Retrospective: Jaitrayatra (1991)

Wednesday, February 1, 2017 - 23:15

Film: Jaitrayatra (1991)
Banner: Sravanthi Movies
Technical: Cinemascope, Color, Reels: 14
Release Date: November 13, 1991

Cast: Nagarjuna as Teja, Vijayshanthi as Aruna, Chandra Mohan as Bhairagi, Tanikella Bharani as SI Philips, Krishna Baghavan, Benerjee as Sivudu, Brahmaji, Nilgal Ravi
Kakarla Vijaykumar as Krishnamurthy, Delhi Ganesh as Seetaramudu (Teja's father), Satyaprakash as Collector Ravishankar, Vasanth (Police Constable), Shanti Lata as Kaveri, Haritha, Manik Rao, Jayabhaskar as Ramakotayya
Dialogues: Tanikella Bharani
Lyrics: Seetarama Sastry, Vennelakanti, Adrushta Deepak
Playback: S.P. Balasubrahmanyam, S.P. Sailaja, Chitra
Art: Peketi Ranga
Editing: Srikar Prasad
Assistant Director: Sethupathy
Camera: Hari Anumolu
Music: S.P Balasubhramanyam
Producer: Ravi Kishore
Story, Screenplay and Direction: Uppalapati Narayana Rao 

Song Singers Lyrics Cast
Happy new year ... Zero zero hour-lO S.P. Balasubrahmanyam, Chitra Sirivennela Nagarjuna, Vijayashanti, others
okkaTai vacchaayi enDaa vaanaa S.P. Balasubrahmanyam, Chitra Vennelakanti Nagarjuna, Vijayashanti
ennaaLLammaa ennelammaa.. S.P. Balasubrahmanyam Adrusta Deepak Nagarjuna, others

neeDallE unna ninna

S.P. Balasubrahmanyam, S.P.Sailaja Sirivennela

Nagarjuna, Vijayashanti

parugu teeyani paDuchu oohani S.P. Balasubrahmanyam, Chitra Vennelakanti Nagarjuna, Vijayashanti


Teja (Nagarjuna) is a son of Seetharamudu (Delhi Ganesh) from the settlement area, where police and politicians still rule the people. How Teja goes against them and wins the war against the legal bureaucrats forms the rest of the heart-touching tale.

Uppalapati Narayana Rao speaks...

I hail from Kakinada. My uncle is already in the filmdom as a producer of films like Swargam-Narakam (Dasari), Devudu Chesina Bommalu (Hanuman Prasad), etc. From the beginning, I was more interested in films and thus I went to him and said I want to try my hand in the field. He sent me to Ravikishore gaaru and I joined the Sravanthi banner and worked with director Vamsy for Maharshi and Sree Kanakamahalakshmi Recording Dance Troupe. I then worked for Varasudocchadu with Mohan Gandhi. Though Mohan Gandhi gaaru asked me to work for Kartavyam, one of his assistants pleaded that he'd be an associate director if I didn't join the team. I thus politely declined the offer but was on the sets most of the time while Kartavyam was made. So, they acknowledged me with a special thanks card when the credits rolled.

About break as a director:

It was Nagarjuna who made a director out of me. Actually, I was then not yet ready to direct a film by myself. I went on behalf of Sravanthi to narrate a story to him which was supposed to be directed by K. Raghavendra Rao gaaru. Nagarjuna liked the way I narrated the story and asked me to direct a film for the Annapurna banner. I said I was not ready to direct the film and that I needed more experience.

He said he will give me as much time as I might need and that I could use his guesthouse as my work place until then, adding that I'd be paid a monthly salary under the Annapurna banner until I am done with the story and script. Later, Ravikishore gaaru came and said that he'd produce the film. I should be thankful to both of them as they trusted with a rank newcomer and gave complete freedom to let me go with my thoughts. 

About the story and shooting:

I used to watch a lot of art films at that time. If you remember the film, there's a satirical scene in the film where Vijayashanti says she had got two tickets for Adoor Gopalkrishnan's film and Nag starts walking in the slow motion saying that it is art film walk. I know I cannot make an art film with a star like Nagarjuna, but I wanted to make a realistic film as I did not know much about the commercial elements back then. ...I agree that even now I do not know, in fact. A robbery was done at Simhachalam in those days and it was pointed to the settlement area. I thought that was a right subject. I went there and spent time with them for twenty days, living among them and knowing the facts. The scenes shown in the film are mostly true, real incidents that were happening there. I just added some cinematic elements to the reality. The shooting was mostly done in Gundrayakuppam, Nagari, Puttur, Madanapally, Horsely Hills (climax) and in Hyderabad.

About the cast:

I came from the stage background. Thus, most of the people who worked in the film were from the stage too. I met Kakarla Vijay Kumar at the 100 days function of Kartavyam. When I saw him, I thought he was the right person for the role of Krishnamurthy. So, I went to him and asked if he would like to do the role in the film. He said he did not have any experience in acting. I said I'd take care of it and that he could come and meet me in Hyderabad if he's interested. He came back and he did a great job too! I was an ardent fan of K. Balachander gaaru. Delhi Ganesh was regular in the plays of Balachander. So, I selected him for the father role of Nagarjuna. I worked with Vijayashanti in Kartavyam. When I narrated the story, she agreed to do the film, but after completing the film, she felt the role was not a lengthy one and she was upset with me. I made the movie exactly like I narrated to her. Keeping her image of Kartavyam in mind, we even included a fight for her in the climax...

 About the crew:

As I worked with Ilayaraja gaaru for three films, our first choice was definitely he, but he was very busy at that time. It was Ilayaraja gaaru who suggested S.P. Balasubrahmayam's name. if you see the BGM, you can clearly see the influence of Ilayaraja gaaru in the film.

I became close to Tanikella Bharani while making the films Sree Kanakamahalakshmi Recording Dance Troupe and Varasudocchadu. You also know how Shiva was a big hit at that time. So he was our one and only choice for dialogue-writing. It's interesting to see how many different ways he used the word "Chaa!". Hari Anumolu is the best cameraman; he's a regular crewmember in Sravanthi banner. The shot division and the continuation to the next shot ...everything I wrote in the screenplay itself, and he executed it all very brilliantly, true to my own imagination and visualization.

I should appreciate Nagarjuna as he was not bothered about glamour or anything. I wanted him to look a simple guy who lives like we all do, just a normal guy who dressed normally; we used spectacles for a typical look. The fights are also was made very realistically and believably. Remember Sethupathy who directed the film called Pandem with Jagapathi Babu and Kalyani? He worked as an assistant director for this film.

Hari Anumolu speaks...
Most of the shots were already in the screenplay! Uppalapati wrote what he wanted in the script itself and I just followed it. The reason for the film not doing well was because the second half did not have as much entertainment as the first half, and it looked like an art film in parts. It didn't go well with the audiences' expectations thus.

Article by : Sri Atluri