Jandhyala Subramanya Sastri(Telugu:జంధ్యాల సుబ్రహ్మణ్యశాస్త్రి)(14th January 1951 – 19th June 2001) was a screenwriter, director and actor from Telugu Cinema. He is revered as a comic genius and has directed several successful comedy movies and holds the credit of introducing several comedy actors including Brahmanandam to the film industry.
Jandhyala, popularly known as ‘Hasya Brahma’ Jandhyala, was born on 14 January 1951 at Narsapuram, on the auspicious day of Makara Sankranti – Pongal. He is the son of Jandhyala Narayana Murthy. He has done his graduation in Commerce from SRR and CVR College in Vijayawada. The zest of him for plays started since his childhood and in particular the mythological characters with elaborate costumes used to grab his consideration. He won many prizes for his performances at school.
Jandhyala was a noted playwright during his college days. Though his first play was Atmahuthi, it was his next play Ek Din Ka Sultan which became very popular and has been enacted over 10,000 times and the script has been reprinted 15 times. His last play was Gundelu Marchabadunu.
Breaks through as a Film Writer:
Jandhyala never planned to enter the Telugu film industry. After graduation, he wanted to become a Chartered Accountant (CA), and went to Chennai to train for his CA exams.
There, at a stage show, Jandhyala happened to meet Gummadi VenkateswaraRao (a popular character artist) who advised him to become a story writer. He then got support from Kaashinathuni Vishwanath, director of many meaningful Telugu films. Soon, he started writing for several films that saw success at box office.
He entered the films as a lyricist through the film Punya Bhoomi Kallu Teru and as dialogue writer it was Devudu Chesina Bommalu. However, his film as a dialogue writer was K. Vishwanath’s Siri Siri Muvva in the year 1977 was a blockbuster hit with which he got firm footing in Telugu cinema industry and since then never looked back. He could write for around 200 films between 1977 and 1986, some of them becoming hugely successful at Box office and some even winning awards.
On one hand he worked with such great director K Viswanath for films Sankarabharanam, Sirisiri Muvva, Saagara Sangamam, Saptapadhi, Sitamaa Laxmi and Swathi Kiranam which are wholesome entertainers but reflecting our tradition and culture. On the other hand he worked with popular director Raghavendra Rao who is always for commercial formula films. Their association brought forth like Adavi Ramudu, Driver Ramudu, Amaradeepam, and Vetagaadu. It lasted till another blockbuster Jagadeka Veerudu Athiloka Sundari in 1989 starring Chiranjeevi.
Jandhyala also wrote punchy dialogues for the Kamal Haasan starrer, ‘Sommokadidi Sokokadidi’, another blockbuster. His pen has double edge; he could churn both – a comedy film, for he is trendsetter of that genre, as easy as a pure commercial film or a classical musical film. His talent is god gift for he can make us laugh and cry within few lines of screenplay which speaks volumes of the master writer’s versatility.
Directorial Style and Success
Jandhyala turned into a director with the film Mudda Mandaram in the year 1981. He hated ‘bawdy comedy’ which was popular till then and believed that the dialogue should be crisp, simple and natural like real-life conversations, which the audience could easily identify themselves with, and enjoy. He had followed this rule in all the movies for which he had written and directed.
He is a trendsetter of Comedy genre and has written and directed several hits like Nalugu Sthambalata, Rendu Rella Aaru, Aha Naa Pellanta, Vivaha Bhojanambu, Choopulu Kalasina Subhavela, Chantabbai, Amara Jeevi, Seeta Rama Kalyanam, Padamati Sandhya Ragam and Rendu Jalla Seetha.
He has introduced many comedy actors like Bramhanandam, Suthi Velu and Suthi Veerabhadra Rao. His film with Usha Kiron movies Srivariki Premalekha became an all-time comedy film. His other film Ananda Bhairavi was a milestone in his career and won many awards down South India.
Of the 40 movies he had directed, Srivariki Premalekha, Aha Naa Pellanta, Vivaha Bhojanambu and Ananda Bhairavi, should be mentioned first, which won State and National awards. His last film Vichitram was apparently his 60th film as a director.
Jandhyala, who completed 25 years in the field, almost put a stop to his acting career, though occasionally he acted at the request of directors such as K. Viswanath. In Aapadbandhavudu, a film by K. Viswanath, where he played the real life character of a writer, won him accolades. Besides, Jandhyala lent his rich voice occasionally for dubbing films and was also a popular TV anchor. His last show was the one close to his heart – the Jokes show which went on till a few weeks before his untimely demise.
The Legend passes away
The man who had made millions laugh heartily with his breath-taking comedy films breathed his last on June 19, 2001, due to a massive heart attack, at 50, and after completing his silver jubilee year in films.
Jandhyala is survived by his wife Annapurna and two daughters, Sahiti and Sampada.
One of his famous quotes in Telugu was “Navvadam oka bhogam, Navvinchadam oka yogam, Navvalekapovadam oka rogam”. Its English Translation is “To be able to laugh is a blessing, to make others laugh is an art and to be unable to laugh is a disease”.
National Film Awards
- National Film Award for Best Director – Ananda Bhairavi – 1984.
- 1984, Nandi Award for Best Director – Ananda Bhairavi
- 1987, Nandi Award for Best Story Writer – Padamati Sandhya Ragam
- 1992, Nandi Award for Best Dialogue Writer – Aapathbandhavudu
Filmfare Awards South
- 1984, Filmfare Best Director Award (Telugu) – Srivariki Premalekha
- 1987, Filmfare Award for Best Film – Telugu – Padamati Sandhya Ragam
- Madras Film Fans Award
- Andhra Pradesh Film Journalists Award
- Vijayawada Film Journalists Award
- Vamsi Award
- Kalasagar Award
- Andhra Pradesh Cinegoers Award
As Dialogue Writer
- Adavi Ramudu
- Siri Siri Muvva
- Tayaramma Bangarayya
- Saagara Sangamam
- Jagadeka Veerudu Atiloka Sundari
- Govinda Govinda
- Aditya 369
|Rendu Jella Sita||30-03-1983|
|Sreevariki Prema Lekha||02-03-1984|
|Rao Gopal Rao||1984|
|Rendu Rella Aaru||11-01-1986|
|Seeta Rama Kalyanam||18-04-1986|
|Padamati Sandhya Ragam||11-04-1987|
|Aha Naa Pellanta||27-11-1987|
|Neeku Naaku Pellanta||Aug-88|
|Choopulu Kalasina Shubhavela||07-10-1988|
|Hai Hai Nayaka||23-02-1989|
|Bava Bava Panneru||09-08-1991|
|Prema Enta Madhuram||06-09-1991|
|Aa Aaa e ee||-|
|Shhh. Gup Chup||12-05-1994|
|Oho Naa Pellanta||20-03-1996|