Nandamuri Balakrishna starrer Singeetam Srinivasa Rao’s Adita 369, the first Indian sci-fi movie, turned 30 today. The time travel movie, which was released on July 18, 1991, opened to average response but soon picked up the collections. It turned out to be a huge success. The film is now regarded as one of the all-time greatest movies of Telugu cinema. ‘Aditya 369’ created as history on many counts.
Nandamuri Balakrishna, who is known as an out and out ‘mass hero’, took a huge risk to act in a genre film, that is entirely new to Telugu audiences. Director Singeetam Srinivasa Rao who made some great hits and technically challenging films like Kamal Haasan’s ‘Apoorva Sahodarulu’ and ‘Pushpaka Vimanam’,
Produced by Sivalenka Krishna Prasad on his Sridevi Movies banner with a budget of Rs 2 Crore, ‘Aditya 369’ had the best technicians working on it. Plus, it was also one of the rare films where every technician had worked in tandem and applied their technical wizardry to create magic. Ilayaraja’s music, VSR Swamy, and Kabir Lal’s outstanding camerawork, superb art direction, and Balakrishna’s impeccable performance, and Singeetam’s direction are pillars to this marvelous work.
The film has Balakrishna in a dual role, Mohini as the heroine, Silk Smitha as Raja Narthaki, Tarun as a child artist, and Tinnu Anand as a professor who creates a time machine named Aditya 369.
The film’s story is inspired by Hollywood films – ‘Back to The Future’ (1985) and ‘Time After Time.’
The main plot goes like this…
A scientist develops a time machine. Krishna Kumar (Balakrishna) and Hema (Mohini) try to rescue kids who entered into the machine, but they also get stuck in it and travel back to Sri Krishnadevaraya (played by Balakrishna again) period. Later, they also travel to the future (2504) and witness the dystopian world’s conditions after the imaginary third world war.
‘Aditya 369’ was a trailblazer in terms of camera work, production design, and visual effects. Due to the lack of technology available in India for the visual effects, the film was shot on a VHS camera and later transferred to film negative.