wiki:Gejje Pooje

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Gejje Pooje

aka The Mock Marriage 1970 154’ b&w Kannada d/sc S.R. Puttana Kanagal pc Chitra Jyothi st M.K. Indira’s novel c S.V. Srikanth m Vijayabhaskar lp Kalpana, Gangadhar, Leelavathi, Arathi, Pandharibai

Kanagal’s best-known film outside Karnataka. Aparna (Leelavathi), an orphan raised by a brothel madam, has an affair and bears a daughter whom the madam hopes to make into a prostitute. To prevent this outcome, Aparna brings up her daughter Chandra (Kalpana) in a different city among respectable neighbours Lalita (Arathi) and her brother Somu, who falls in love with Chandra. When Chandra’s father resurfaces, her inability to explain the presence of a stranger becomes the cause of her broken engagement and her return to prostitution. Continuing Kanagal’s fascination with tragic heroines, incarnated until Sharapanjara (1971) by Kalpana and then by Arathi, who makes her debut here, the film has two distinct camera styles which also influence the performances: the style used to portray the ‘normal’ world of middle-class orthodoxy is rendered increasingly brittle in both image and sound by a second aesthetic in which the worlds of Aparna and Chandra are shown through tight close-ups, expressions of terror and low-angle shots of exploitative men. The musical leitmotiv, associated with the violin that Aparna plays when she remembers her father, extends into expressionist sound effects. In Kanagal’s later work (Ranganayaki, 1981; Manasa Sarovara, 1982) he used colour not only to make films about corruption but a cinema that is so to say in itself corrupted. The film’s Telugu remake is Kalyana Mandapam (1971).