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Updated: May 6, 2010 14:45 IST

Family ties call the shots

M.L. Narasimham
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Manoj and Tapsi in 'Jhummandhinaadham'.
Manoj and Tapsi in 'Jhummandhinaadham'.

K. Raghavendra Rao's 105th film promises to be a musical bonanza.

The master story teller is back to making a socio-romantic musical entertainer after a gap of five years. Veteran filmmaker K. Raghavendra Rao is making his 105th celluloid statement, Jhummandhinaadham with a theme that largely harps on our rich traditional music and heritage, according to producer Lakshmi Prasanna. Starring her brother Manoj Kumar Manchu and debutante Tapsi in the lead with her father Mohan Babu playing a pivotal character.

A festive air

At the Ramoji Film City, the atmosphere is one of celebration. A celebration showcasing unity and patriotism, capsuled into a song written by Chandra Bose and composed by Maragatha Mani Keeravani. Raghavendra Rao usually does the preliminary designing of the song sequence, making the job of the choreographer easy.

Choreographer Suchitra Chandra Bose in consultation with the master craftsman is guiding the actors to perform that includes apart from the lead pair and Mohan Babu, Suman, Brahmanandam, M.S. Narayana, Pragathi, Aishwarya and others.

Desamante Matham kadhu… the song is played on the nagara and lensman S. Gopala Reddy captures the emotions of the actors. Desamante Manushuloy the song continues as the next block is taken for filming. It reminds you of the song, Punyabhoomi Naa Desam Namo Namaami from Major Chandrakanth in which the legendary N.T. Rama Rao played the title role. Keeravani is at his best one more time, you agree as you listen to the song.

“It is a musical story with nine songs,” informs Lakshmi Prasanna. “A lot of research has gone into the making of these songs and the story. We are forgetting our traditional songs. How many of us know today that once during marriage ceremonies, songs recalling the family tree and roots of the bride/bridegroom are sung as the marriage parties reach each other's house. It is like nostalgia to the older generation and introduction of our rich traditional heritage to the young audience.”

Musical bonanza

A wide variety of musical bonanza- from folk, lullaby, devotional, patriotic to fusion music awaits the discerning cine goers. “There is a competition song filmed on dad (Mohan Babu) and Manoj on the lines of the one that was shot on Nagesh and dad in Allari Mogudu,” says Lakshmi Prasanna.

The camera now focuses on Manoj and Mohan Babu as they place their steps to Keeravani's tune. “This is the first time dad is playing a full length role in a Manoj film,” says the happy producer. “This movie presents Manoj in a different light, as a soft looking guy. In looks and acting it is a complete makeover from his earlier movies,” says the proud sister. Manoj has that certain ease in his acting be it in action, comedy or emoting.

The conversation shifts to Tapsi, the newcomer to Telugu cinema. “ She plays a girl from the U.S. who is on a research work on Telugu traditions, music and culture. Manoj acts as her guide and the journey begins,” she smiles. The journey takes the audience on a roller coaster ride of entertainment laced with a gamut of emotions, wit, humour and a medley of music as the title indicates.

“After this song, we have a four day talkie part to finish before flying to South Korea to film the remaining song on the lead pair,” signs off Lakshmi. The film is slated for release in June.

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