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A Superstar recommendation that changed story pattern in TFI - Pedarayudu

Monday, June 15, 2020 • Telugu Comments

Pedarayudu film released 25 years ago, on this day and the movie created huge sensation in the Industry. Mohan Babu who was growing as a hero after being popular as a star antagonist in many films for close to 15 years. Alludugaru, Assembly Rowdy, Rowdy Gari Pellam, Allari Mogudu, Major Chandrakanth, Brahma, Kunthiputrudu, M. Dharmaraju M.A kind of films gave him a star status even as a hero. 

But he needed a solid hit to establish his stardom and he asked Superstar Rajinikanth about such story. He suggested him the film, Nattamai. When Mohan Babu watched the film, he thought to himself whom he should ask for the role of elderly person in the flashback and even wanted few changes to suit Telugu audiences. He hired Raviraja Pinisetty, who was back then known as the best director to work on remakes. 

Raviraja and Mohan Babu discussed about the flashback and they had their own ways to tell the story. Again, Rajnikanth came into the picture and suggested few story changes that Raviraja accepted. Immediately, Mohan Babu asked him to act in the father role for him as he finds him more suited for that role. He is already playing two roles that Sarathkumar played in the original and he wanted Rajni for Vijay Kumar's role rather than asking the actor to reprise it, here. Mohan Babu felt that character will have more weight if Rajni does that. 

Rajni thought about it a lot and as he liked the film and the concept, also changes suggested by Raviraja, he accepted the offer. Rajni is believed to have given Mohan Babu initial money to buy the rights from Tamil producer. We don't know authenticity behind it, but Mohan Babu wanted his highly influential friend from Tamil Industry, help him secure the rights as many other actors were also in the queue. 

The movie shoot was started with Rajni in the father get-up and Mohan Babu in the elder son get up. The team thought about the heroines for two characters and added a song for the elder character too. They thought about Rekha, Sobhana and few others but Raviraja again suggested Bhanupriya for the role. He thought the role needed someone really elder than just who tries to look elder. 

He thought Bhanupriya looks more authentic as a Telugu girl and even Jayanthi was selected to play the Rajni sister's role upon his suggestion. The casting was set but Mohan Babu had few doubts about the movie becoming a big success as he dreamt off. After watching Rajni episodes, he got confidence that the movie will not just be a blockbuster but biggest hit in his career. Till date, it is the highest grosser in Mohan Babu's career. 

The film after release became a rage among the fans. Interestingly, for the first week, it was Rajni's role that got highest amount of positive feedback from audiences. Slowly, the dialogue that today is most famous and highly used to create memes, satires in films and dramas - "Amma Bharathi, oka English Kavi emannado Telusa - Relationship between husband and wife should be like fish and water but not like fish and fisherman, annadu. Eppudo chinnappudu chadivina chaduvu neeku English lo chebithe ardham avuthundi anukuni cheppanu grammar tappulu unte manninchu asalu ardhame tappanukunte kshaminchu!" Become a household line. Songs composed by Koti helped him in establishing himself as an individual composer after the film music became a massive success. 

Rajnikanth did not take remuneration for his role and he did help Mohan Babu before release to complete the shoot. Finally, movie became so successful that all of the next films of Mohan Babu suffered for not being able to live up to the standards of this film. The film is such a strong resemblance of team work that it will last even another 50 years not because of the novel story but the screenplay that feels fresh and scenes that last long.

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