One of the first Telugu films that was made full-length in Eastman colour, Ave Kallu is still regarded as the best film in the thriller genre. An ensemble star cast of Krishna, Kanchana, Rajanala, Gummadi, Padmanabham, etc, this movie had all the ingredients to give it record-breaking success.
The plot is full of twists and turns, and it keeps the audience hooked till the very last scene. Susila (played by Kanchana) finishes her college and comes home to her family, only to find out that one by one, her family members are murdered. The serial killer calls Susila, many times, and each time reminds her that her number is next.
Scared and worried, Susila and her friends take the help of special officer Bhaskar (played by Krishna). Bhaskar tries very hard to trace the killer but is unsuccessful in his attempts. Finally, in one of the most intriguing twists, the most unexpected person of the household with a vindictive motive is revealed to be the killer.
The title – Ave Kallu, is based on the crucial element of the plot. In one of the fight sequences between Bhaskar and the antagonist, Bhaskar sees only the eyes of the killer as his face is hidden in a mask. After that incident, Bhaskar keeps searching for those eyes. In order to find the killer, he covers suspects’ faces with a mask, in such a way that only their eyes are visible, and sees if the eyes are a match.
The comedy aspect is aptly delivered by Padmanabham. Though the movie is a murder mystery, the occasional bursts of laughter make the movie easy to watch. The modern-day filmmakers can take a cue as to how to execute a gripping and thrilling plot sans gore and blood.
A half-smoked cigar and a lady in a white sari create the chills, but as soon as Bhaskar (Krishna) is in the scene, you know that even the scariest of mysteries will be unravelled. Stellar performances from stalwarts like Gummadi and Rajanala is expected but Krishna and Kanchana too are a perfect fit to their characterisation.
The music composer Veda delivered some groovy numbers. The all-time favourite retro track – Maa Voollo Oka Paduchundhi – still gets people to put on their dance shoes. Other songs like Mudduloluku chinnadi, Oh oh enthati andam and Chelini chentaku are equally attractive to this day.
All in all, a movie made in 1967 which is still amazing to watch even today. So, this summer afternoon, enjoy Ave Kallu with your family and for those who haven’t seen it before, keep guessing who the killer is.
Cast: Krishna, Kanchana, Gummadi, Padmanabham, Rajanala
Director: AC Tirulokchandar
Production: AVM productions
Screenplay: D V Narasa Raju
Genre: Murder-mystery, Thriller
Duration: 2 hours 44 minutes
Release date: December 14, 1967
Playback singers: Ghantasala, P Susheela
Presenting ‘Agent Krishna’
The superstar was truly the star of sixties and seventies
Churning out diverse roles in those times kept the audience looking for more from his movies, especially for their unique plots. Not many, especially famous actors, wanted to experiment with their roles. But Krishna was an exception. It is not an exaggeration to say that this superstar had many thrillers and sci-fi genre films to his credit.
James Bond 777
After earning great accolades for his role in Gudachari 116, it is but natural for many filmmakers to approach Krishna with similar characters. After all, who could have played a kick-ass spy better than him? The plot revolves around Kishore (Krishna), a CBI agent who is all set to catch a crime boss, who killed his parents. But not before he can tackle his side-kick Jamilla and a pack of combative dogs.
Director: KSR Das
Producer: Bhikulal Agarwal
Cast: Krishna, Jyothi Lakshmi, Vijayalalitha
This story is about Gopi (Krishna), a CID agent, who is trying to catch the real culprit behind his father’s and a Zamindar’s murder. Krishnam Raju plays the antagonist Ratan, who assumes the identity of Raghu after killing the latter for his property.
In the end, the real Raghu comes back and proves his identity. The real suspense is how did Raghu come back? Was he really dead?
Director: B Harinarayana
Producer: BV Krishna Murthy
Cast: Krishna, Vijayalalitha, Krishnam Raju
Satyam (Krishna) works in his uncle’s cancer research centre after completing his graduation. The only problem is that he falls in love with his uncle’s daughter and her family is against it. They conspire and intentionally set up a lab accident to kill him.
What happens next is the most interesting part of the story – Satyam becomes invisible. How he comes back to normalcy and wins over his love makes a nice watch.
Director: G Viswanatham
Producer: Md Nazam
Cast: Krishna, Rajasree, Kaikala Satyanarayana, Vijayalalitha, Nagabhushanam, Rajababu, M Prabhakar Reddy