Anarkali: The musical love story

Film: Anarkali (1955)
Cast: Akkineni Nageswara rao, Anjali Devi, SV Ranga Rao, Nagaiah
Director: Vedantam Raghavaiah

By   |  Published: 17th Jun 2017  11:00 pmUpdated: 17th Jun 2017  11:54 pm
A screenshot from the movie 'Anarkali'

The very name ‘Anarkali’ brings a smile to your face and gives you a feeling that there’s love in the air and you can feel it. Such was the love story of Salim and Anarkali in the history, even though it doesn’t seem to be based on facts. This film has attracted many sections of the audience making the producers of Anjali Pictures, which was established by Anjali Devi and her music director-husband Adinarayana Rao, happy.

While they were already working on one of the folklore films, they were attracted to the Hindi Anarkali which was a huge hit in 1953 and they immediately decided to remake it in Telugu. Apparently, the film which was in progress when they decided on Anarkali was released as Suvarna Sundari which also made history at the box office.

The plot of the Anarkali revolves around Nadira and her love for prince Salim. While Nadira was travelling to Agra from Persia, she meets prince Salim on her way. The prince is bowled by the sweetness in her voice and falls in love with her immediately, but introduces himself as a soldier to win her love. After confessing their love to each other, they keep meeting regularly at the anar (pomegranate) garden and that’s how she was comes to be called as ‘Anarkali’, the blossom of the pomogrenate fruit.

When Salim is severely injured while fighting in the battlefield and goes into a coma, Anarakli will be singing somewhere close to the palace and her voice brings Salim back to consciousness. That’s when, blissfully unaware of their relationship, king Akbar decides to make her the court dancer. Here comes the twist as Gulnar, the former court dancer, is shattered as her secret ambitions of getting married to the prince are ruined as the prince seems to like the new dancer.

On the day of Salim’s coronation, a vengeful Gulnar mixes alcohol in Anarkali’s drink which makes Anarkali express her love for Salim in front of everyone. Annoyed by her actions, Akbar orders his soldiers to imprison her. After certain discussions, it will be ordered that a capital punishment has to be given to the lovers. Soldiers take Anarkali to a distant place to bury her alive. Upon learning this, Salim rushes to the place. Unfortunately, by the time he reaches, Anarkali is buried and all Salim can do is sit there, cry and die on her grave.

The beautiful love story, with its set of scheming, twists and turns, has since been re-told in many Indian languages. The melodious songs from the film like Rajasekhara neepai moju teeraledura, Jeevithame saphalamu, O sipayi and Kalise nelaraju are unforgettable to this day.