In an interaction with City Express at the Bengaluru International Festival, director Kasinathuni Viswanath confessed that he has not had any formal training in film making. “I am a very practical man. I am not that educated and I do films based on my intuition,” said the director who has won many awards. Viswanath started his career in the Telugu film industry as a technician and later proved himself through exploring films on music and dance in a new way. “I was not inspired by any story nor I read books. The stories of movies like Shankarabharanam, Sagara Sangamam and Siri Siri Muvva were based on my imagination,” said the 82-year-old director.
When asked if Siri Siri Muvva will be remade in Telugu, he said, “Personally I don’t believe in remakes. We can’t make Maya Bazaar again. Even if you have Amitabh Bachchan as ghatothkach, you can’t create the same impact on the audience. The thought of making sequels and remakes itself is quite challenging for me.”
On Telugu films based on mythology, he opined, “Scripts with mythological characters were powerful because they were written by writers who were very versatile. They wrote literature and were not film writers. They were thorough with their subject.”
According to Viswanath, Maya Bazaar is still a favourite among youngsters. “Present generation will watch movies if narrated in the right way. Though they are addicted to pizzas and burgers that doesn’t mean they don’t like dosas,” he asserted.
As a technician, he did sound recording for many Kannada films and enjoyed watching movies of Dr Rajkumar. “I cannot pick or recall one particular film as every movie had its own essence with a gripping story,” said Viswanath, who is of the opinion that today it is the question of survival for producers who make films and are happy if they get back their money, which was not the case earlier. “I think in today’s world a good film is judged by the number of days it runs in theatres. Scripts are weaved with 10 good villains, two heroines and a handsome hero.”
Viswanath does not make films to win awards. “Awards have got certain norms. I can’t ask my producer to do films for an award. Every film has its own flavour,” said the director, whose film Swathi Muthyam was one of the first films to be nominated for the Oscars in 1986. “I didn’t feel excited about its entry and I don’t feel anything about its exit too. As a director I made my producer happy.
We narrate a story like a news reader, if it excites the producer, then we make it into a full fledged film. Awards come if the film deserves it.
Appealing the audience is important but more important is our own contribution,” he concluded.