'. He named few other characters as Pardha Saradhi, Dwaram Venkata Swamy Naidu. This shows his unending love towards the field of music". When Nagaiah' character goes to Jail on the charges of assassination, his wife refuses to accept him. Even in the real life Nagaiah was cheated as a producer by his managers.

'Naa Illu' bombed at box-office. Since Nagaiah was financially sound at that time, he opted for another film called RamaDasu'. Even that film went for a toss.

'Naa Illu' is one of the most memorable films from the past.

Source: 'Alanati Chalana Chitram' by KNT Sastry (published by Cinema Group)

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