Indra story at a glance
Rayalseema films were on vogue during post 90s with a series of films like Preminchukundam Raa, Antahpuram, Samarasimha Reddy, Narasimha Naidu and continuing even with Aadi starring Jr.NTR. It was a real challenge to make a film in the same theme with better star value and more powerful story telling. It was Ashwani Dutt, producer of Vyjayanthi Moies who could make such dare with Chiranjeevi , Sonali Bendre and Aarti Agarwal in the lead. Great backdrop of Kaasi, amazing sequences, dialogues and songs made this film an all time successful film in Chiranjeevi’s career.
The film begins in Kaasi with taxi driver Shankar Narayana (Chiranjeevi) and his peaceful living family there. Shankar Narayana’s niece Nandini has a best friend named Pallavi (Sonali Bendre). Pallavi is the daughter of Governor Chenna Kesava Reddy (Prakash Raj) who falls for Shankar Narayana in the first sight. She challenges her friend Nandini saying she will generate love interest in Shankar Narayana. The film goes in quite entertaining manner when Pallavi comes to Shankar Narayana’s house as an innocent traveler and her father is in search of her. The shock arrives when Chenna Kesava Reddy sees Shankar Narayana and apologises him leading to everyone’s shock. The film takes a shocking turn when Valmiki (Tanikella Bharani) tells the real face of Shankar Narayana- Indra Sena Reddy of Rayalaseema region.
Indra Sena Reddy is a powerful man in Rayalaseema who is ready to help out the poor and fight over injustice. Shivaraj (Mukesh Rishi)’s family is a rival of Indra’s family and lot of fights happen between them. Things change when Snehalata Reddy (Aarti Agarwal), the daughter of Shivaraj decides to marry Indra and a business deal of giving Shivaraj’s lands for poor people’s water reservoir for the marriage to happen. Right when the marriage was supposed to commence, Shivaraj’s family brutally kills Indra’s family members and Sneha becomes heartbroken seeing an agitated Indra killing her own people. Rest of the story is about how Indra seeks the revenge and saves the people of his village.
Chiranjeevi is excellent as taxi driver Shankar Narayana in the first half and the Rayalaseema Landlord Indra in the second half. His histrionics dramatically change depending on the characterization and his comedy timing is phenomenal. Sonali Bendre is adorable and beautiful as the female lead opposite Chiranjeevi and she does an excellent job in dance performances as well. Aarti Agarwal is good as the vengeful female lead who holds grudge on Indra. Tanikella Bharani is great as Valmiki and his dialogue delivery for pre interval bang is one of the highlights in the film. Brahmanandam, MS Narayana, AVS and Dharmavarapu Subrahmaynam offer a great deal of comic relief during the first half. Mukesh Rishi is adequate as the villain. Prakash Raj does justice to the little role he gets – making an impact.
Dialogues by Paruchuri Brothers and Chinni Krishna form a major impact for the overall feel o the film. Let it be comedy, revenge, sentiment, anger- the film has it all. One liners like “Mokke Kada ani peekithe..peeka kostha” became all time favourites. Cinematography by V.S.R.Swami is good in the Kaasi backdrop along with Rayalaseema regions. Music by Mani Sharma is brilliant and songs like Bham Bham Bole, Daayi Daayi Damma, Ghallu Ghallu became top hits of all time. The “Veena Step” performed by Chiranjeevi for Daayi Daayi Damma choreographed by Lawrence became most influential step in Telugu Cinema. Direction by B.Gopal is power packed and never falters with each scene.
Cast and Crew:
Shankar Narayana/Indra- Chiranjeevi
Pallavi –Sonali Bendre
Snehalata Reddy- Aarti Agarwal
Shivaraj- Mukesh Rishi
Shankar Narayana’s servant- Shivaji
Fake Pandit in Kaasi –Brahmanandam
Fake Taxi Driver- M.S.Narayana
Fake Boatman- Dharmavarapu Subrahmanyam
Peda Picchayya- AVS
Governor Chenna Kesava Reddy- Prakash Raj
Dialogues- Paruchuri Brothers, Chinni Krishna