wiki:Appu Chesi Pappu Koodu/Kadan Vangi Kalyanam

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Appu Chesi Pappu Koodu/Kadan? Vangi Kalyanam

1958 176’[Te]/185’[Ta] b&w/col Telugu/Tamil? d/co-s L.V. Prasad pc Vijaya co-s Chakrapani co-s/dial Sadasiva Brahmam lyr Pingali Nagendra Rao c Marcus Bartley m Saluri Rajeshwara Rao lp S.V. Ranga Rao, Savitri, Jamuna, E.V. Saroja, N.T. Rama Rao[Te], K. Jaggaiah[Te], Relangi Venkatramaiah[Te], C.S.R. Anjaneyulu[Te], Ramana Reddy[Te], K. Siva Rao[Te], Girija, Suryakantam[Te], Gemini Ganesh[Ta], T.R. Ramchandran[Ta], K.A. Thangavelu[Ta], T.S. Balaiah[Ta], Meenakshi[Ta], Rajanala Nageshwara Rao[Te]

Prasad’s comedy stages the victory of a nationalist-modern alliance over decadent feudalism, with all the popular ingredients of comic social melodrama. The villain is a Zamindar, Ramadasu (Anjaneyulu), who has recently acquired the colonial title of Rao Bahadur and lives in borrowed splendour, hosting lavish dinners while, in a back room, his wily manager Bhajagovindam (Relangi) keeps a crowd of creditors at bay with intimidation and false promises. His son Raghu (Jaggaiah) is scheduled to return from England, but the father has reduced Raghu’s wife Leela (Jamuna) to penury, planning instead a new, more profitable alliance for his foreign-educated son with Manjiri (Savitri), the daughter of Diwan Bahadur Mukunda Rao (Ranga Rao). The unsuspecting Diwan Bahadur supports the marriage, but Manjiri knows the truth. Leela’s brother Raja Rao (NTR), an imprisoned freedom fighter, is Manjiri’s lover. On the day of his release from prison, Manjiri explains the situation to him and emphasises the need to reform the family before reforming the nation. With the help of Bhajagovindam, revealed as a schizophrenic character who doubles as friend of the goodies as well as the sutradhara (chorus), they stage a drama in order to reform the families and restore order and justice. Bhajagovindam then takes charge of the plot. Leela refuses to leave her husband’s home and the Rao Bahadur allows her to remain as a mute maid servant. The England- returned Raghu, a modern figure who, although opposed to his father’s machinations and aware of the mute maid’s real identity, nevertheless continues to play his assigned role by wooing Manjiri, occasioning a few ‘safely’ erotic scenes as Manjiri is courted by two men. As the narrative progresses, Raja Rao and Bhajagovindam adopt different disguises and enact several didactic-comic episodes intended to expose greed: Raghu produces a demanding foreign wife who forces the Rao Bahadur to devise various methods of raising money until his creditors eventually catch up with him. As in the earlier Pelli Chesi Choodu (1952), three couples are formed or reunited at the end. The film’s most remarkable sections focus mainly on the multiple roles of Bhajagovindam, extending to the staging of a play within the plot, which is itself ‘staged’ by his presence as the commentator/chorus. The barely coherent plot is given a semblance of unity by Relangi’s initial declaration that a didactic plot is to be staged, which in turn allows various characters to indulge in actions that would be considered ‘unbecoming’ in a more realist idiom.