December 18, 2011 Y. Sunitha Chowdhary
When two stalwarts team up to act as friends and when the film comes from a writer, director who has an intention of bringing a good and clean cinema to the public then it is a moment worth watching for. Octogenerian K. Viswanath in a relaxed mood one Sunday morning talks of Devasthanam that brings him and SP Balasubramaniam and Aamani as the latter's wife directed by Janardhana Maharshi.
"I'm glad to be working with my brother in real life. We have no ego problems, the director is intellectually sound and the film looks to be aesthetically appealing, there is no bloodshed. After Subhapradam I wasn't too inclined to direct a film, this seems like a holiday. I don't want to struggle, there should be a limit for everything and I'm taking things easy. There is no necessity now for me direct a film for survival..not because I'm am self sufficient it takes up a lot of investment in the form of energy, time. If I direct a film sincerely it takes away five years of my life for which I think I'm not ready."
Viswanath had seen Sri Rama Rajyam and compares Bapu-Ramana to the technically perfect and smooth Rolls-Royce; He says one can never find fault with the duo who share excellent wavelength and tuning. Two creative artists can never come together on one rope, they either compromise or find a common solution which is not congenial to the work but in the case of the above it is different. He laments that they haven't been awarded or recognized by the government.
"We never lobbied, we are above it and everyone knows what's happening behind, any false achievement doesn't give satisfaction. If I read a paid interview in a newspaper will I enjoy it? Even if you write genuinely people will think it has been dictated, all know the worth of the man. Even film reviews turn out to be a subjective opinion, one cannot generalize and represent the opinion of crores of people.
There is no proper appraisal, constructive criticism and analysis of film reviews like we got from Ramana, Kameswar Rao, etc. Journalists watch a film in a bad mood and that reflects on their reviews. These days youngsters don't know why a particular scene looks the way it is, they simply remark that the photography is bad, they don't want to know the factors that lead to the ultimate result. If you don't have a knowledge of filmmaking it's difficult to write a review."
Exuding warmth and humour the director says he is tired of being asked the same questions by journalists about what advice he would like to give up and coming directors. "I keep writing my plots, my scripts, I don't want to comment on it as I'm from this industry. I'm not able to advise my grandson, why would I want to advise others? Some wear silk, others wear Khadi, the people decide which is good and comfortable, all I can say make your kind of films and get your following, it should be commercially viable and aesthetically appealing.
Anything done with faith and good will be appreciated. I'm a contented person, even today people remember Shankarabharanam, Saptapadi and Sagara Sangamam. No person can replicate your work, they can only come close to it."