7 user 33 critic

Vanaja (2006)

Vanaja, the 15 year old daughter of a financially troubled fisherman goes to work in the local landlady's house in hopes of learning Kuchipudi dance. She does well, but when the Landlady's ... See full summary »


Rajnesh Domalpalli
26 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast overview:
Mamatha Bhukya Mamatha Bhukya ... Vanaja
Urmila Dammannagari Urmila Dammannagari ... Mrs. Rama Devi
Ramachandriah Marikanti Ramachandriah Marikanti ... Somayya
Krishnamma Gundimalla Krishnamma Gundimalla ... Radhamma
Karan Singh Karan Singh ... Shekhar
Bhavani Renukunta Bhavani Renukunta ... Lacchi
Krishna Garlapati Krishna Garlapati ... Ram Babu
Prabhu Garlapati Prabhu Garlapati ... Yadigiri
Ram Babu Tarra Ram Babu Tarra ... Yagnesh
Veeramma Sadula Veeramma Sadula ... Padma


Vanaja, the 15 year old daughter of a financially troubled fisherman goes to work in the local landlady's house in hopes of learning Kuchipudi dance. She does well, but when the Landlady's son returns from the US, what begins as innocent sexual chemistry turns ugly, ending in a rape - a rape of a minor. Set in rural South India, a place where social barriers are built stronger than ancient fort walls, the film explores the chasm that divides classes as a young girl struggles to come of age. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis





Official Sites:

Official site


India | USA



Release Date:

31 August 2007 (USA) See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$8,770, 2 September 2007

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital EX



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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User Reviews

Very well done and very depressing...
7 December 2013 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

"Vanaja" is well done and the first-time director (Rajnesh Domalpalli) apparently made the film for his masters degree! This is very impressive and he showed an amazing deftness for such an inexperienced director! However, while I did appreciate the great work done to make this film, I must warn you that this is an incredibly depressing film--mostly because the value of woman in many places in the world still is minimal. In this story, a young girl, Vanaja, is horribly mistreated and while you know such things happen, it sure is sad to watch.

The film begins with Vanaja about 15 years-old. However, to me she only appeared about 11 or perhaps 12--and this made the story a bit more disturbing because she looked so much like a child. But long before this, we see the girl go to work for a local rich landlady. Vanaja has spirit--she's spunky but likable and soon the rich lady takes her under her wing and teaches Vanaja to dance. Vanaja has a real passion and talent for dancing and you assume through the course of the film she'll rise to greatness. However, while this could happen, the film instead centers on he immediate life--and it sure gets pretty bad. But, as I don't want to ruin the film for you, I'll say no more and just encourage you to see it.

I think this is an important film in the way it documents the devaluation of women as well as the evils of classism. So, from an academic sense, it's well worth seeing. However, it's anything but a feel-good picture--and will most likely depress you--especially because it doesn't end on a particularly satisfying note. But, of course, in real life this IS often the case.

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