wiki:Yogi Vemana

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Yogi Vemana

1947 174’ b&w Telugu d/p/co-sc K.V. Reddy pc Vauhini co-sc K. Kameshwara Rao dial/lyr Samudrala Raghavacharya c Marcus Bartley m Chittor V. Nagaiah, Ogirala Ramchandra Rao lp Chittor V. Nagaiah, M.V. Rajamma, Parvathibai, M. Lingamurthy, Kantamani, Baby Krishnaveni, Rami Reddy, Seeta, K. Doraiswamy

Nagaiah’s third Saint film made by the same unit that produced his first one, the hit Bhakta Potana (1942). Vemana, a 17th-C. poet born in the Reddy community, attacked social inequality although adhering to the conventional Hindu views on women. The film attempts to inject realism into the Telugu version of the genre, showing e.g. the relationship between Vemana (Nagaiah) and a courtesan, Mohanangi (Rajamma). Vemana, the younger brother of a local chieftain, steals his sister-in-law’s diamond necklace for Mohanangi. He next steals the money meant for the king’s tribute, causing his brother to be imprisoned. He and his friend Abhiram (Lingamurthy) successfully manufacture gold by using alchemy. His moment of revelation comes when he brings this gold home to find his niece Jyoti (Baby Krishnaveni), his only real friend, dead. The film dissolves her face on to a skeleton, adding shots of people in their daily work routine, set to the song Idena inthena (‘Is this all that life is?’). Vemana then becomes a mendicant, advocating an ideology earlier demonstrated when he takes the silk cloak covering an idol in a temple and drapes it over an old woman shivering in the cold. The film is often compared with Shantaram’s Prabhat biographical of Eknath, Dharmatma (1935).

Film