Sita Rama Kalyanam (1961 film)
Sita Rama Kalyanam (transl. The marriage of Seeta and Rama) is a 1961 Indian Telugu-language Hindu epic film, produced by N. Trivikrama Rao under the National Art Theaters banner and directed by N. T. Rama Rao. It stars N. T. Rama Rao, B. Saroja Devi and music composed by Gali Penchala Narasimha Rao. The movie was a blockbuster and garnered name for NTR for portraying and emphasizing Ravana character. The movie is also famous for its song "Seetaramula kalyanam chutamu rarandi".
The film was dubbed into Tamil with the same title and was released on 3 February 1961.
|Sita Rama Kalyanam|
|Directed by||N. T. Rama Rao|
|Written by||Samudrala Sr (dialogues)|
|Screenplay by||Dhanekula Buchi Venkata Krishna Chowdhary|
|Story by||Dhanekula Buchi Venkata Krishna Chowdhary|
|Produced by||N. Trivikrama Rao|
|Starring||N. T. Rama Rao|
B. Saroja Devi
|Music by||Gali Penchala Narasimha Rao|
National Art Theaters
The film begins with Nandi obstructing Ravana (N. T. Rama Rao) to reach Kailasa as it is a private time of Lord Siva. Thereupon, a rift erupts between them when Nandi curses Ravana that Vaanaras (monkeys) will be main cause of his death. Nevertheless, Ravana performs a severe penance that shakes the foundations of Kailasa. Aroused, Siva delights him as invincible whereby, he trounces the universe. Once on his journey, he falls for the beauty of Rambha and molests her. Being cognizant of it, Nalakubara (Saradhi) curses him to atomize when he aspires to possess any woman without her wish. However, his ferocity reaches the summit, when all the creators bow before Lord Vishnu (Haranath), one that gives assurance of salvation to eliminate the monster. Meanwhile, Lakshmi Devi (Geethanjali) takes birth as Vedavathi on Earth. At one juncture, Ravana lusts for her when she immediately sacrifices herself with a curse to reborn as a cause for the destruction of his dynasty. Right now, Ravana brings her ashes which appalls Mandodari (B. Saroja Devi). So, she discards the box and buries it on either side of the sea. Meanwhile, Dasaratha (Chittor V. Nagaiah), the king of Ayodhya is perturbed as he is childless, so he conducts Putrakameshti Yaaga with his 3 wives, as a result, they are blessed with 4 sons who are the reincarnations of Lord Vishnu, Adhi Sesha, Shankha, and Chakra as Rama, Lakshmana, Bharata, and Shatragnya. Meanwhile, Janaka (Mikkilineni), the king of Mithila, while tilling the ground, finds the box enclosing the baby whom he rears as Seeta. Time passes, Saint Viswamitra (Gummadi) arrives and seeks to send Rama and Lakshmana (Shobhan Babu) for the protection of his Yaga. Soon, Viswamitra endorses them with powerful armaments by which they destroy Tataki and Marichasubhahulu and accomplish the Yaga. Just as Janaka announces Swayamvaram to Seeta, learning it, Viswamitra moves to Mithila along with Rama and Lakshmana. On the way, Rama makes a stone form of Ahalya into normal. Here, the challenge is to affix the world-renowned bow of Lord Siva. However, Ravana too arrives without an invitation but fails and gets humiliated. All at once, Rama lifts the bow and breaks it. Knowing it, enraged Parasurama (K. V. S. Sarma) lands and confronts Rama. Later, he realizes him as his own reincarnation and backs up. Finally, the movie ends on a happy note with the phenomenal wedding of Seeta and Rama.
- N. T. Rama Rao as Ravana
- B. Saroja Devi as Mandodari
- Haranath as Lord Rama / Lord Vishnu
- Geetanjali as Goddess Sita / Goddess Lakshmi / Vedavati
- Kanta Rao as Narada
- Sobhan Babu as Lakshmana
- Chittoor V. Nagaiah as Dasharatha
- Mikkilineni as Janaka
- Gummadi as Vishwamitra
- K. V. S. Sarma as Parashurama
- Kommineni Seshagiri Rao as Bharata
- M. Kameshwara Rao as Lord Brahma
- Udaykumar as Kumbhakarna
- A. V. Subba Rao Jr. as Vibhishana
- Arja Janardhana Rao as Hiranyakashipu
- Kasturi Siva Rao as Vaishya
- Sarathi as Nalakubara
- Master Nagaraju as Prahlada / Young Lakshmana
- Chhaya Devi as Sumedha Devi (Janaka's wife)
- Swarna as Soorpanakha
- Kuchala Kumari as Rambha
N. T. Rama Rao's portrayal of the demon king Ravana (the antagonist of the Hindu epic Ramayana) in Bhookailas (1958) earned him critical acclaim. However, after the release of its Kannada-language version Bhookailasa in the same year which featured a different cast and crew, Rama Rao's portrayal was often compared with that of Rajkumar who played Ravana. This, along with Ravana's reputation as a renowned Shiva devotee, made Rama Rao consider reprising the role in another film which focused on a more layered representation of the character. He and writer Samudrala Raghavacharya studied Ravana's arcs from various versions of Ramayana and other mythologies. Later, Rama Rao's friend Dhanekula Buchi Venkata Krishna Chowdhary came up with a story which they liked, and Raghavacharya wrote the dialogues, songs and poems. Though the film's narrative was centered around Ravana, Raghavacharya named the film Sita Rama Kalyanam after Ramayana's protagonists Rama and Sita.
Rama Rao's brother N. Trivikrama Rao decided to produce the film for his company National Art Theatre and approached the former's mentor K. V. Reddy to direct the film. Reddy declined the offer, saying that he could not envision Rama Rao playing a demon. Rama Rao then decided to direct the film himself, marking his directorial debut. He, however, refrained from crediting himself as the director and instead paid homage to his parents. When Trivikrama Rao suggested that Rama Rao should play a dual role as both Rama and Ravana, the latter refused and chose to work with younger actors. He met Haranath at Pondy Bazaar and signed him to play Rama. Sobhan Babu was cast as Rama's brother Lakshmana. Impressed with her cameo appearance in Rani Ratnaprabha (1960), Rama Rao cast Geetanjali for the role of Sita. B. Saroja Devi, Gummadi and V. Nagaiah were cast in key supporting roles. Sita Rama Kalyanam also marked Kanta Rao's first on-screen appearance as Narada, a mythological character which he would reprise later in multiple unrelated Telugu language films.
Rama Rao approached M. A. Rahman, the cinematographer of the former's acting debut Mana Desam (1949), to collaborate for this film as the director of photography. When Rahman was unavailable, he signed Ravikant Nagaich for the job, marking the latter's debut in Telugu cinema. S. P. S. Veerappa edited the film and I. N. Murthy served as the co-director. All the sequences were filmed in sets erected at the Vijaya Vauhini Studios in Madras (now Chennai). For filming the Ravananugraha sequence, Nagaich opted for using mask shots capturing varying expressions of Rama Rao instead of working with nine dummy heads. This took more than ten hours to shoot, and Rama Rao had to stay motionless for longer intervals.
S. Rajeswara Rao was signed to compose the film's soundtrack and score. He worked on the song "Kanarara Kailasa Nivasa" and a poem "Jayatwada Bravibhrama" before walking out of the film citing creative differences with Rama Rao. Gali Penchala Narasimha Rao replaced him and composed the score and the remaining songs. Raghavacharya wrote the lyrics for all the songs and composed the poems. Emani Sankara Sastry recited the veena for the Ravananugraha sequence. The soundtrack was released on 31 December 1961 and was marketed by HMV (now Saregama).
|S. No||Song Title||Singers||length|
|1||Deva Deva Parandhama||P. B. Srinivas||3:38|
|2||Kanarara Kailasa Nivasa||Ghantasala||4:11|
|3||Jagadeka Matha Gauri||Ghantasala||3:21|
|6||Sashtiryojana||M. S. Rama Rao||1:05|
|8||Padmasane||M. S. Rama Rao||0:54|
|9||Veena Padave||P. Susheela||3:44|
|10||Inupa Kattadal||P. B. Srinivas||0:38|
|11||Sarasala Javaralanu||P. Leela||4:12|
|16||Veyi Kannulu||P. Leela||2:57|
|17||Kowsalya Supraja||M. S. Rama Rao||0:52|
|18||Nandhinavamaninchi||P. B. Srinivas||0:52|
|19||Pooni Bommaku||P. Leela||0:51|
|20||Bhoomiki||P. B. Srinivas||0:42|
|21||Chiru Nagavu||P. B. Srinivas||0:50|
|22||Jagadeka Matha Gauri||P. Susheela||3:22|
|23||Sree Raghavam||M. S. Rama Rao||1:01|
|24||O Sukumara||Ghantasala, P. Susheela||3:14|
|25||Sri Seetaramula Kalyanamu||P. Susheela||5:49|
|26||Hey Rama Rama||M. S. Rama Rao||0:52|
|27||Mangalam||M. S. Rama Rao||1:22|
- Ad in Kalki magazine of 5 February 1861
- Narasimham, M. L. (14 April 2016). "SITA RAMA KALYANAM (1961)". The Hindu. Archived from the original on 9 May 2021. Retrieved 9 May 2021.
- "అరవై ఏళ్ళ 'సీతారామ కళ్యాణం'" ['Seeta Rama Kalyanam' turns 60] (in Telugu). NTV Telugu. 6 January 2021. Archived from the original on 9 May 2021. Retrieved 9 May 2021.
- "నటసార్వభౌముని విశ్వరూపం.. 'సీతారామ కళ్యాణం'" [Natasarvabhouma's masterpiece... 'Seeta Rama Kalyanam'] (in Telugu). ETV Telugu. 6 January 2021. Archived from the original on 9 May 2021. Retrieved 9 May 2021.
- Narasimha Rao, Gali Penchala (31 December 1961). "Seetharama Kalyanam (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)". iTunes. Archived from the original on 3 June 2021. Retrieved 3 June 2021.
- "8th National Film Awards". International Film Festival of India. Archived from the original on 12 October 2013. Retrieved 7 September 2011.