Tuesday, March 20, 2012

All About Beladingala Baale

Beladingala Baale is one my favourite films. I was thinking of blogging about this movie for a long time. After I read the novel based on which the film is made, I had enough material to talk about the epochal movie.

The Movie: The movie is based on original Telugu novel - Vennelalo Aadapilla by Yandamoori Veerendranath. This was translated to Kannada by Vamshi as Beladingala Baale, which later was made into film. Incidentally, Vamshi also wrote dialogues for the movie or rather dialogues from the novel are adapted in the film without any modifications. Beladingala Baale literally means "lady in the moonlight". Story revolves around Revanth(played by Ananth Nag), a grandmaster who is set to find out the identity of his fan who calls him often and whom he refers to as beladingala baale. Beladingala Baale gives Revanth the clues to find her out. How Revanth accomplishes his task forms the gist of the movie.

Original Novel : I was looking for the novel in Kannada based on which the movie is made. Thanks to my friend Guru, I got hold of the book from an old books store. The novel was published in the year 1984. I also found out that the novel was serialized in Kannada magazine Sudha then.
Beladingala Baale novel cover page
More about Chess : If you are not devout follower of Chess, while reading the novel you will come to know many fascinating aspects about the game originated in India. One of the highlights of the movie is the blind fold chess game protagonist Revanth plays. Before this he is accused of hypnotizing his opponent. The book provides the background for this plot(In 1978, Anatoly Karpov was accused of hypnotizing his opponent Viktor Korchnoi in the game at Baguio in the Philippines). Als, if the game is extended to the next day, what ensures that the opponent does not get an overnight for thinking about his next move. Also, one has to make 16 moves within an hour of his play else he will loose the game(with the time being counted by the stop clocks provided to both the players)

Working in Telephone Exchange : The book discusses about the problems women working at the telephone exchange had to face(though the scenarios here are from the 1980s) You will not find anything about this in the movie. Also, you come to know about several terminologies used in the telephone sector, which now may have become obsolete.

I ate nothing for six ghante kaala : This is the clue provided to Revanth to find the telephone number of his secret fan and is used several times in the film. But the movie does not explain the logic behind this clue but you will find it in the Yandamoori's novel.

Mathematical Details : Many mathematical details in the novel are missing in the film. That is understandable as the film caters to variety of audience. Clue with which Revanth finds about the whereabouts of the mystery girl has its routes in Pythogoras theorem. Also, while finding her name, which is Ramya, Revanth uses his knowledge of permutations and combinations. You will come across such mathematical backgrounds for the puzzles posed by the mystery girl. Though at times, you feel like being a grand master Revanth could have solved the puzzles, we can give the creative liberty to the author.

Voice : Throughout the movie, though the heroine's face is not revealed, her voice echoes in the minds of the viewers. Guess who lended the voice? Manjula Gururaj - background singer of many popular Kannada film songs.

Miscellaneous : There is a scene involving a Marxist in the movie, which is used as an irony in the novel. Revanth's friend James, a cartoonist is an unusual character in the movie. Why he behaves the way he does has deeper psychological background in the novel. I am OK, You are OK - philosophy in the film is explained by American psychiatrist Thomas Anthony Harris in his 1969 book - I am OK, You're OK.

Hope you enjoy the post!


  1. Brilliant Review Raveesh! Glad to know that you are a proud owner of the book which i so badly want to possess :) Have a question though, The trigonometric puzzle (tanθ) , is it present in the book ?

  2. Thanks 6thstation. Yes, even I had looked for the book everywhere I could. Finally I got hold of it! But I guess Hemantha Saahitya has republished the book recently. You may want to check that out.

    Yes, the trigonometric puzzle(tan theta) is present in the book.
    Also, if you read the book you feel that the film could have been made much better than what it is.

  3. Yep, movies with the adapted screenplay will not be faithful to the books.However there are exceptions very good example is Godfather! Well, there are budget constraints too.. esp for Kannada movies.

    In regard to the tan theta question.. the inclusion of it in the movie or novel doesn't really make sense because it always throws the wrong answer.. am i correct ?? or am i missing anything here ?

    n thanks a lot for the info on the book, will definitely check it out ! :)

    1. Hi, regarding the theta question full question told by Baale to Huchchuraya is not revealed either in the movie or the book. Because after finding the theta as 88 degrees and sin theta as .9994, in the book it is written that Huchchuraya adds few numbers and subs tracts some then says the number as 76346. So I believe this episode is simply to add humor element

  4. Thats right about film adaptation of books.

    About the theta question I need to check in the book, as I read it long back.

  5. Well written. Got curiosity to read the book and watch the movie once again which I had watched 15 years back. ! :P

  6. Thanks Vikas. If this article has rekindled the interest in Beladingala Baale, then I feel my purpose of writing this article is served :)

  7. Thank you, Raveesh. I still remember my mother reading out Yendamuri Veerendranath's stories from Taranga. Till date, Beladingala Baale is one of my favorite movies.

  8. Hi Raveesh, her phone number was 6137336. Her question was first and last digits of the phone numbers are 6 and the rest , is of the riddle: " I ate nothing for 6 ghante kaala".
    I didn't understand how 137336 maps with "I ate nothing for 6 ghante kaala" ???

    1. You should be asking that question to Yendamuri, not Raveesh. :-)


  9. Vivek, the riddle you are talking about is not presented in the same way it is explained in the book. There is no logic in its presentation in the movie.

  10. Just finished watching this movie.
    I was deeply involved!!
    Had seen this movie when I was six with my parents, in a theater. Found it boring as it did not had any fight sequences. Even I did not have even bit of understanding.
    Now I could understand everything, and Raveesh thanks for this post.
    While watching the movie I was wondering, the director is very intelligent. You know Indian movies won't possess any logic between the shots. Here I was amazed watching the masterpiece of 95.

    Thanks again for adding some details!

  11. i am very happy to see all these comments about my work. thanks to all. yandamoori.

  12. thanks for all those for your positive comments on my novel. yandamoori

  13. Yandamoori Sir,

    I am very very happy to see your comment on my blog. Thanks for visiting.

  14. Hi Raveesh,

    I am Searching for beladingala bale Novel which is translated in Kannada. Could you please suggest me any book store in Bangalore... i have searched a lot i online including sapna's book hoise. but couldn't get through it..

    please help me..


  15. Can I get the link for e book download... Or the place where I can go buy the book ....

  16. Need link to e book .... Or place where I can go and purchase the book... ?

  17. Hi Lasya,

    I dont think there is a e-book available for Beladingala Baale. But you can buy the hard copy in Sapna Book House outlets, Ankita Pustaka(Basavanagudi), Akruti Books(Rajaji Nagar) in Bangalore.

  18. @Vikas,

    You can try to get the book in Sapna Book House outlets, Ankita Pustaka(Basavanagudi), Akruti Books(Rajaji Nagar) in Bangalore.

  19. Love this movie, love kannada, am a tamil from karnataka living in delhi and whenever i hear kannada being spoken or reference to it i go ga ga!! thanks for talking about the wonderful movies made in this language (bili hendthi, onda nondu kaaladhalli, sharapanjara, etc, etc), this is a mild unassuming language which deserves to kept alive for its sheer beauty of expression (akin to urdu), long live!!

  20. Hello. Nice review.
    Some of you are wondering about how 6137336 maps to "I ate nothing for 6 ghante kaala".
    It is very simple. For each of the English words, just count the number of letters.
    I = 1, ate = 3, nothing = 7, for = 3, six = 3
    Also, the movie version of the puzzle states, first and last digits are 6 ("modala mattu koneya sankhye aaru").
    So, the full phone number is: 6 1 3 7 3 3 6.

    In the novel version of the puzzle, these two digits are not included. Understandably, this change was made according to the year the movie was set up. In 1984 -- 5 digit phone number (in Hyderabad, location per Novel). In 1995 -- 6 digit phone number (in Bengaluru, location per Movie).

  21. Thanks Mana for explaining 'I ate nothing for six ghante kaala"



Related Posts with Thumbnails