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Velugu Needalu

Here is the the series that focuses on the many greats who lurk in the shadows behind the silver screen bringing out the best in them, to radiate and redirect their brilliance onto the silver medium. We hope that these articles would focus our attention and applause to these true "stars" to whom limelight and spot lights do not usually beckon upon.
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Continued from Part 3

Part - VI

Even though muLLapooDi introduced the suaveness and the coolness of gOdaavari dialect (maanDaleekam) with Contractor's character in Muthyaala muggu, it was Vamsi who really patronized the accent and popularized it in almost all his movies. The dialogue delivery being rapid paced, the accent being distinctly different, and thanks to the actors' ability in skillfully moulding their speech around this unusual brand of telugu, the gODaavari yaasa has found wide spread acceptance with the audience and has come to remain as a central stay even in the current movies. Majority of the Telugu movies follow sisTlaa maanDaleekam, which is usually the standard dialect for all the talking parts of a movie, whose origins are found in Krishna and Guntur districts. When a character (or the writer) chooses to follow a different dialect (like Kota Srinivasa Rao's Kaasayaa character in pratighaTana) that is different from the norm, it places an enormous amount of burden and pressure, both on the character and on the writer, while trying to hold the audience's attention without getting distracted away the way the language is spoken. It is mainly for this reason that serious characters are seldom given different accents and majority of the characters that deal with the accents are comedic in nature. Vamsi uses this principle to separate his serious characters from the spoofy parts. For example in April 1 Vidudala, while everybody around Shobana and the Doctor character converse strictly in gOdaavari yaasa, these 2 choose to remain faithful to the standard accents, thus differentiating the tone of their speak and mood of their tone.

Vamsi's dialogues owe a lot to the chaos of the group environment that make up most of his comedic frames. Most of the times it might not even be because of the wit of the dialogue than it is because of the timing of the delivery and the timing of the firing of the dialogue within the chaos. When one character tries to out-pace the other, and the other tries to catch up with some other, one character slows down the complete tempo of the dialogue for creating the rib-tickling effect. "paenu korukuDu" subbaa rao stands up on the stool trying to fix his wiring of the ceiling fan while holding both the ends of the wire in his mouth shouting instructions to his second wife about turning the switch on on his command, while she is totally lost in the dreamy eyes of her favorite hero on TV. subbaa rao's instructions to his second wife are interspersed with his voice of his first wife who is getting antsy while holding onto the stool, preventing her from getting on with her morning chores. The TV in the background blares out the latest song of the hottest hero mesmerizing his second wife completely grabbing her attention. Diwaakaram looks at this seemingly explosive situation and tries to work it to his advantage. The entire setup of this situation is not so much about the dialogue as it is about the timing. subba rao shouts his instructions, second wife lost in tv, first wife screaming about her daily routine, diwaakaram walks in and calls out subba rao's name, subba rao accidentally blurts out the switching instruction to is wife, second wife turns the switch on, the circuit completes in subba rao's mouth. If muLLapooDi's dialogue charaterizes the wit and sarcasm, Jandhyala's dialogue brings out light hearted humor, Vamsi's dialogue churns out the comedy through sheer group dynamic.

Vamsi's association with Tanikella Bharani (and Vemuri Satyanarayana) to a large extent laid the foundation for his initial foray into comedy and it was Bharani's rapid wit that evolved into Vamsi's style over a period of few movies. praeminchu peLLaaDu, anweshaNa, Ladies Tailor, Maharshi, Sri Kanakamaalakshmi Recording Dance Troupe, cheTTu kinda pleaderu speak for Vamsi brand humor which was later continued in his association with L.B.Sriram and Sankaramanchi Pardhasaradhi. While their initial movies were too hesitant to step off the conventional comedic tracks, Vamsi and Bharani's Ladies Tailor marked a clear departure from what is standard, what is regular and what is conventional. Setting the movie in a remote village in the Circars, with the only set piece being the natural splendor around, Ladies Tailor created an interesting backdrop for a bunch of interesting characters centering around an interesting plot point. The interesting aspect of the script is that it does not highlight nor does it exploit the "maccha" point of the script inasmuch as it is concerned about Sundaram's travails in getting to the point. baTTala satyam, seenu gaaDu, venkaTa Ratnam roll off the wit of the pen while naagamaNi, daya and neelavaeNi take shape along the sharper edges. Ladies Tailor became a template for the rest of their collaborations where it is more about the characters than it is about the plot, where it more about the dynamic that it is about the dialogue and where it is more about setting up than it is about the payoff. The colloquial humor of the area, the rhythms in the speech of the speaking populace, the lush and natural vegetation that provided a safe habitat for these seemingly normal characters, all his low budget ventures seem to catch various glimpses through different slices of the same interesting setting.

Following his mentor K.Viswanath's footsteps, Vamsi had a keen ear for great music, acute eye for amazing camera angles, a dictatorial attitude while chopping up the film and a zany mind for a weird sense of humor. A true director in all senses of the word, a true visionary in all facets of the craft and a true film-maker in the truest spirit of the art.

The End

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