Palasa 1978

Palasa 1978 is a 2020 Indian Telugu-language period action thriller film written and directed by Karuna Kumar in his directorial debut.[1][2][3] The film stars Rakshith, Nakshatra, and Raghu Kunche who also composed the music. Prawin Yendamuri and Thiruveer play a supporting roles.[4][5] The film is set in 1970s in Palasa, a town in Srikakulam district of Andhra Pradesh and revolves around the incidents related to caste discrimination and untouchability.[6][7] The film was listed in the Film Companion's "Top 7 Telugu films of 2020" chart.[8]

Palasa 1978
Palasa 1978 poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byKaruna Kumar
Produced byDhyan Atluri
Written byKaruna Kumar
Nagendra Kasi
Raghu Kunche
Music byRaghu Kunche
CinematographyArul Vincent
Edited byKotagiri Venkateswara Rao
Sudhas Media
Distributed bySuresh Productions
Release date
  • 6 March 2020 (2020-03-06)
Running time
144 minutes

== Plot ==the movie starts by a man coming and beating another man asking where is he? He tells that the man is in the durga matha festival. He goes and beheaded the man. Everyone is in skock. Then the police come immediately and try to catch the man. Then finnaly one of the police officer catches up to him and asks why did he kill the man. The man tells that his name is


  • Jagadeesh Prathap Bandhari as Muthyalu
  • Mirchi Madhavi as Sri Laxmi
  • Thanmai Bolt as Gajula Gowri
  • Shanmuk as Ganapavasu
  • Sherin Santhosh as Jaggamma



Karuna Kumar debuted as a director with the film. He admitted that the film is based on the incidents happened in his own hometown.[10][11]


  As a maker of short-films, I used to work with a small crew. But when it comes to a feature film, there would be 80-100 people on set at any given time. Many wouldn't even be aware of who is the film's director. I have learned how to manage people on set. It's important like directorial skills.

— Karuna Kumar, LetsOtt[12]

Most of the actors in the film are debutants who previously worked in few short films and web-series. Rakshith, who was last seen in London Babulu (2017), was signed to play the lead role after he consulted short film director Karuna Kumar. Rakshit's family friend, Tammareddy Bharadwaja, distributed the film. Rakshith learned the Palasa dialect of Telugu for the film.[13] Thiruveer, who played the antagonist in George Reddy (2019), was signed to portray an antagonistic role.[4]


Raghu Kunche composed the music who also played the character Guru Murthy in the film. He got wide recognition for both music composition and his acting.[14] Arul Vincent in his Tollywood debut, handled the cinematography of the film. Award-winnng editor Kotagiri Venkateswara Rao who worked for popular franchise Baahubali and film like Eega, Yamadonga, Magadheera, handled the editing production.[15]


Principal shoot of the film began in late 2019.[16] Majority of the film was shot at Palasa, Srikakulam and surrounding areas.[17]

Themes and influencesEdit

The films tells primarily about the caste discrimination in India and untouchability in the 1970s period. Yogesh Maitreya of Firstpost wrote that "Historically, Indian cinema exploited the labour of Dalits in its making, whilst erasing or appropriating their stories. This was not an accidental practice. When their stories were told on screen, it would be by savarnas who also played their characters with patriarchal, sexist and casteist undertones. The scenario has slowly changed, and the identity of Dalit characters in cinema — directed by a Dalit (and a few non-Dalit) filmmakers — has become explicit, transcending boundaries of caste and class. These filmmakers have helped shape visual storytelling that combines “justice with aesthetics”. “Justice with aesthetics” was rarely present in cinema made by savarnas, or it was seldom honest. Dalit-Bahujan filmmakers have filled this gap, while creating a new wave of cinema that is more appealing to a Dalit-Bahujan audience. In this film, we examine 10 Indian films that count not only among the finest cinema the country has produced, but are also intertwined with justice, politics, and aesthetic."[18]

Another reviewer from The News Minute, Charan Teja stated "Telugu films are usually in the news for the buzz generated by their cast, crew and massive pre-release events. However, once in a while, films like Palasa 1978 garner attention due to their content and understanding of social history. The film, directed by Karuna Kumar, begins with bloodshed. After the title song, we hear the drum beats of a jatara (carnival), and the protagonist Mohan Rao (Rakshit), a Dalit man, beheads Ganapavasu, another Dalit man. The latter is a henchman of the Shavukarus, dominant caste Hindu landlords. While films on caste oppression have usually depicted Dalits as a homogeneous oppressed community, Palasa is a much more nuanced and historically authentic depiction of the violence that’s meted out in the name of caste."[19]


Palasa 1978
Soundtrack album by
ReleasedMarch 2, 2020 (2020-03-02) (Jukebox)
StudioMy Studio, Hyderabad
GenreFeature film soundtrack, Romance
LabelAditya Music
ProducerRaghu Kunche
Raghu Kunche chronology
Raagala 24 Gantallo
Palasa 1978
External audio
  Audio Jukebox on YouTube
Singles from Palasa 1978
  1. "Bavochhadu"
    Released: 23 February 2020
  2. "Nakkileesu Golusu"
    Released: 21 March 2020

The music is composed by Raghu Kunche.

Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
1."Nakkileesu Golusu"Uttarandhra JanapadamRaghu Kunche3:56
2."Baavochhadu"Uttarandhra JanapadamAditi Bhavaraju3:15
3."Ye Ooru Ye Oore"Bhaskarabhatla Ravi KumarVaikom Vijayalakshmi, Raju Jamuku Asirayya3:10
4."O Sogasari"Lakshmi BhupalaS. P. Balasubrahmanyam, Baby Pasala5:14
5."Kalavathi Kalavathi"Suddala Ashok TejaRamya Behara, Raghu Kunche4:25
6."Chinthachettukinda"Karuna KumarSandhya Koyyada1:16
Total length:21:16

Neeshita Nyayapati of The Times of India on reviewing the music, wrote that "The album of Palasa 1978 is easily one of the best albums of the year. Raghu Kunche truly does an outstanding job of staying true to the time, era and story that the film aims to explore. However, this album is not for anyone looking for the same ol’ Tollywood fare but it's definitely for you if you’re looking to expand your horizons. You won’t regret listening to it even if this kind of music may not be your first choice."[20] Another reviewer from IndiaGlitz stated "A largely middling album with three worthy songs.  The genres of the songs are in tune with the backdrop of the movie."[21]


The Times of India gave the film four out of five stars and wrote that "Highlighting the casteist nature of the state and mainstream politics, Palasa has a reference to many atrocities committed on Dalits across the country".[4] In a review of the film by The Hindu, the reviewer wrote that "Director Karuna Kumar's film is a gritty story of folk artistes picking up guns for survival".[22] A review in Sakshi appreciated director Karuna Kumar's attempt in picking up a sensitive subject like caste and opined that he succeeded in making the film appealing to all types of audiences.[23]

Sankeertan Varma of Film Companion stated "At a crucial and effecting moment in the film, Sebastian invokes Ambedkar as an example to suggest that violence isn’t the only way to deal with an unfair society. Elsewhere, we see Mohan Rao reading Kalyan’s Rao’s Antarani Vasantamwhile trying to understand his life and its purpose. This is a film that isn’t interested in being anything but informed and responsible. Telugu cinema, even it has been talking about caste oppression in the recent past, has largely been averse to stories that are explicitly political. So, to see a film that talks about caste-based oppression and its many complexities organically, without hiding behind happy endings and generic philosophies is refreshing to watch, warts and all."[24]

Jeevi of wrote that "Palasa 1978 is a realistic film that deals with the caste divide in the 80's in the backward region of Uttarandhra. The debutant director Karuna Kumar has tried to narrate it with utmost genuinity by adding some commercial touch. Plus points are realistic backdrop, characterizations, dialogues, dialect and the subject. On the flipside, the screenplay of the film is not good. Narration should have been more interesting towards the latter part of the film. Despite a few shortcomings, Palasa 1978 stands out as a genuine attempt by the director Karuna Kumar."[25]


  1. ^ Arikatla, Venkat (2020-03-06). "Palasa 1978 Movie Review: Raw and Rustic". Retrieved 2021-01-10.
  2. ^ Krishna (2020-03-06). "'పలాస 1978' మూవీ రివ్యూ." Retrieved 2021-01-10.
  3. ^ sekhar (2020-03-06). "పలాస 1978 – రివ్యూ". 10TV. Retrieved 2021-01-10.
  4. ^ a b c "Palasa 1978 Movie Review: Not your run-of-the-mill crime drama". The Times of India.
  5. ^ "Palasa 1978 has a release date! - Times of India". The Times of India.
  6. ^ "From Palasa 1978 to Orey Bujjiga, here're 5 highly anticipated Telugu movies set to release in March". The Times of India. 2020-03-02. Retrieved 2021-01-08.
  7. ^ Hooli, Shekhar H. (2020-03-06). "Palasa 1978 movie review and rating by audience: Live updates". Retrieved 2021-01-10.
  8. ^ "The Top 7 Telugu Films Of 2020". Film Companion. 2020-12-30. Retrieved 2021-01-08.
  9. ^
  10. ^ Codingest. "'Palasa 1978', a true story". NTV Telugu. Retrieved 2021-01-10.
  11. ^ "Palasa 1978 review: An honest effort". Sify. Retrieved 2021-01-10.
  12. ^
  13. ^ Chowdhary, Y. Sunita (September 16, 2019). "'Palasa 1978' doesn't advocate violence, says actor Rakshit Atluri". The Hindu.
  14. ^ "'Nakkileesu Golusu' becomes a rage and how! - Telugu News". 2020-10-01. Retrieved 2021-01-08.
  15. ^ "Palasa 1978 Movie Review And Rating - Jsnewstimes". Retrieved 2021-01-10.
  16. ^ "Palasa 1978 Movie Review: Rakshith's Telugu film is all about to action crime - See Latest". Retrieved 2021-01-10.
  17. ^ "Karuna Kumar: Palasa 1978 is inspired by true events". The New Indian Express. Retrieved 2021-01-10.
  18. ^ "Indian cinema and the Dalit identity: Karuna Kumar's Palasa 1978 is a sublime song of resistance - Entertainment News , Firstpost". Firstpost. 2020-09-22. Retrieved 2021-01-08.
  19. ^ "Why 'Palasa 1978' is an important Telugu film documenting Dalit resistance". The News Minute. 2020-03-11. Retrieved 2021-01-08.
  20. ^ "Music Review: Palasa 1978 - Times of India". The Times of India. Retrieved 2021-01-08.
  21. ^ "Palasa 1978 Music review songs lyrics". Retrieved 2021-01-08.
  22. ^ Chowdhary, Y. Sunita (March 6, 2020). "'Palasa 1978' movie review: The strong script makes it a compelling watch". The Hindu.
  23. ^ "'పలాస 1978' మూవీ రివ్యూ". Sakshi (in Telugu). 2020-03-06. Retrieved 2020-09-09.
  24. ^ Varma, Sankeertana (2020-03-06). "Palasa 1978 Movie Review: Karuna Kumar's Film Has Everything Needed To Be Great, But Is Not". Film Companion. Retrieved 2021-01-10.
  25. ^ "Palasa 1978 review by jeevi - Telugu cinema review - Rakshith, Nakshatra". Retrieved 2021-01-10.

External linksEdit