| K. Balachander|
| 1981|Aakali Rajyam Wikipedia
Aakali Rajyam (Hunger's Kingdom) is a 1981 Indian Telugu-language film starring Kamal Haasan and Sridevi directed by K. Balachander. It was simultaneously shot in Tamil as Varumayin Niram Sivappu, released the year before. The film was remade in Hindi language as Zara Si Zindagi with Kamal Haasan and Anita Raj in 1983, directed by K. Balachander himself. Kamal Haasan won Filmfare Award for Best Actor - Telugu for Aakali Rajyam.
The film dwells on the premises of social satire and through its characters (the young unemployed graduates) critically analyzes the state of Indian polity and social situation.
The film depicts the struggles of youth and their disillusionment with a socialist Indian society in general. Centering on three educated but unemployed youth trying to earn a living, the story touches several aspects of Indian social norms of the period.
J. Ranga Rao(Kamal Haasan) and his friend (R. Dilip) are two unemployed men staying together in Delhi. Thambu (S. Ve. Shekher) subsequently joins them for the same purpose of searching for a job. Ranga is a straightforward person who does not tolerate anything which involves impersonation and deceit. He follows and practice the words of Sri Sri in his daily life. Hence he cannot secure any job which tests his attitude and patience. He even fails at getting a job of drawing 'No Vacancy' boards. The three share everything they get to eat and suffer from poverty and hunger on most days. Ranga once offers to carry the luggage of Devi (Sridevi) till the railway station. On reaching the place, she pays him to which Ranga replies that he has no change. She rebukes him in Telugu assuming he does not speak the language that he is trying to cheat her. Ranga is angered by her words and leaves angrily.
Ranga once chases a man ( Krishna Rao) to his house to get back the money which he looted by lying to him. The man enters a house and Ranga chases him there and stumbles upon Devi. The man is Devi's father who lost all his money in horse race and now cheating the people around him to get money for horse racing. He did so to Ranga by saying that his daughter has died and need money to perform last rites. Devi returns the money to Ranga and also she pays him for carrying her luggage on that day. Ranga and Devi get to know each other as an unemployed guy straight forward guy and as small-time stage actress in one of the theaters respectively. Devi goes to Ranga's house to introduce him to her stage play director to replace an ill-actor so that he could earn some money. She suggests to finish his lunch before going there leaving Ranga embarrassed as there is no food to eat. However he and his friends pretend to eat a sumptuous meal inside the kitchen. But Devi finds out that Ranga and his friends hardly eat for real. Hence she spends her own money to provide food for them. When they are about to eat, Devi's grandmother dies and they cannot eat the food.
Ranga's friend somehow earns some money which he did so by the advice of a friend Dileep. Thambu is very eager to know Dileep and way to earn money by his way. He runs away from home in search of Dileep. Devi introduces Ranga to a director Pratap (Pratap Pothen) who is arrogant and short tempered. Ranga cannot act as his direction as the scenes seem to be logically incorrect. He apologises to Devi for letting her down. Ranga explains that his attitude is inherited from his father, Carnatic vocalist Jonnalagadda Venkata Ramanayya Panthulu (J V Ramana Murthi) who always scolds him for his inability to find a job on his own. Ranga once sells his father's Thambura to buy train ticket for Delhi which angers his father. Ranga decides arvind to leave the home for a while so that the problem between him and his father might subside. Ranga once attacks a dumb road-side drawing artist Barani for watching him and Devi secretly. Actually he did so to draw a portrait of them. Ranga apologizes him and both Devi and Ranga become his friends. Pratap is in madly in love with Devi and he cannot tolerate her intimation with Ranga. Devi once expresses to Barani that she loves Ranga but is scared to express as he might go mad on her. Ranga hears this and he expresses his intentions in the form of a song that he too love her. Pratap tries to strangle Devi on the stage for a stage play instead of acting. Off-stage he tells her that he loves her madly and immediately wanted to marry her. Devi quits from the stage acting and starts to live at Ranga's house taking up a new job of baby sitting. Devi loses the baby while shopping toy for the chld and eventually lose her job. But the baby was actually kidnapped by Ranga's friend to demand money from its parents. Ranga slams him and asks for Dileep to which he says that it is fake and there is no one as Dileep. Ranga tells him get out of the house and not to come again.
Ranga loses all of the jobs due to his straightforwardness and subsequently suffers from poverty but he is not ready to back-off from his attitude for the sake of hunger. Hence he tells Devi to choose a better life as he lost all his confidence of making a decent living with her. Prathap threatens to commit suicide if Devi does not marry him. Hence Devi decides to accept his proposal on the condition that Pratap must recommend a job for Ranga to his father to which Pratap accepts unwillingly. But Ranga gets angry on seeing Devi with Prathap and goes away. Barani dies in a road-accident while finding Ranga. Devi finds Ranga and tells to him that he is the one who she loves and she will not leave him forever which angers Pratap and he goes away. Ranga's father comes to Delhi to find his son and meets him as a barber. Ranga explains that he feels satisfied with the job as he does not have to cheat, impersonate or fake his life for anything. The story ends with Ranga and Devi started a fresh life and Jonnalagadda Venkata Ramanayya Panthulu accepted his son's decision. Ranga's friend is now a husband of a rich widowed woman who is elder than him and Thambu turns a mad beggar in search of Dileep who does not exist.Kamal Haasan as J. Ranga Rao
Sridevi as Devi
Pratap Pothen as Prathap
J. V. Ramana Murthi as Jonnalagadda Venkata Ramanayya Panthulu
"Gussa Rangaiah Koncham Taggaiah" (Lyrics: Aathreya; Singer: P. Susheela)
"Oh Maharshi Oh Mahatma" (Lyrics: Sri Sri; Singer: S. P. Balasubramaniam)
"Kanne Pillavani Kannulunnavani" (Lyrics: Atreya; Singers: S.P. Balasubramaniam, S. Janaki)
"Saapaatu Etoo Ledu Paataina Paadu Brother" (Lyrics: Atreya; Singer: S.P. Balasubramaniam)
"Tu Hai Raja Main Hoon Rani" (Lyrics: P B Srinivas; Singer: S. Janaki)
1981 Filmfare Award for Best Actor - Telugu - Kamal Haasan