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Sattiraju Lakshmi Narayana, also known as Bapu, was born on 15 December 1933 in Narsapur, West Godavari district, Andhra Pradesh, India. He is a filmmaker in the Telugu film industry. He is also a popular artist, painter, cartoonist, and designer.

He graduated as a lawyer from University of Madras in 1955.

He joined as political cartoonist for the newspaper Andhra Patrika in 1955.


[edit] Painting Style

Bapu introduced a style of painting that uses simple bright colours. His unique style of economy of strokes, freehand drawing and lack of background clutter makes his paintings simple, beautiful and popular. He specializes in Hindu mythological characters and has painted the Hindu epic Ramayana as a pictorial story. In his paintings, characters like Shiva, Bhima, Duryodhana look distinctly male with wide chests, bigger jaws and large biceps, while Krishna and Rama are more feminine in build. All his female characters (including the Hindu goddesses) have doe-like eyes, a waist-hip ratio of 0.7, voluptuous breasts, long hair and a sharp nose. In fact, the phrase [Bapu Bomma] ("Bapu's painting") has become synonymous with a beautiful Telugu girl. Another character called Rendu Jadala Seetha ("Seetha with two plaits") later became a synonym for any girl wearing her hair in two plaits.

Bapu has also introduced a new style of cursive writing in Telugu. This font is his own handwriting and reflects the same simplicity as his art.

[edit] Collaborations with other artists

He worked with Satyam Sankaramanchi and drew a hundred and one pictures for each of the stories in Amaravati Kathalu.

He is the popular half of the Bapu-Ramana (Mullapudi Venkata Ramana) pair that made movies that went on to define subtlety in Telugu cinema. Ramana provided an able foil, providing script/dialogue that suited Bapu's visuals and this celebrated friendship and professional associatioon gave many good cinemas. He collaborated with him and gave life to Mullapudi's characters Budugu and his family in the form of pictures.

He helped to unearth great artists such as Ravu Gopal Rao, and get the best out of those such as Rajendra Prasad and Aamani.

[edit] Movies directed by Bapu

  • Saakshi (The Witness), 1967
  • Bangaru Pichika (The Golden Bird), 1968
  • Buddhimanthudu (The Good Boy), 1969
  • Inti Gowravam (Honour of the House), 1970
  • Balaraju Katha (The Story of Balaraju), 1970
  • Sampoorna Ramayanam (The Complete Ramayana), 1971
  • Andhala Ramudu(The Handsome Rama), 1973
  • Sri Ramanjaneya Yuddham (The War between Rama and Hanuman), 1974
  • Muthyala Muggu, 1975
  • Seetha Kalyanam (The Wedding of Sita), 1976
  • Sri Rajeswari Vilas Coffee Club, 1976
  • Bakta Kannappa (Worshipper Kannappa), 1976
  • Seeta Swayamvar, 1976
  • Sneham (Friendship), 1977
  • Manavoori Pandavulu(Pandavas of Our Village), 1978
  • Gorantha Deepam(The Flickering Lamp), 1978
  • Anokha Shivbhakt, 1978
  • Toorupu Velley Railu(The Train Going East), 1979
  • Vamsa Vriksham(The Family Tree), 1980
  • Rajadhi Raju (The King of Kings), 1980
  • Pandanti Jeevitham, 1980
  • Kaliyuga Ravanaasurudu (Demon Ravana of Kaliyug), 1980
  • Hum Paanch (We Five), 1980
  • Tyagayya (the life of Saint Tyagaraja), 1981
  • Radha Kalyanam (The Marriage of Radha), 1981
  • Bezubaan (The Mute), 1981
  • Krishnavatharam(The Incarnation of Krishna), 1982
  • Pelleedu Pillalu (The Marriageable Children), 1982
  • Neethi Devan Mayagugiran (Even the God of Justice Is Confused), 1982
  • Edi Dharmam Edi Nyayam (What Is Truth? What Is Justice?), 1982
  • Manthri gari Viyyankudu, 1983
  • Woh Saat Din (Those Seven Days), 1983
  • Seethamma Setha (The Doings of Seetha), 1984
  • Mohabbat (The Love), 1985
  • Pyari Behna (Beloved Sister), 1985
  • Bullet, 1985
  • Jackie, 1985
  • Mera Dharam (My Duty), 1986
  • Pyaar Ka Sindoor (The Vermilon of Love), 1986
  • Kalyana Thamboolam (The Betrothal), 1986
  • Diljala (Heartburn), 1987
  • Prem Pratigyaa (The Oath of Love), 1989
  • Pelli Pustakam (The Book of Marriage), 1991
  • Mr.Pellam (Mr.Wife), 1993
  • Srinadha Kavi Sarvabhoumudu, 1993
  • Pelli Koduku, 1994
  • Pramaatma, 1994
  • Rambantu(The Servant of Rama), 1996
  • Radha Gopalam (Radha and Gopalam), 2005.

Hindi Movies are Hum Paanch, Bezubaan, Pyari Behna, Mohobbat, Mera Dharam, Diljala, Woh Saath Din and Prem Pratigya.

[edit] Style

The most notable achievement in his movie making is his success in capturing the nativity of the Telugu people and translating it great on-screen visuals. His movies deal with very real familial troubles and relationships but most movies have a recurring theme of magic realism, with vignettes of mythological characters aiding in the narration.

Most of his movies have a female protagonist; this was, and remains, a breakaway style from the formulaic movies that relegate female lead characters to song and dance numbers. His penchant for preserving the Telugu nativity in his movies can be seen in the choice of artists, especially the dusky female leads and very un-intimidating villains, which is uncommon in the industry. The pace is relatively slow, the humor spontaneous and innocent and the visuals captivating.

[edit] Other works

Bapu has designed some saris. The collection of saris used in the 1991 movie Pelli Pustakam were designed by Bapu.

[edit] Awards and Acclaim

Bapu was awarded the Raghupathi Venkaiah Award by the State Government of Andhra Pradesh for his "outstanding contribution to Telugu cinema" in 1986. He shared the award with his soul-mate Mullapudi Venkata Ramana.

Bapu was conferred with the prestigious Raja-Lakshmi Award in the year 1982 from Sri Raja-Lakshmi Foundation, Chennai.

There is a Telugu saying from Koonalamma Padalu in praise of Bapu:

  • Konte Bommala Bapu,
  • Konni Tharamula Sepu,
  • Gunde OOyala-loopu,
  • O Koonalammaa.

("Bapu's paintings sway the hearts for generations")

In fact, he is much more talented than the noted M.F. Hussain and a lot more simple and down-to-earth individual free of any controversies. It is sad that the Government of India haven't as yet honoured him with a deserving Padma Award.

[edit] See Also

List of Telugu Films (1931-2008)

19311932193319341935193619371938193919401941194219431944194519461947194819491950195119521953195419551956195719581959196019611962196319641965196619671968196919701971197219731974197519761977197819791980198119821983198419851986198719881989199019911992199319941995199619971998199920002001200220032004200520062007200820092010Upcoming Telugu Movies

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