Vanaja | Movie Reviews + Features | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper


A young Indian girl hopes to dance out of poverty in Rajnesh Domalpalli's drama.


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The effervescent 15-year-old fisherman's daughter Vanaja (Mamatha) dreams of dancing, and considers it a lucky break to have secured a servant's position with the wealthy landlady Rama Devi (Urmila Dammannagari). Rama Devi agrees to teach Vanaja classic dancing, and the girl's virtuosity offers hope for better future than her prescribed lower-caste life. But class barriers don't fall easily, and impetuous teen-agers make poor decisions. The film affirms that there are few surprises in a life such as Vanaja's. The actors, many of them unprofessional, give strong performances, and Vanya's dance sequences are truly transporting. In Telugu, with subtitles. Starts Fri., Dec. 7. Manor



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