Legendary actor of Telugu Cinema, Akkineni Nageswara Rao was not just a great actor who specialised in romantic and devotional roles - he’s a man of great taste. That could be evident from the films he produced. On his own Annapurna banner, still one of the most prestigious and successful production houses, he produced several classics right from the first film, Donga Ramudu.
Donga Ramudu tells the story of an unfortunate young man who’s labelled a thief for no crime of his and how that label haunted him everywhere and made his life hell. That with the help of his love, and his sister he gets a happy ending is another matter. Another film which ANR produced and achieved memorable success (having sister sentiment like Donga Ramudu) is Poola Rangadu. Here, it is the brother who helps his sister’s married life stay intact despite many schemes by villains.
One of the specialities of this film is South India’s first superstar Chittor V. Nagaiah played Nageswara Rao’s father. Jamuna who played his sister in Donga Ramudu played ANR’s love interest here. Coming to the songs (films by Annapurna banner are known for multiple chartbusters) are composed by Saluri Rajeshwara Rao. Among the songs is Chillara Rallaku Mokkutu. It was sung by Ghantasala who was known to sing for both N. T. Rama Rao and Akkineni. But this song has a speciality.
Ghantasala who was already a legend shared the singing credits with South India’s superstar Chittor V. Nagaiah. Nagaiah was an eminent singer in his own right and used to sing for himself. But as he grew old and shifted to character roles, Ghantasala or others started to sing for him. But this song is a rare incidence when Ghantasala sang alongside Nagaiah. A thespian, superstar as a film actor, producer, and director, Nagaiah clearly dominated Ghantasala to the delight of even Ghantasala, proving class is permanent.
A beautiful chartbuster of those times, its philosophical undertones still resonate in these times. Listen to this song and observe how brilliantly Nageswarao and Nagaiah shared the screen space and how they communicated with their eyes.