Bhootayyana Maga Ayyu (Kannada: ಭೂತಯ್ಯನ ಮಗ ಅಯ್ಯು) (English:Bhootayya's Son Ayyu) is 1974 Indian Kannada language film directed by Siddalingaiah, based on the story by same name from the short stories collection Vayyari by Gorur Ramaswamy Iyengar, and starring Vishnuvardhan, Lokesh and M. P. Shankar in lead roles. The film is deemed to be a landmark in Kannada cinema.
Vishnuvardhan (Gulla), Lokesh (Ayyu), and M. P. Shankar (Bhootayya) play the main characters. Lokesh won the State Award for this movie. The best actress award was won by Bhavani & the best supporting actress was won by the veteran artiste Rushyendramani. Incidentally, the only film in which the grandmother and granddaughter duo of Bhavani and Rushyendramani ever shared screen space in. The film was artistically directed by Bangarada Manushya fame Siddalingaiah. D. V. Rajaram won accolades for the fantastic cinematography, which is considered one of his lifetime bests. The cinematography and the acting skills of the lead characters remains the most positive point of the movie in addition to a strong and touching storyline.
Music was scored by G.K. Venkatesh and the film also has some very good songs rendered by P.B. Srinivas and S. Janaki. "Malenada Henna Mai Banna" is one of the evergreen songs in the history of Kannada films. Though M.P.Shankar appears in a short role in the movie, he is successful in making an ever-lasting impression on the audience.
This film was shot in Kalasapura village, near Chikmagalur town. Siddalingaiah had particular attachment with this location. His other landmark movie Bangarada Manushya was also shot (partly) in the same village.
Jayamala had revealed that she had played a small role in this movie. One of the co-producers of the movie, SP Varadaraj was the younger brother of actor Rajkumar.
The film was remade in Tamil as Ellorum Nallavare (1975) starring Muthuraman, in Hindi as Ek Gaon Ki Kahani (1975) starring Rakesh Pandey and in Telugu as Andharoo Manchivaare (1976) starring Shoban Babu.
Bhootayya is a ruthless zamindar of a small village, who used to mercilessly occupy the land of the villagers to whom he had lent money, when they fail to repay their debts. He was very shrewd and talked the villagers into building a dam across the river in the outskirts of the village, which was prone to floods. He gets hold of the fertile land on the banks of the river and builds a house for his son Ayyu (Lokesh).
A few days later, Bhootayya falls ill and eventually dies. The villagers rejoice at the death of Bhootayya and they hold such a grudge against the zamindar that nobody comes to even see his dead body. His son Ayyu tries to get some people to him in completing the funeral rites and offers a huge sum but nobody relents and Ayyu cremates Bhootayya by carrying him to the cremation ground all alone.
The villagers remain wary of Ayyu, and the most rebellious among them was Gulla. He is very outspoken and tries to restrict Ayyu from being mean and merciless towards the villagers like Bhootayya. Gulla’s father had way back given a surety to Bhootayya for somebody else’s debt and was unable to repay the money. Ayyu promptly goes with his men to confiscate Gulla's house. In an ensuing argument, Gulla smacks Ayyu.
Ayyu takes it serious and files a police complaint against Gulla, who is then arrested by the police. Unable to bear the consequences, Gulla’s father dies. Thus, begins a prolonged enmity between Gulla and Ayyu and both swear to kill each other. Gulla also hires a lawyer to teach Ayyu a lesson and starts spending all his property on the court case. When Gulla swears to kill Ayyu, Gulla’s wife goes to Ayyu to warn him and also ask him to forgive her husband. But, Ayyu behaves ruthlessly with her and swears to kill Gulla.
Ayyu's wife reminds him about his father's attitude towards the villagers and their reaction when Bhootayya died. This makes Ayyu give a thought about his behaviour. Gulla’s wife tries to kill herself by drowning herself in the river as she gets convinced that Ayyu will not spare her husband. Ayyu sees a woman drowning and being a distinguished swimmer saves her only to find that she is his enemy’s wife. This incident has a lasting effect on Ayyu, who tries to end the feud. Ayyu clears all of Gulla's debts and he asks Gulla to work for him to pay off the debts. Gulla agrees and works sincerely to pay-off the debts, but resents Ayyu’s friendship.
During the village festival, the villagers plot to ransack Ayyu’s house and the person who leads the pack is Gulla. They attack Ayyu’s house during midnight, and set his house on fire. Ayyu, who is a changed person now, simply states this as an accident when the district police come to investigate the case. This incident begins to make an impact on the villagers to change their perceptions about Ayyu.
With his house burned down, Ayyu goes with his family to live in the house by the river. One day Ayyu goes to the town, leaving behind his family. The village is into floods and Ayyu’s house is in danger. Ayyu’s wife and kids try to come out of the house as the dam collapses and the water enters the house drowning it completely. Gulla takes a raft and single-handedly sets out to rescue Ayyu’s family. With much difficulty, he saves Ayyu’s family and brings them to the safety. Ayyu reaches the village and is shocked to see the plight of the village. But he is relieved to see that Gulla has rescued them.
Ayyu hugs Gulla and they end their years of hatred and enmity. The villagers help Ayyu to build a new house and the village continues to live in harmony. They all celebrate the festival.Vishnuvardhan as Gulla
Lokesh as Ayyappa (Ayyu), son of Bhootayya
M. P. Shankar as Bhootayya
L. V. Sharada
G. K. Venkatesh composed the soundtrack, and lyrics were written by Chi. Udaya Shankar and R. N. Jayagopal. The album consists of four soundtracks.