can't stop ending up shedding tears when one watch tragic classics
like 'Laila Majnu', 'Ambika Pati', 'Amaraavati' and
'Anarkali'. All the films that belong to this genre, begins
with a rosy love story and ends up with the lovers opting the suicide
as the last resort. The theme of these stories is 'The Destiny of
Love is Death'. Even 'Devadasu' belongs to this genre.
PC Baruva produced the original 'Devidasu' in Hindi. In 1937,
this film was remade into Tamil. CV Rao played the role of 'Devadasu'.
Incidentally CV is the director of this film too. GP Rajani acted
In the year 1953, Telugu film industry was going through a boom.
Rama Krishna's 'Bratuku Teruvu', Bhanumati's 'Chandi Rani',
Krishna Swamy's 'Gumasta', KS Prakas Rao's 'Kanna Talli',
Kaduru Nagabhushanam's 'Lakshmi', YV Rao's 'Manjari',
Nagayya's 'Naa Illu', LV Prasad's 'Paradesi' and 'Penpudu
Koduku', T Prakas rao's 'Pichi Pullayya' and P Pullayya's
'Pakkinti Ammai' were the films released in that year along
with 'Devadasu'. At that time Raj Kapoor and Nargis's 'Aag'
was dubbed as 'Premalekhalu' and it was doing well. BN Saroja
and Prem Nazir's 'Tandri' and Madhuri Devi and Natarajan's
'Rohini' were the other dubbed films that did well in that
In this context Devadasu's shooting was started. Chakrapani
has translated a Bengali Navel and produced this film. PC Baruva's
'Devadasu' was released in 1935. KL Sigel and Jamuna acted
in the main roles. They used modern techniques like Close-up and
Montage shots. Even the Telugu version is no less compared to it's
Hindi original. Hero of the film Akkineni Nageswara Rao's role was
very similar to the roles he played in the earlier films. He was
labeled as the tragedy king. It was a cake walk for Akkineni to
do this role of 'Devadasu'. He got accolades for his performance
in 'Devadasu'. Akkineni is modest in saying that 'Devadasu'
is the product of team work. "Vendantamgaru used to make me
stay awake during nights and shoot the scenes as he believed that
kick of liquor can be seen in the eyes of Devadasu during night
time" admits Akkineni.
Everybody knew the story of 'Devadasu' before the release
of film. A poor girl falls in love with a rich guy. Parents of the
rich guy will not agree to get them married. As a result the poor
girl gets married to a rich old man. Later on there were a couple
of films by Akkineni done in the same genre. They are Prem Nagar
and Premabhishekam. The character of Parvati was transformed
into the characters of 'Latha' and 'Devi'.
Devadasu was one of the most memorable films for Telugu people.
The songs in this film are popular even today. 'Jagame Maayaa',
'Palleku Podam .. Paarunu Choodaam', 'Kudi Edamaithe' are the few
unforgettable song of Devadasu.Major credit goes to Ghantasala,
the singer and CR Subbaram, the music director.
In 1955, Vedantam Raghavayya produced another love film, Anarkali.
This film is another musical hit. Vedantam repeated Akkineni in
almost all the films produced by him. One cannot forget the histrionic
performance f Akkineni in 'Anarkali', 'Bhale Ramudu',
'Suvarna Sundari' and 'Bhale Ammailu'. But in 'Chiranjeevulu',
another film by Vedantam, NTR too acted with Akkineni. Jamuna was
the heroine in that film.
Another Gem of the film 'Devadasu' is Savitri, who brought
life to the character 'Parvati'. Her performance in this
film won her a lot of accolades and future films.