3 user 1 critic

Thyagayya (1946)

| Family, History, Musical
Classic about the life story of Carnatic Music pioneer Thyagayya.


Chittor V. Nagaiah (as V. Nagiah)


S.V.R. Acharya, Chittor V. Nagaiah (as V. Nagiah)

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Credited cast:
Chittor V. Nagaiah Chittor V. Nagaiah ... Tyagayya
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Baby Vanaja Baby Vanaja ... Krishna
Hemalatha Devi Hemalatha Devi ... Kamalamba
Sarita Devi Sarita Devi ... Chapala
Hemalatha Hemalatha
B. Jayamma B. Jayamma ... Dharmamba (as Gubbi Jayamma)
Jayavanthi Jayavanthi ... Court Singer
Sundara Lakshmi Sundara Lakshmi ... Seetha Lakshmi
Lakshmirajyam Lakshmirajyam
Mudigonda Lingamurthy Mudigonda Lingamurthy ... Japesen
Padmanabham Padmanabham
Baby T. Syamala Baby T. Syamala ... Radha
Lakshmipathy Vedantam Lakshmipathy Vedantam ... Narada in disguise
G. Visweswaramma G. Visweswaramma ... Venkamma


Thyagayya (Tyagaraja) lives in a village, spending his time writing Ramakoti and composing devotional music to Lord Rama. As he is struggling to complete his work, saint Narada appears in his dream and hands him over a book called 'Swararnam' about music, and when he wakes up, he finds the book. He becomes popular with his music and gets an invitation from the King of Tanjore to perform in the royal court. Thyagayya gently turns down the offer and returns the gifts sent by the king. Thyagayya's elder brother, Japesen, abandons him as he is not earning and is depending on him. Thyagayya continues his music composition for Lord Rama. Japesen conspires with a royal dancer, Chapala, and steals Swararnam along with the idols of Thyagayya. The sudden disappearance of idols saddens Thyagayya and he sets on a journey to bring back the idols. Written by Nagaraju (https://www.telugumovieanalysis.xyz/)

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Did You Know?


This film is an 'Industry Hit' in Telugu cinema then. See more »


Remade as Thyagayya (1981) See more »

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User Reviews

One of the best Telugu movies ever!
23 January 2001 | by mkr-3See all my reviews

Tyagiah/Thyagayya is a soul stirring film about the truly extra-ordinary life of Saint Thyagaraja. The movie stands out to be in the all time best because of the deeply moving portrayal of Thyagrabrahma by Chittoori Nagayya.

The movie achieves the magic by having Nagayya sing for himself the songs composed by Thyagabrahma. The movie is a solid proof for the importance of screenplay and acting in a movie. The film is also a big credit to the skills of Nagayya - as a director, actor, singer and producer! I was amazed to see the "appropriate" usage of lighting throughout the movie..the film was made in 1946, there were barely any advanced techniques in the industry. The film was still made amazingly well.

Regarding the storyline of the film, it runs in a semi-documentary style narrating the key happenings in the life of the "Brahma" of Carnatic Music. It captures the societal norms in the late 18th century, how many of the musicians used to seek the patronage of the kings and more importantly how Thyagabrahma was seeking the patronage of only Lord Rama. It depicts Thyagabrahma as not just a devotee of Lord Rama but also as a husband, brother, student and teacher.

The most valuable part of the film is the soundtrack itself. It is totally amazing to hear Nagayya sing the Thyagaraja Krithis with the devotion and clarity that is way beyond those of the more well-known Carnatic singers. Thyagaraja's music is very famous for the blend of rAgam-thAlam-pallavi. On top of this mix is the sheer devotion for Lord Rama. Thyagaraja composed his music as a way of praising the glories of Lord Rama and as a way of seeking his patronage. This key aspect of Thyagaraja's music combined with the homogeneous mix of rAgam-thAlam-pallavi and the right pronunciation of telugu words is missing in the standard renditions by Carnatic music stalwarts like Mangalampalli Bala Murali Krishna, T.N. Seshagopalan, Maharajapuram Santhaanam or even Semangudi! This itself is a great achievement for Nagayya.

I cannot but break into tears each time I see the absolute ecstasy [a word often misused] in Thayabrahma when he is finally blessed by Lord Rama.

The movie starts with a disclaimer saying the script was written based on the information provided by people who were,in some way or the other, involved with Thyagaraja's life and thanks them for their input. This is something extra-ordinary for films made in those days.

If you are looking for a movie which will move every cell in your body through absolutely great music and devotion...this is it!!

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