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Chandra Chakori - 2003 DVD $14.99

Chandra Chakori - 2003 DVD
Movie : Chandra Chakori
Year : 2003
Cast : Ashok, Doddanna, Honnavalli Krishna, Murali, Naaz, Priya, Srinagar Kitti, Sunderraj
Music Director : SA Rajkumar
Director : S Narayan
Producer : HD Kumara Swamy
Genre : Love/Family

DVD Info
DVD9-English Subtitles-NTSC-All Regions
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Douglas DB
Friday 27 February, 2015
Chandra Chakori

Starring: Intro. Sri Murali, Intro. Naaz, Intro. Priya, Ashok, Doddanna, Honnavalli Krishna, Srinagar Kitti, Sunderraj
Director: S. Narayan
Producer: H.D. Kumara Swamy
Music Dir: S.A. Rajkumar
Lyricist: S. Narayan
Singers: Chitra, Chorus, Sujatha, S.A. Rajkumar, Hariharan, Manu, Mannika
Distributor: Aananda
Genre: Romance, Family, Drama, Comedy

A wedding is about to take place, the wedding having been arranged by the families of the couple when they were children. Instead of the groom coming to the bride’s house, the bride, her girlfriends, family and what looks like most of the villagers, have to travel to the groom’s house, in another village. A total of six hundred and fifty people come for the wedding! They set off in a very colourful “caravan” of bullock carts. When they arrive, they are welcomed by the groom’s family, and a young lad, Puttraju (Sri Murali), who is mute, but highly esteemed by everybody in the groom’s village, performs the auspicious welcome, and subsequently looks after them. He wears a girl’s dancing anklet at his waist. The bride, Padma (Priya) and her girlfriends decide to go sightseeing to the nearby Jog Waterfalls. On the way back, the bride is kidnapped by someone from her home village, who wanted to marry her, and taken off in one of many bullock carts, ridden by his henchmen. The other girls go running back for help, and they tell Puttraju, who takes off in hot pursuit on his bullock cart, and in a daring and spectacular rescue, he saves her and brings her back to the house. One of the bride’s girlfriends snatch Puttraju’s anklet to tease him, but when he finds it is gone, he is absolutely devastated, and goes round on his hands and knees looking for it everywhere – it is obviously extremely important to him. Eventually one of the girls throws it back to him. He’s delighted to have it back.
During the night, the bride is wakened by a song, “Kuhu Kuhu Kogile”. She gets up, and seeks the origin of the song - she finds the sound is coming from the stable, where Puttraju is playing the song on a portable device. His mother appears, and asks her son how long he will go on listening to this song, and crying. Then follows the engagement ceremony. That night, Mahesh, the groom dresses in a dark grey cloak, and comes to the room, where the bride is sleeping with her friends, and tries to kiss her. The girls call out, and Mahesh runs off, puts the dark grey cloak round Puttraju, and asks him to take the blame, which he does. As a result he is set upon by everyone, then whipped with a leather belt, until the bride comes and tells them to stop – and says that it was not Puttraju who was the culprit, it was Mahesh who had tried to kiss her. She asks why Puttraju can’t talk. She is told that he used to be a chatterbox, who never stopped talking – so much so that when villagers saw him coming, they would hide in their houses till he went past, to avoid having to listen to his continuous chatter. She is intrigued when she hears this, and wants to know what happened to Puttraju, to make him stop talking. She is told that he was deeply in love with a girl, Sevanthi (Naaz), the only person who would listen to him. The anklet he wears at his waist had belonged to her. Padma had been awakened by the sound of their favourite song, a love song they often sang to each other. Sevanthi’s father did not approve of her marrying Puttraju, because he was working as a servant to the family that had brought him up. One day, Sevanthi meets Puttraju in the fields, when she is on the way to give her father his lunch. She asks him not to talk to anyone till she returns. However, she does not return. Eventually he goes in search of her, only to be told that her father had drowned her in the well, because she wanted to marry Puttraju. Since then he has not said a word, because of his promise to Sevanthi not to talk till she returned. The bride decides that Puttraju is the men she wants to marry, not Mahesh. What will her family and Mahesh and his family say about this? Watch the film to find out who she marries.

1. Bellam Bellage Daari Bidu
2. Jummu Taka Jummu Jummu
3. Kuhu Kuhu Kogile - I
4. Jigari Dosto Maduve
5. Kuhu Kuhu Kogile - II
6. Andaghathi Kanna Thumba
7. Kuhu Kuhu Kogile - III

Released Year: 2003
Running Time: 163 minutes/Colour/Kannada

This film, though made in 2003, has an “old-world” feel about it. The bride’s party travel to the groom’s house, not in cars, but in bullock carts. When they arrive, there is no sign of a widescreen TV set, nor of any TV set, although they do have electricity. Nobody has a mobile phone – do you remember the days before mobile phones? There isn’t even a telephone. The acting style is old fashioned as is the comedy, for example the scene with the banana skin – and the comedy actors make the sort of exaggerated grimaces one saw in English Language Charlie Chaplin films. I don’t know what was supposed to be the period of the film, but it has a certain old-world charm. I don’t know how long ago Kannada weddings were like this. I enjoyed this film!

The story is very complicated, there are many characters (according to one scene, there are 650 guests at the wedding, and that does not include the would-be kidnappers, who also came on bullock carts), and several story lines, especially in the comedy scenes, where everyone is paying grat attention th=to the bride’s make-up girl. One gets a little confused as to who is who. The cinematography is also in keeping with it being a less recent film, particularly in the scenes with a lot of people, yet in the close-up of a few characters it is more like a modern film. The lighting in many of the scenes has a lot of shadow, yet with good highlighting, so that you are never in the dark as to which characters you are seeing.

“Bellam Bellage Daari Bidu” is the song of the journey of the bridal party, by bullock cart, to the groom’s house. It is very colourful, and very reminiscent of the 1971 Hindi film, “Caravan” which starred Jeetendra and Asha Parekh. “Jummu Taka Jummu Jummu” is the visit by the bride and her friends to the Jog Falls, and includes other scenery, showing the great beauty of Karnataka. “Kuhu Kuhu Kogile” is the song that wakens the bride, being played at night by Puttraju, the love song he and Sevanthi sang to each other. “Jigari Dosto Maduve” is a song and dance by the whole wedding party, about the deep friendship between the fathers of the bride and groom. [Note that in English, friendship is defined as from the heart, whereas in Hindi and Kannada it is from the liver (jigari dost).] “Kuhu Kuhu Kogile - II” is the love song, this time at the Jog falls. “Andaghathi Kanna Thumba” is a love song in an elaborate setting. “Kuhu Kuhu Kogile - III” is a reprise of the original song.

5 stars

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