Lava Kusa and its legacy in Indian Cinema

Lava Kusa deals with the Uttara Kanda of Ramayanam, which follows Rama and Sita’s life after they have won the war, and after Rama brings back Sita to Ayodhya from Lanka. This part of Ramayana deals with Rama and Sita’s sons, Lava and Kusa, who grow up away from their father, and how they come to meet him in the end. Lava Kusa was made in Telugu and Tamil and released in Telugu on 29th March 1963.

Lava Kusa was the first colour movie in Telugu and started shooting in 1958, with C Pullaiah directing the film. However, due to financial constraints, the production of the film was halted very soon and was later continued by Pullaiah’s son, CS Rao, directing the remaining portions of the film, as Pullaiah wasn’t keeping well, and the film finally released in 1963. Lava Kusa was a phenomenon upon its release and ran uninterrupted in theatres for 75 weeks, which is an unbroken record to this date.

The film was showcased in several international film festivals and is noted as a classic of Telugu Cinema to date. It received a National Award as well, and once again cemented the Legendary NT Rama Rao as the Lord Rama of the masses. The euphoria of audiences watching him as Lord Rama and Lord Krishna is one that hasn’t been replicated, and one that can never be. Lava Kusa remains an epic story of a man yearning for the love of his life, after letting her go for the greater good. It tells the story of two young men idolising a man not knowing that he is their father and their journey of finally reaching home. It is a classic that will always remain in history.

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