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Film / Mayabazar

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Mayabazar (మాయబజార్ - Market of Illusions) is a 1957 religious comedy film. Starring such big names as NTR, SVR, ANR & Savitri, this film became one of the most important films in Telugu film history, typecasting NTR as Krishna and adding 2 new words to popular Telugu vocabulary.

This play is set in the Mahabharata and is based off of a Telugu folk tale. Sashirekha (Savitri) is the princess of the Dwaraka Yadavas. She is betrothed to Abhimanyu (ANR), who she loves. But then, as happens in the Mahabharata, Abhimanyu's father and uncles, the Pandavas, are exiled and Abhimanyu loses his royal status. Sashirekha's parents instead have her betrothed to the Kaurava prince Lakshmana. Abhimanyu is furious, and with the grace of Krishna (NTR) travels through the woods with his mother to find his cousin, Ghatotkacha (SVR). Ghatotkacha is prince of the demons, and agrees to use his magical powers to help Abhimanyu. He transports Sasirekha to his capital, and then uses his magical powers to assume the form of Sasirekha and travel to Dwaraka. He and his servants Chinmaya, Lambu and Jambu, sabotage the marriage while conducting a secret one for Sasirekha and Abhimanyu.


Mayabazar was dubbed into Kannada in 1965. It would be 50 years before another film was dubbed into Kannada. The film was digitally colourised and rereleased in 2010.

Mayabazar contains examples of:

  • Big Eater: Ghatotkacha eats the whole wedding feast in one song
  • Bride and Switch: Lakshmana thinks he's marrying Sasirekha, but his bride turns out to be Ghatotkacha
  • Butt-Monkey: Sarma and Sastri, the men in charge of the wedding
  • Capture and Replicate: Ghatotkacha captures Sasirekha and shapeshifts into her in order to infiltrate Dwaraka. Subverted in that Sasirekha is completely fine with the plan once she realises whats happening.
  • Elopement: Sasirekha and Abhimanyu get married in secret, but once Ghatotkacha ruins the Kaurava wedding the Yadavas come to Sasirekha and Abhimanyu's wedding as well.
  • Fanfare: When Lakshmana and the Kauravas arrive for the wedding
  • Advertisement:
  • Nobility Marries Money: One of the reasons that Revati and Balarama call off the wedding is because the Pandavas have lost their wealth.
  • Old-Fashioned Rowboat Date: Sasirekha and Abhimanyu take one in the song Lahiri Lahiri Lahirilo. Later, Rukmini and Krishna take one to cover for the couple. Justified as this is set in the ancient times.
  • Parental Marriage Veto: As is to be expected with an Indian movie
  • Perfectly Arranged Marriage: Sasirekha and Abhimanyu are this
  • Star-Crossed Lovers: Sasirekha and Abhimanyu
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: Ghatotkacha is able to shapeshift at will into Sasirekha, and in the song Vivaha Bhojanambu he grows in size in order to consume the whole feast in a short amount of time.

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