The year 1972 must have felt the dawn of a new era in Telugu cinema – for a director like Dasari Narayana Rao has forayed into films with his debut project ‘Thatha – Manavadu’. That was the time when superstars like N.T.R and A.N.R were on a full swing and when color cinema marked a sensational footing in Telugu cinema. Today anyone’s debut film is expected to be a commercial flick. But, a talented young debutante like Dasari Narayana Rao knew that his belief in cinema would talk more than his words. So did his debut film ‘Thatha – Manavadu’, produced by yet another revered producer K. Raghava under his Pratap Art Productions in the year 1972. Today this classic completes 40 years which also implies that director Dasari Narayana Rao also accomplishes 40years of a phenomenal directorial career!
When color films were the in-things that time, he ventured out with Thatha-Manavadu, a black and white film, that too a sensitive sentimental drama between a grandfather and his grandson. With stalwarts like S.V. Ranga Rao, Anjali Devi, Allu Rama Lingaiah, Raja Babu, Kaikala Satyanarayana, Gummadi, Raja Sulochana, Vijaya Nirmala et.al delivering a stellar and some exemplary music by Pasupuleti Ramesh Naidu, an absolute execution of emotions, everything blended up to make it a Silver-Jubilee classic running for about 25 weeks. “Anubandham Atmiyata Anta Oka Bootakam…” is one eternal song that relates to the contemporary society as well. With the very first film, Dasari Narayana Rao, a multifaceted personality, handled over four crucial crafts of filmmaking Story-Screenplay-Dialogues and Direction standing an icon to the aspiring filmmakers today. But, unarguably it takes immense belief in the craft and self-esteem to create a masterpiece like this.
He was a visionary with a difference. His choice of films and the diversity he achieved are the paradigms of this. Though he is in a commercial arena, with tons of expectations to measure up, the journalist in him always heeded to the needs of the society. And his films were always a reflection of his crucial encounters with life and experiences with the society. And Thatha-Manavadu is one such paradigm film that asserts that ‘Content is King’ and that Telugu audience do always appreciate good cinema.
Wish successful marathon of this Andhra’s beloved ‘Darsaka Ratna’ to flourish, making more classics and breaking many more records…