Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||P. S. Ramakrishna Rao|
P. S. Ramakrishna Rao|
Saratchandra Chatterjee (story)|
Samudrala Raghavacharya (lyrics, dialogues and screenplay)
A. Nageswara Rao|
J. V. Ramana Murthy
|Music by||Master Venu|
|21 July 1961|
Batasari is a 1961 Telugu drama film directed and produced by P. S. Ramakrishna Rao and P. Bhanumathi under Bharani Pictures. The film is starring A. Nageswara Rao and P. Bhanumathi in lead roles. It was simultaneously made in Tamil language entitled Kaanal Neer.
Surendranath/Suren (ANR) is the son of a zamindar (Ramanna Panthulu). His good-hearted step mother (Suryakantham) keeping in mind his health objects to his going to London for higher studies. A peeved Suren leaves home, reaches Madras, and stays with a rich man Apparao (B.R. Panthulu) as a tutor to his younger daughter Pramila (Baby Sasikala). Widowed even before she attained womanhood, Madhavi (Bhanumathi) the eldest daughter of Apparao learns about the distrait ways of Suren, provides him with all his needs. When she writes about Suren to her friend Manorama (Devika), Manorama cautions her about showing too much interest in him. Hurt by her servant’s (Chayadevi) gossip about her and Suren and also for neglecting his duty as a teacher, Madhavi chides Suren. Upset, he leaves on an aimless journey, meets with an accident and his father takes him home. Suren marries Shanti (‘Shavukaru’ Janaki) but his heart longs for Madhavi. After performing her brother Sivachandra (Ramanamurthy)’s marriage, Madhavi hands over responsibilities to his wife (Mohana) and leaves for her home inherited from her husband but finds that house under auction due to a plot hatched by Suren’s estate manager (Mudigonda Lingamurthy). Not knowing it was Suren, Madhavi goes to confront the zamindar. Meanwhile Suren learns about the manager’s wicked ways and despite his grave illness rushes on horseback to meet Madhavi to give her house documents. They meet. She expresses a wish to see his wife Shanti while he struggles to express his love for her. He dies in her lap.
|A. Nageswara Rao||Surendranath|
|Devika||Manorama, friend of Madhavi|
|Sowcar Janaki||Wife of Surendranath|
|J. V. Ramana Murthy||Brother of Madhavi|
|Mudigonda Lingamurthy||Diwan of Zamindari|
|Suryakantham||Mother of Surendranath|
|Chaya Devi||Maid of Madhavi (Poorna)|
Sarat’s characters talked in chaste Telugu thanks to Samudrala Raghavacharya’s dialogues carried the right balance of emotions throughout and heart touching in the climax scene. They were complimented by Ramakrishna’s neat and clean on-screen presentation with visuals from cinematographer V. Venkat coupled with crisp editing by M. Sundaram.
- "Kanera Kamandhulai Manera Unmadulai" (Lyrics: Samudrala Raghavacharya; Singer: Bhanumathi)
- "Kanulakudoche Chetikandani Endamavulunnai" (Lyrics: Samudrala; Singers: Bhanumathi and Jikki; Cast: Devika and Bhanumathi)
- "Lokamerugani Baala Deeni Pokada Chitramu Chaala" (Lyrics: Samudrala; Singer: Bhanumathi; Cast: Bhanumathi)
- "O Batasari Nanu Maruvakoyi" (Lyrics: Samudrala; Singer: Bhanumathi; Cast: Bhanumathi)
Ramakrishna gave the working title Yendamavulu but later changed it to Batasari and released it on June 30, 1961. Before and during the shoot, for inspiration, ANR was asked by Ramakrishna to watch Uttam Kumar’s performance from Baradidi, a print of which he brought from Kolkata. ANR did heed to his advice and even donned the getup just like the Bengali super star but held to his own on histrionics. It was not easy to look pensive all through the film playing the introvert submerged in his own world and with measured dialogue delivery akin to method acting. ANR simply excelled. No wonder, he considered Suren as his best portrayal among his 250 plus films. For domineering actress like Bhanumathi, it was really a tough task to under play. With subdued performance, as Madhavi torn between tragic personal life and tradition, she proved one more time her brilliance. In Batasari Janaki held her own as the assertive and understanding wife of Suren.
Kaanal Neer (Mirages), the Tamil version which was released on July 21, 1961. ANR, Bhanumathi, Janaki, Devika and Suryakantham enacted their respective roles. Though termed classics, both versions did not do well at the turnstile.
- Bhanumathi Ramakrishna won the Filmfare Best Actress Award (Telugu) for portrayal as Madhavi character in 1961.
The Ramakrishna and ANR combo returned the same year on December 9th with the box office hit, Sabhash Raja a remake of the Hindi film, Bhai Bhai.