Batasari (transl. Wayfarer) is a 1961 Telugu-language drama film, produced and directed by Ramakrishna under the Bharani Pictures banner. It stars P. Bhanumathi and Akkineni Nageswara Rao with music composed by Master Venu. The film was simultaneously made in Tamil as Kaanal Neer. It is based on the Bengali novel Bada Didi, written by Saratchandra Chatterjee.
|Screenplay by||Samudrala Sr|
|Based on||Bada Didi|
by Saratchandra Chatterjee
Akkineni Nageswara Rao
|Edited by||V. Venkat|
|Music by||Master Venu|
|Distributed by||Navayuga Films|
Surendranath/Suren (ANR) is the son of a Zamindar (Ramanna Panthulu). His good-hearted stepmother (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 and 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 Siva Chandra (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.
- P. Bhanumathi as Madhavi
- Akkineni Nageswara Rao as Surendranath "Suren"
- J. V. Ramana Murthy as Siva Chandra
- Mudigonda Lingamurthy as Diwan Alwar
- Vangara as Pullaiah
- B. R. Panthulu Apparao
- Vinnakota Ramanna Pantulu as Raghavaiah
- Boddapati as Anjaiah
- Doraiswamy as Zamindar of Dharapuram
- Shavukaru Janaki as Shanthi
- Devika as Manorama
- Suryakantham as Sundaramma
- Chaya Devi as Poornamma
- L. Vijayalakshmi as Dancer
- Lakshmirajyam as Dancer
- Baby Sasikala as Prameela
|Film score by|
Music composed by Master Venu. Lyrics were written by Samudrala Sr.
|S. No||Song Title||Singers||length|
|1||"O Batasari"||Bhanumathi Ramakrishna||2:54|
|2||"Kanulakudoche Chetikandani"||Bhanumathi Ramakrishna, Jikki||2:45|
|3||"Lokamerugani Baala"||Bhanumathi Ramakrishna||3:23|
|4||"Uppakara Chinthaye"||Bhanumathi Ramakrishna||3:02|
|6||"O Maata"||P. Susheela||3:16|
Ramakrishna gave the film the working title Yendamavulu, but later changed it to Batasari and released it on 30 June 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 superstar, 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 a domineering actress like Bhanumathi, it was really a tough task to underplay. 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.
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 complemented by Ramakrishna's neat and clean on-screen presentation with visuals from cinematographer V. Venkat coupled with crisp editing by M. Sundaram.
Kaanal Neer (Mirages), the Tamil version was released on 21 July 1961. ANR, Bhanumathi, Janaki, Devika and Suryakantham enacted their respective roles. Though termed classics, both versions did not do well at the turnstile.
The Ramakrishna and ANR combo returned the same year on 9 December with the box office hit, Sabhash Raja a remake of the Hindi film, Bhai Bhai.