A refreshing change is blowing in Telugu Cinema. The change has come from unexpected quarters and this change has the potential to sweep the cinematic language of Telugu Cinema to another level. For the past few years, Telugu cinema was often ridiculed for not scoring at the National scene whenever the National Awards are announced. Even this time was the same story but what provided succor to the film lovers was the short film named “Adwaitham” which was directed by a wannabe director, Pradeep Madugula. And what a beautiful harmony, Adwaitham proved to be. It truly deserved the Award which was conferred by the jury.
There are very few feature films in Indian cinema which talk about the casteist differences which are prevalant in the society of India. Most of the film makers do not address the issue for the fear of criticism and controversy. Even the few who do make a point often mar the issue with radicalistic cliches which always deny such cinema an universal appeal. But Pradeep makes a strong point with his Adwaitham. He shows a humane story of emotions and friendship which always existed.
The two protagonists of Adwaitham, Ayyagaru and Mallayya are bosom buddies who cannot live without each other. Their day is not complete without competing with each other. Though their friendship is often viewed down by the surrounding society which imposes ruthless barriers on such friendship, the duo just complete each other. They compete with their musical instruments and later take a race. They see cinema together (though secretly) and travel on the same cycle. But their pure friendship is stopped at their hearts by the society which castigates them by caste. One is an upper caste and the other a lower caste untouchable. Though Ayyagaru is pained, Mallayya takes it on the chin.
“Do you know what is meant by calling one Untouchable?” questions Ayyagaru to a confused Mallayya, who does not even know why he is being discriminatedd.
“Untouchable????? It means Untouchable! that’s it!” claims Mallayya leaving Ayyagaru moist eyed at his friend’s innocent life.
The conversation between the friends puts “Adwaitham” into its perspective. Its one film which focusses on the friendship and humanity rather than talking about the rights and wrongs of the society. Its in a individual on how he treats other human beings rather than the society which deprives many in the society a right to live equally. And that point is made quite emphatically by “Adwaitham” which many, who have seen this beautiful harmony, would testify wholeheartedly.
Kudos, to the team of Pradeep, Shamdat (Cinematographer) and the famed musicians (I dont remember the names) who have contributed to the experience of this moving tale.
Telugu Cinema has almost stopped showing its brilliance to the world. Whenever a feature film maker of brilliance comes into the limelight, he soon fades away due to the commercial bindings which are always seen as a hindrance. Hope Pradeep who recently stated that his ambition is to direct a full length Telugu feature would not fall into the commercial trappings and remains a film maker rather than a commercial film director.