Monday 12 August, 2013
Love Story Kannada
Starring: Mayur Patel, Tanu Roy, Vindhya, Prameela Joshai, Komal Kumar, Nizhalgal Ravi
Director: Madan Patel
Producer: Krishna Movies
Music Dir: S.A. Rajkumar
Lyricist: K. Kalyan
Singers: Chitra, Mayur, Nanditha, Hariharan, Rajesh, Hemanth Kumar, Shamita,
Distributor: Sri Nakoda
Genre: Comedy, Romance, Drama
Remake of Maro Charitra (1977) Telugu, Ek Dujhe Ke Liye which were
Remade as Maro Charitra (2010) Telugu
Two families live side by side in Barkur, in Karnataka. One family are Kannadigas, and have a daughter, Swapna (Tanu Roy), who is lusted after by Ramshetty, who works in the local bookshop. The other family, originally from Karnataka, have recently moved from Delhi, where they had been living. They are vegetarians. They dislike the family next door, and are outraged by the smell of meat coking, coming from their neighbours’ kitchen – they call them “The Mutton Family”. They have a son, Ram (Mayur Patel), who arrives home as he has been kicked out of college in Delhi. He speaks Hindi. On his way, he has a fight with Ramshetty because he is trying to take photos of a woman who is breast feeding her baby.
Next day he is out on his motorbike, and stopped at the roadside, when Swapna comes by, stops and chatters away to him in Kannada, because Ramshetty is following her on her way to college. He does not understand, but they gradually become friends, communicating sometimes in English, and he starts to try to learn Kannada. Swapna starts to learn Hindi. When they are at home, they often communicate by noise, and by flashing their bedroom lights ona and off to each other. They spend a lot of time together, and quickly and very obviously fall in love, and declare their love to each other. Then one night they run out of petrol on the motorbike, 16 Km from home. They stop a passing car for help. In it is Swapna’s father. He is furious. He takes her home, leaving Ram stranded.
Both families are outraged by the love affair. “That is how parents are,” says the director. “They always build the walls of caste, creed, religion, money, language, tradition, and try separating the lovers. This is nothing new, it started with Romeo and Juliet; to Salim and Anarkali, and now it’s happening to these lovers. But these lovers know only one religion, one caste, one creed, one tradition, and that is love, love, love.”
A scheme is suggested by Jagannath, Ram’s father’s friend, whereby Ram and Swapna have to be separated for a year, without seeing each other, with no communication between them, by letter or by mobile phones, by email. If, at the end of a year, they still love each other, their parents will let them marry. Ram and Swapna do not believe this and insist on the agreement being made in writing, on official stamp paper. Ram is sent to Bangalore to work for a close friend of his father. That friend is asked to get find an attractive girl and introduce her to Ram, in such a way he will fall in love with her. Swapna’s mother “imports” her brother, Om (Komal Kumar) to marry Swapna – she does not like him. Will the two young lovers keep their love in the year’s separation, and if they do, will their parents who hate each other agree to their union? Watch the film to find out.
1. Nanna Ninna Prema Geethe
2. Mayagaati Mayagaati
3. Hoowe Hoowe
4. Gillalaa Gillalaa
5. Hagalu Untu Suryanige
6. Nanna Ninna Prema Geethe
Released Year: 2005
Running Time: 144 minutes/Colour/Kannada
I have read some very negative reviews about this film. The main negative comments are that there is “zero level of on-screen chemistry” and “the script is very weak and has no relevance to the present day”. What absolute nonsense! There is great screen chemistry between Ram and Swapna, and the intense love that develops between them, almost from their first meeting, is very evident. And the story is highly relevant today, when there is so much hatred between people of different race, caste and religion. The director’s comments, in the middle of the film, quoted at length in the synopsis, state that. What we need is love!
There is quite a history to the story of this film. It was first made by Director, K. Balachander, as “Maro Charitra” (1978) in Telugu starring Kamal Haasan and Rati Agnihotri. Then the same director remade the film in Hindi as “Ek Duuje Ke Liye” (“Live for each other”) in 1981, with the same stars. This film was made in 2005. The story was remade as “Maro Charitra” (2010) in Telugu, starring Varun Sandesh and Anita, and set in USA. I have not seen the original Telugu version from 1978, but I have watched the recent Telugu remake, which has a different ending. So why are there all these bad reviews? I do not know.
I decided to re-watch “Ek Duuje Ke liye”, again, then I re-watched “Love Story”. What are the similarities, and what are the differences? “Ek Dujje Ke Liye” is set near Panaji in Goa, about a Tamil boy and a Hindi girl who fall in love. He is sent to Hyderabad for the year, where he learns Hindi, Punjabi, two dialects of Urdu, and a local Bombay slang! That’s clever! It provides comedy when he comes back home after the year, and speaks in all these languages to people who are originally from these different language areas. Surprisingly, he did not seem to learn any Telugu! In “Love Story”, there is the same comedy – as Ram learns to speak in many different dialects of Kannada. It is amazing how closely Madan Patel, the Director, copied the original, almost scene for scene – using the same dialogues, and even the same jokes. The uncle who is brought to try and persuade Swapna to marry him is subject to sneezing in both films. Both films have the song and dance routine in a lift (“elevator” in USA). One thing that was not copied from “Ek Duuje...” was when Sapna’s mother comes into her room, she is annoyed to find that Sapna has written Vasu’s name all over the walls: then when she turns to go out, we see that Sapna has also written Vasu’s name all over the back of her mother’s sari as well! Now you may say that the director should have used new dialogues, but I don’t think that new dialogues could have been any better than the original.
So what is the difference between the two films? The lovers in the Kannada film seem to be much younger. In “Ek Duuje...” Sapna was supposed to be under-age, and that was a reason they could not get married. But at the start of the Kannada film, Tanu Roy acts a much younger girl than Rati Agnihotri did, and she has all the fervour of young love. Somehow the love-story in the Kannada version seems to have even more fun in it than in “Ek Duuje...”. The first time I watched it, I found it hard to believe that it could end in the same way as “Ek Duuje...”.
“Nanna Ninna Prema Geethe” is a tender love-song sung by Swapna to Ram after they have gone to the beach on his motorbike. In English it means “sing the love-song that is yours and mine, forever”, but the Kannada poetry sounds better. She sings in Kannada, he doesn’t understand the words, but he understands her emotion. In “Mayagaati Mayagaati”, which is sung as a duet, he shows his feeling by singing of his love, in English. “Hoowe Hoowe” is the song sung in the lift (elevator), a duet in Kannada – “Where are you my beauty, my favourite flower?” They have stopped the lift between floors, and young people have gathered at the doors of the lift, and are enjoying listening to the song, and they come out of the lift at last, to a round of applause – a nice comedy touch! “Gillalaa Gillalaa” is a love-song featuring Ram and Lilly and a group of dancers, a girl who shares the bathroom in his Bangalore accommodation, who has feelings for Ram, but they are not reciprocated, for he loves only Swapna. The song is her dream, her desire (Hindi “khwab”). “Hagalu Untu Suryanige” is a love-song sung by Ram and Swapna, when they are apart, a song of their reminiscences.
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