I was so embarrassed when a film that so much deserved to be prefixed if at all the words greatest and smartest Indian movie were used didn’t find a slot in this page. And yes im talking about a Telugu film, “Mayabazaar”(1957). Before you differ, i would be pleased if you consider my view point.
Mayabazaar is a Mythological epic fantasy film directed by kadiri venkata reddy. It’s based on a fictional tale based on Mahabharata. It was the first multilingual indian film, also released in tamil and malayalam apart from telugu. The film boasts of stellar star cast and crew, NT Rama Rao,Akkineni Nageswar rao,Sv ranga rao and the adorable savitri. These people were undoubtedly greatest actors in the history of telugu films. The film was made at whooping budget of Rs2,00,000INR and was the costliest indian film of that era.
- And now comes the interesting part, the film was shot at a period when forget about computer graphics, a normal computer was a rarity in India. In such a scenario the film had terrific shots and artwork. During the rehearsals, Venkata Reddy noted the time each actor took to deliver his or her dialogues using a stop watch and calculated the length of each scene (including the song situations) thus arriving at the usage of negative film to the required length.
- D. S. Ambu Rao, who was Bartley’s assistant, said that the film was shot strictly by the screenplay and light set by Bartley(legendry anglo indian cinematographer). For a particular song which was shot at ennore near chennai on a broad day light , the cinematographer with his expertise created a moonlight illusion with tricky camera angles, which awed the film fraternity.
- Apart from the principal technicians and actors, a crew of 400 studio workers including light men, carpenters, painters and others worked on the film during its production stage.While erecting the set of waraka, 300 miniature houses were created in about 50 x 60 electrified feet space, with no houses being made to look alike. All of them were erected under the supervision of the art director, Madhavpetti Gokhale and Kaladhar.
- It took four days of filming to get the right effect for the “laddoo gobbling” shots of Ghatotkacha in the song sequence, “Vivaha Bhojanambu”.In the scene where Ghatotkacha, in the guise of Sasirekha, uses his foot to stamp Lakshmana Kumara’s foot, the expression was Savitri’s, while the foot used for stamping was that of the film’s choreographer Pasumarthi Krishnamurthy’s. He pasted false hair on his foot to give it the look of that of a demon’s.
(Originally in black and white, digitally colourised in 2007.)
Look at the shots below and try to figure out on how they managed to do it without camera graphics in the year 1957.[These are .gif Images, im unsure if all browsers can play them]
The shots above are only one of the many examples to be found in the film.whats surprising is that, till date few camera angles used in mayabazaar are still shrouded in mystery!!!
The first Movie to Conceptualize Laptop, Video Calling decades before they came into existence.
Everyone lauds the star trek series for predicting the future showing of ipads and video calling 2decades before they arrived.However it was Maayabazaar film that first showcased these gadgets for nearly a 50years before they were 1st released.
lord krishna(NTR) shows abimanyu on a laptop like prototype with a skype like live video chat.
- At the international film festival held in india and indonesia during the year 1957, mayabazaar was presented only to receive world wide applause for its technical extravaganza and scintillating plot apart from boasting off the valor of Indian mythology. Soon after, this film has been made a case study at most of the worlds prestigious film universities. when was the last time an indian film drew world’s attention for its technical brilliance???
- 56years later, in the year 2013 when CNN IBN conducted an extensive online voting on “Greatest indian Film ever” , Mayabazaar bagged the maximum votes.That’s quite a record, isn’t it??
I Always considered Mayabazaar as an Indian film rather than a telugu/south film. During an era when there was no youtube for tutorials, no proper communication channels for guidance from outside world, dont u think , Mayabazaar stands out as the Smartest and greatest movie of all time??? ,,,I leave it to your discretion.