Sankarabharanam (1980 film)
Sankarabharanam (English: The Jewel of Shiva) is a 1980 Indian Telugu-language musical drama film written and directed by K. Viswanath. Produced by Edida Nageswara Rao under the production company Poornodaya Movie Creations, Sankarabharanam starred J. V. Somayajulu, Manju Bhargavi, Chandramohan and Rajyalakshmi. The soundtrack was composed by K. V. Mahadevan and remained a chartbuster. The film throws light on the chasm between Classical and Western Music based on the perspective of people from two different generations.
|Directed by||K. Viswanath|
|Produced by||Edida Nageswara Rao|
|Written by||K. Viswanath|
Jandhyala (dialogues )
|Screenplay by||K. Viswanath|
|Music by||K. V. Mahadevan|
|Edited by||G. G. Krishna Rao|
|Distributed by||Poornodaya Movie Creations|
Sankarabharanam won the Prize of the Public at the "Besançon Film Festival of France" in the year 1981. It was screened at the 8th International Film Festival of India, the Tashkent Film Festival, the Asia Pacific Film Festival, the Moscow International Film Festival held in May 1980, and the AISFM Film Festival. Forbes included J. V. Somayajulu's performance in the film on its list of "25 Greatest Acting Performances of Indian Cinema". IBN Live included Sankarabharanam on its list of "100 greatest Indian films of all time".
Sankarabharanam opened to near empty halls and by the end of the first week all theaters were housefull for every show.It had an extraordinary run, running for more than 25weeks in many centers. Released in Bangalore with out dubbing it ran for a year, having won four National Film Awards including the Best Film with Mass Appeal, Wholesome Entertainment & Aesthetic Values, the first for a South-Indian film at the 27th National Film Awards, and five state Nandi Awards. It was later dubbed into Tamil and Malayalam under the same title.
Sankara Sastri is a very popular Carnatic singer. He is a widower with a daughter named Sarada. People come in huge numbers to listen to his voice and consider him to be a great man. He has mastered the raga Shankarabharanam and hence is eponymous with the same. Tulasi, (Manju Bhargavi) is a Dasi's daughter who has great interest in music and dance. She is also an admirer of Sastri, and goes to the riverbank in the early mornings when Sastri teaches music to his own daughter.
One morning Tulasi is so thrilled by Sastri's singing that she begins dancing on the riverbank, oblivious of her surroundings. Sastri sees her, and Tulasi also comes to her senses — and abruptly stops. She expects Sastri to rebuke her. But he appreciates her sincerity and continues singing.
Tulasi's mother wants her to follow in her family's tradition of becoming a prostitute and one day she extracts a high price for Tulasi from a rich man. The man goes on to rape Tulasi. The man sees a photo of Sastri in Tulasi's room. He breaks it and taunts her by saying that now she can become the old Sastri's mistress. This enrages Tulasi. She takes a shard of glass from the broken frame of Sastri's photo and stabs the client to death.
A murder trial ensues. Sastri tries to save Tulasi by consulting his lawyer brother (Allu Ramalingaiah), who wins the case in Tulasi's favour. Tulasi's mother is sent to jail for engaging in prostitution, while Tulasi is a free but homeless woman. Sastri brings Tulasi to his home. People assume that Tulasi has become Sastri's mistress and start avoiding him. Even Sastri's maid and musical accompanists leave him. Tulasi feels responsible for all this and leaves Sastri's home.
Over time the popularity of classical music wanes, while pop music is on the ascendant. Sastri loses his loyal audience and, with it, his comfortable lifestyle. Ten year later, Sastri is living in a small house with his now grown daughter. Meanwhile, Tulasi has inherited her mother's property which was under litigation. She wants to help the struggling Sastri anonymously. Tulasi has a ten-year-old son, a result of her rape, and wishes her son to become Sastri's student. Tulasi gets her son to pretend to be homeless and enter Sastri's household as a servant. Things go according to plan. Tulasi is content to watch from a distance as her son gradually becomes a part of Sastri's household and eventually, his musical protege.
Pamulaparti Venkata Kameswara Rao (Chandramohan), a dilettante Brahmin boy, falls in love with Sastri's daughter. Although Sastri rejects the alliance at first, he later agrees after learning of the man's interest in classical music. Tulasi then arranges for a concert on the day of Sastri's daughter's wedding, where Sastri finds his lost audience has returned to hear his voice. Sastri sings at the concert, but suffers a heart attack part-way through it. Then his disciple, Tulasi's son, takes over from the sidelines and continues singing the song.. As Sastri watches his student with pride, he also sees Tulasi at the side of the hall, and realizes that the boy is Tulasi's son. A doctor is brought to attend to Sastri, but Sastri waves him off, knowing that his end is near. As Tulasi's son completes the song, Sastri symbolically anoints the boy as heir to his music, then dies. Tulasi comes running to her guru and falls down at his feet. She too dies from the shock of Sastri's death. The film ends in this tragic but uplifting note, as Sastri's newly-wed daughter and son-in-law take charge of Tulasi's son.
- Dialogues: Jandhyala
- Lyrics: Veturi Sundararama Murthy
- Playback Singers: S.P. Balasubrahmanyam, S. Janaki, Vani Jayaram, S.P. Sailaja, Madhavapeddi Ramesh, Jit Mohan Mitra & Pattabhi
- Recording & Re-recording: A.R. Swaminathan
- Dialogue Recording: Rajan & Kannan [Prasad Studios]
- Production Managers: P. Rajagopal & Ravi Prakash
- Makeup: Munduri Satyam
- Hair stylist: P. Rama Murthy
- Costumes: K. Surya Rao
- Publicity: Ganagadhar & K.S. Pani
- Press Relations: I. Arjuna Rao
- Assistant Directors: Vamsy & J. Venkateswara Rao
- Assistant Cameraman: Pandyan
- Associate Editor: S. Nagababu
- Stills: K. Satyanarayana
- Art: Thota Tharani
- Choreographer: V. Seshu Parupalli
- Associate Director: Manduri Vijay
- Editor: G. G. Krishna Rao
- Director of photography: Balu Mahendra
- Music Director: K.V. Mahadevan
- Associate Producers: Thadi Ramakrishna, Thadi Haribabu, Thadi Babji
- Producers: Edida Nageshwara Rao & Akasam Sreeramulu
- Story, Screenplay & Direction: K. Viswanath
- Film Processing: Prasad Film Laboratories
- Production Company: Poornodaya Movie Creations
After hearing the plot, the producers were initially taken aback due to the parallel cinema tone to the subject matter, but finally Edida Nageswara Rao agreed to produce the film. He wanted Akkineni Nageswara Rao to enact the role of Sankara Sastry, K. Viswanath wanted Sivaji Ganesan to perform the role, but couldn't approach him for various reasons and also wanted Krishnam Raju for the role, but later refused as Viswanath felt his image as a star would ruin the role and he finally chosen a debutant J. V. Somayajulu, a stage artist for the role. Vamsy, who went on to direct films like Sitaara, Anveshana and Ladies Tailor was one of the assistant directors in the film.
The movies primary locations, as evident from the movie, is Raghudevapuram in seethanagaram mandal near River Godavari, then places in the river town of Rajahmundry, which include banks of river Godavari (Pushkar ghat) near Godavari (station), Shade Girls' High School, Augustus Hospital, Danavaipeta and other places.
|Year||Nominee / work||Award||Result|
|1980||Edida Nageswara Rao||National Film Award for Best Popular Film Providing Wholesome Entertainment||Won|
|K. V. Mahadevan||National Film Award for Best Music Direction||Won|
|S. P. Balasubrahmanyam||National Film Award for Best Male Playback Singer||Won|
|Vani Jayaram||National Film Award for Best Female Playback Singer||Won|
|Edida Nageswara Rao||Nandi Award for Best Feature Film - Golden Nandi||Won|
|S. P. Balasubrahmanyam||Nandi Award for Best Male Playback Singer||Won|
|Veturi Sundararama Murthy
("Sankara Naada Sareerapara")
|Nandi Award for Best Lyricist||Won|
|J. V. Somayajulu||Filmfare Award for Best Actor – Telugu||Won|
The music, largely Carnatic based, was composed by K.V. Mahadevan. M. Balamuralikrishna was the original choice for the male playback singer, due to the heavy classical content of the compositions. Since M. Balamuralikrishna was not so much inclined to sing in the movie, K. V. Mahadevan, having faith in the mettle of S. P. Balasubrahmanyam, insisted on him taking up this challenge.
All music is composed by K. V. Mahadevan.
|1.||"Broche Varevaru Ra"||Mysore Vasudevachar||S. P. Balasubrahmanyam, Vani Jayaram|
|2.||"Dorakunaa Ituvanti Seva"||Veturi Sundararama Murthy||S. P. Balasubrahmanyam. Vani Jayaram|
|3.||"Manasa Sancharare"||Sadasiva Brahmendra||S. P. Balasubrahmanyam, Vani Jayaram|
|4.||"Maanikya Veena" (Poem)||Mahakavi Kalidasu||S. P. Balasubrahmanyam|
|5.||"Omkaara Naadaanusandhanam"||Veturi Sundararama Murthy||S. P. Balasubrahmanyam, S. Janaki|
|6.||"Paluke Bangaaramaayena"||Bhadrachala Ramadasu||S. P. Balasubrahmanyam, Vani Jayaram|
|7.||"Raagam Taanam Pallavi"||Veturi Sundararama Murthy||S. P. Balasubrahmanyam|
|8.||"Sankaraa Naadasareeraparaa"||Veturi Sundararama Murthy||S. P. Balasubrahmanyam|
|9.||"Saamaja Varagamana"||Thyagaraja||S. Janaki, S. P. Balasubrahmanyam|
|10.||"Ye Teeruga Nanu"||Bhadrachala Ramadasu||Vani Jayaram|
Release and receptionEdit
Released on 2 February 1980, the film was released in only a very few theatres and opened to almost empty halls. However, due to positive word-of-mouth, the film opened to packed houses and had 365-day run at Royal theatre, Hyderabad., Alankar talkies, Bangalore etc
The success of this film triggered a sequence of classical films in Telugu, including Tyagayya (by Bapu), Meghasandesam (by Dasari N. Rao), and Viswanath's own follow-ups: Saptapadi,Saagara Sangamam, Sruthi Layalu, Swarna Kamalam,Swayam Krushi, Sirivennela, and Swati Kiranam. S.P. Balasubrahmanyam, the Telugu playback singer who rendered all the songs of Sastri's character, has often said this movie was the highlight of his career. It got 'SPB' his first National Award, and made him a household name across all of South India. Film critic Gudipoodi Srihari called it as the best Telugu film he has seen after Mayabazar. Viswanath later remade the film in Hindi as Sur Sangam with Girish Karnad, and Jaya Prada in the lead roles.
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