The evergreen cult classic movie of the Eighties, Shankarabharanam, which showcased the artistic temperament of Telugu filmmakers to the world, has completed 40 years on February 2. The wonderful poetic and visual treat, which was helmed by renowned director ‘Kalatapasvi’ K Vishwanath, was released in 1980.
Made under Poornodaya Art Creations banner, it was produced by Edida Nageswara Rao and Akasam Sriramulu. At a time when heroes like NTR, ANR, Sobhan Babu and Krishna were ruling the roost with commercial entertainers, this movie with its not so- popular cast didn’t actually open to full houses.
But, word of mouth brought crowds to the movie halls. The relationship between Shankara Sastri (played by JV Somayajulu) and Thulasi (Manju Bhargavi) is portrayed in the most heartwarming and beautiful manner. The story revolves around the renowned classical musician Shankara Shastri who is looked down upon by his community and fraternity for standing in support of a dancer and sex worker’s daughter Thulasi.
This movie is believed to have had a positive impact in reviving interest in classical music among youngsters. Sankarabharanam also received a number of awards including the ‘swarna Kamalam’ — the first Telugu film to bag this. SP Balasubrahmanyam bagged his first National Award with this film, besides Vani Jayaram and KV Mahadevan who got Best Female Singer and Best Music Director awards.