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Devadasu 1953 story at a glance

Devadasu is a pride not only for Telugu Cinema but also for Indian Cinema. Based on a Bengali Novel by Sharath Chandra, the story was remade in several languages in different timelines in field of Films. But it is a moment of pride for Telugu Cinema because critics appreciated this version of Devadas and kept it on top. Even the Bollywood actor Dileep Kumar who played the same character in Hindi politely confessed that he couldn’t reach the level of ANRs acting in it. This film marked the beginning of a fantastic on screen pair in Telugu Cinema- ANR and Savitri!

Story Details:

Devadasu (ANR) is a rich kid of a strict father and he has a childhood friend Parvathi (Savitri) who is not from an affluent background. Devadasu and Parvathi are thick friends right from the childhood and have a fantastic bonding. While Devadasu is a short tempered individual, Parvathi admires every aspect of his and understands him through and through. Devadasu leaves the village for studies at an early age leaving Parvathi in estrangement. After they reach their youthful age, a great love story begins between Devadasu and Parvathi. But Devadasu’s father  (SVR) strictly disagrees for the alliance and Devadasu lands himself to confusion- he gets tied between family values and his love. Parvathi comes in initiation and requests Devadasu to marry her but the latter feels it is a wrong decision to go against his parents.

A distraught Parvathi gets helpless and is succumbed to a marriage to an elderly rich zamindar (CSR) who is already married by then and has kids.  Devadasu instantly realizes his mistake from then and becomes heartbroken with this estrangement. His friend takes him to Chandramukhi (Lalitha) who is a courtesan. Chandramukhi sincerely admires the lover in Devadas but the latter falls off further with excess drinking by spoiling his health. The film ends on a sad note when he yearns to see his love Parvathi for one last time but dies even before he can do that.


Devadasu’s character was most challenging for ANR as an actor. His charming looks in the initial scenes, and the confused youngster when asked to elope, or the addicted drunkard- ANR does it all with unmistakable ease. He was amazingly believable as Devadas that nobody who has seen him as Devadasu cannot imagine any other actor adorning that role. ANRs acting skills reach pinnacle when Devadasu becomes an addict to drinking and start singing philosophy and pessimism about life. Savitri was fantastic as the sincere lover of Devadasu, and the earthly housewife she becomes later in the story. The lead pair shared an amazing on screen chemistry which took the film to new levels. Lalitha delivers a classy performance as Chandramukhi and won the hearts of the audience. SVR is perfect as the strict father of Devadasu and CSR delivers another memorable performance as the elderly husband of Parvathi.

Technical Aspects:
Music by C.R.Subbaraman is one of the finest in his career and established the film as a best musical love story. Ghantasala’s singing for songs like Palleku Podam, Kudi Yedamaithe, Jagame Maaya  was flawless and turned him one of the greatest playback singers in Telugu Cinema who can emote like no other singer can. Dialogues and Lyrics by Samudrala Senior is another asset to this classic- with crystal clear words and simple meaning.  Direction by Vedantham Raghavayya goes beyond perfection in this epic.


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