Blast from the Past Cinema

Gumastha (1953)

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Acharya Athreya, from Nellore, was a well-known playwright in Telugu theatre. One of his many plays, NGO (Non-Gazetted Officer), was made into a film both in Tamil and Telugu under the title, Gumastha. He was also famous for working on a Telugu-English songin K. Balachander’s Telugu film, Maro Charitra, starring Kamal Haasan and Saritha.

Gumastha, as the title suggests, is about the tribulations of a government clerk, Ranganathan (Nagaiah), with a large family including an aged father, wife (Jayamma), two kids, brother Gopu (Manohar) and an unmarried sister in Susheela (Pandari Bai). The brother is a smart, young man, but is forced to discontinue college due to financial trouble. Meanwhile, a rich man’s son, Ravi (Narasimha Bharathi), gets drawn to Susheela the first time he sees her. Soon, they fall in love. However, Ravi suffers from heart problems and the family doctor advises him against marriage. Despite this, he marries Susheela, who after learning of his condition, expresses her discomfort with intimacy. However, one night, Ravi forces himself on her, and gets her pregnant. People, however, suspect that the child is someone else’s, which causes Susheela further distress. Adding to her woes is the death of her father upon hearing of her situation. How Ranganathan, her brother, finally solves all the problems forms the rest of the movie.

A. T. Krishnaswami wrote the dialogues, while the lyrics were written by A. Marutha Kasi and S. D. S. Yogi. Music was composed by G. Ramanathan, Chittoor V. Nagaiah and C. N. Pandurangan. Gumastha was produced by V. C. Subburaman under his banner, Aruna Films. R. M. Krishnaswamy handled the camera. The singers included B. Jayamma, M. L. Vasanthakumari, Chellamuthu, A. M. Rajah and Chittoor V. Nagaiah.

Gumastha, which was shot at the erstwhile Film Centre, had an average run because of its predictable storyline. Manohar was brilliant in an emotion-drenched role, a marked departure from his usual villain roles. Narasimha Bharathi was equally impressive and Pandari Bai was excellent as Susheela.

Cast: Chittoor V. Nagaiah, R. S. Manohar, Pandari Bai, B. S. Jayamma, P. V. Narasimha Bharathi, C. V. V. Panthulu, T. N. Sivathanu, M. L. N. Kausik, T. V. Sethuraman, V. K. Karthikeyan, Karuppaiah, V. T. Kalyanam, Anilkumar, P. Kalyanam, C. K. Saraswathi, M. Saroja, Menaka, K. S. Angamuthu, Venubai, ‘Baby’ Uma

Remembered for: The impressive acting of R. S. Manohar, P. V. Narasimha Bharathi, and Pandari Bai.

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Printable version | Dec 12, 2019 3:15:18 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/cinema/gumastha-1953/article7800205.ece

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