About the Film
Saptapadi essentially tells the story of a Kuchipudi dancer Hema (Sabitha Bhamidipathi) who is the granddaughter of the feared and orthodox Brahmin priest Yajulu (JV Somayajulu) of the local Hindu temple. Impressed by Hema’s dancing, the priest fixes her marriage with a man named Gowrinath (Ravikanth). But Hema is in love with another man, Hari (Girish), who is the flute player accompanying her performances and whom she soon is astonished to learn is a “Harijan” low-caste untouchable! Since intercaste marriage is unacceptable, she dutifully enters into marriage with Gowrinath. On the wedding night her husband envisions (hallucinates?) that she is a Hindu goddess and he worships her instead of consummating the marriage. This continues for some time, much to the disappointment of Hema. She often fondly recalls her romance with Hari, and her pent up frustrations find expression in a thrilling tandav dance! Yajulu comes to know of Gowrinath's visions and Hema's true love (a plot point which I'm not clear on due to, once again, the lack of English subtitles). It appears the visions are seen as an "act of God" that spurs Yajulu to reconsider his orthodox positions. Near the end of the film, the priest and Hema’s husband have a change of heart and actually bring Hema and her true love Hari together to be wed--of course not until after Yajulu gives some long speeches (presumably scriptural/spiritual discussions about caste) to the shocked local community Some commenters over at Idlebrain and Telugufilms have said that the film essentially examines the orthodoxy and true purpose of the caste system and shows through Yajulu’s character the transformation of a person transitioning from judging someone based on caste to learning to see the true nature of the person’s heart.