The timeless and enchanting epic of Ramayana, written by Valmiki ends with Rama reign over Ayodhya. The later addition to Valmiki’s Ramayanam is Uttara Rama Charitra which consists of the latter part of the epic. After being crowned as the King, Rama adorns the court as an ideal king and leads a pleasant life with Sita for some time. But, fate plays its role and for reasons well known to us, Rama banishes Sita to the forest where Valmiki Maharshi provides her shelter in his hermitage. There begins the story of Lava-Kusa, the twin brothers born to the ideal couple. This latter part of this great epic is adopted as a film more than once and iQlik Movies lets you know the details.
With the advent of the first Telugu Talkie Bhakta Prahlada in 1931, many mythological films were made in Telugu of which Lava Kusa was the first film to have adopted the story of Uttara Rama Charitra.
On Feb 9th, 1934, the first Lava Kusa was released, which was produced by Mothilal Chamria from East India Company. C. Pullayya directed the film who also happened to direct NTR’s Lava kusa in 1963. While Vallabha Josyula Krishnamurthy wrote the script, Prabhala Satyanarayana composed music for the film. Famous theatre artist Parupalli Subbarao played the role of Lord Ram and Senior Sriranjani played Sita. The film was a huge success, which rained money on the producer. Actress Sriranjani received great appreciation and she was treated no less than the goddess Sita wherever she used to go.
Almost two decades later, Shankara Reddy, the producer of the film Charana Dasi happened to watch a small play of NTR and Anjali Devi in the roles of Ram and Sita respectively. Watching them adorn those roles perfectly, he decided to make Lava Kusa in color. C. Pullayya who made the first Lava Kusa was the only director the producer had in mind and the preparations for the biggest project took off with script writer Sada Sivabrahmam, music composer Ghantasala and dialogue writers Samudrala Senior, Kosa Raju and Sada Sivabrahmam. The film started on Feb 5th 1959 and faced a lot of issues and unexpected delays. Financial issues, ill health of the director affected the production but even then it was successfully completed and released on 29th March, 1963. Needless to mention how big a blockbuster the film is, which is considered a masterpiece till date. Interestingly during the production stage of Lava Kusa, a Malayalam film called Sita was made based on the same story of Lava Kusa. It was dubbed into Telugu with the same name (Sita) which had famous Mallu actors Prem Nazir and Kuchala kumari in the lead roles.
A special mention goes to the film Sri Rama Rajyam, which was released recently in 2011. This modern age of films, where no mythological films are to be seen, director Bapu came up with the same story of Uttara Rama Charitra and made Sri Rama Rajyam with stars like Bala Krishna and Nayana Tara. Nayana Tara received Filmfare and Nandi awards for best actress for her brilliant portrayal of goddess Sita in the film.