‘Chelleli Kapuram’ is an yesteryear film that bears a testimony to excellence in several crafts of film making. The film boasts a terrific screenplay with interesting plot points (like the scene where hero Sobhan Babu has to settle for his friend’s photograph on his book cover that changes the course of the story), dramatic scenes leading to climax and a perfect delineation of hero’s character. It is not an easy job to pick a struggling poet as a protagonist and create enough drama in his world to make it an appealing entertainer. But the trio–Gollapudi Maruthi Rao, Balayya and K.Viswanath–come out in flying colours. The movie has several hit songs with great lyrics and all the lead cast put in stellar performances.
If one has to single out a performance from the movie, it has to be that of veteran Allu Ramalingaih. His character is that of a villain, character artist and a comedian…all rolled into one. Even while enacting a slapstick scene he maintains the stem of the character which is no mean task…and possible only for great comedy actors like Relangi.
My favorite scene is where his character first nonchalantly deceives God and then goes on to take advantage of a person in need. Like many scenes in the film, this scene not only presents the character of the Sivaramayya to the audience, but also reflects Hero’s world and its infested hardships.
Here we go 🙂 https://youtu.be/3iLuRWASOkc?t=1h32m8s
Tailpiece: One can spot the inspiration from Gurudutt’s ‘Pyaasa’ in terms of subject matter, the dramatic climax etc, but ‘Chelleli Kapuram’ stands on its own. K.Viswanath in his later films repeated the themes of platonic love ( ‘Subhalekha’ , ‘Swayamkrishi’, ‘Apathbandhavudu’) and the theme for the climax song made way for ‘SiriSiri muvva’.
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