Someone said ‘Comedy is a serious business’. It is no joke to regale the audiences and that too over and over. Jandhyala did that for many years. When someone asked him why he does not make big budgeted masala movies he said he was comfortable in doing his gig and not very sure about directing commercial fare. Well, subsequently his associate EVV Satyanarayana and other writers and directors like Kona Venkat, Srinu Vaitla and Trivikram showed how it could be done, extending Jandhyala mark comedy into full fledged commercial entertainers. Infact, all of the new age directors have taken inspiration from his kind of comedy.
So, what is Jandhyala’s kind of comedy? A mix of both physical and dialogue comedy. Prior to Jandhyala, stalwarts like Bhamidipati, Mullapudi, Appalacharya etc used to write primarily dialogue based comedy situations. But a few decades earlier a genius called Pingali Nagendra Rao, would also create situations that would evoke humour with antics from characters, for instance the sastry-sarma exploits in MayaBazar. One could say Jandhyala took a leaf or two from him and came up with his unique brand that stayed intact all these years.
Also, Jandhyala being a seasoned writer before he started doing full length comedy films sets him apart from others. He worked with all the big directors including K.Viswanath. This gave his writing a unique flavour even in comedy films. To quote one interesting example after the heroes listen to some atrocious music from Brahmanandam, the dialogue that follows is “kanulaku reppalu laga, Chevulaku kuda pettunte bagundedi ra devudu”. His wordplay is legendary much before Trivikram…like ‘ aa manava ane pilupu maanava’ from ‘Jagadeka veerudu athiloka sundari’.
For Charlie Chaplin, comedy and tragedy went hand in hand. He made an ordinary tramp into a legendary character. Jandhyala also used his mark in his films and rarely does his film go without touching your heart in one scene or the other. In the film ‘ Ahana Pellanta’, the scene where Nuthan Prasad urges his son (Rajendra Prasad) not to commit any drastic acts in the event of his love failure or in the scene where he admonishes Kota Srinivasa Rao ‘…prapancha patam lo srilanka antha unna nee chinna burraki artham kaadu’, he elevates an out and out comedy film into a complete film of emotions. He was also a seasoned actor and that helped him to create the diction for his artists, as he did with Sutthi Veerabhadra Rao. He also dubbed for a few films with his unique dialogue delivery.
So long as new directors pay tribute to Jandhyala by adopting his humour style, he will forever remain in our hearts. In his own words, ‘kottocchinattuga, baadocchinattuga’ kanapuduthune untundi.
(June 19th, is his death anniversary)
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