Thanks to senior actors like NTR, ANR, Jaggaiah, SV Ranga Rao and Kantha Rao, who introduced to us the essence of folklore films, there have been many hit films of this genre in the early 1950s. However, the Eastman colour and the digital eras didn’t really see many folklore movies. The late Seventies and the early Eighties gave way to social and fanstasy movies with few filmmakers trying anything but the routine success formula.
Nevertheless, movie makers like Singeetam Srinivasa Rao have tried their hand at offbeat films, and succeeded to some extent. He was the director who gave us the silent movie Pushpaka Vimanam in the talkie era. He was also the only filmmaker who attempted a full-fledged folklore-themed movie at a time when its success was dubious. However, the movie in question — Bhairava Dweepam — was made and released in the ’90s, and its phenomenal success gave hope to both filmmakers and the audience.
* Starring Nandamuri Balakrishna, Roja and Rambha in lead roles, Bhairava Dweepam is written and directed by Singeetam Srinivasa Rao.
* Produced by Venkatarama Reddy under Chandamama Vijaya Pictures banner, music for the film is composed by Madhavapeddi Suresh.
* Singer Balasubrahmaniam won Nandi award for his rendition Sri Tumbura Narada, which is a mixture of many raagas and was called a raagamalika.
* Even veteran singer S Janaki, who lent her voice for Naruda O Naruda, was also honoured with a Nandi award for the way she managed the variations in her voice.
* The same team of Bhairava Dweepam was roped in to act for Sri Krishnarjuna Vijayam, a mythological film, later. Balakrishna donned the dual roles of Lord Krishna and Arjuna in the film.
* After the release of the film, the popular kids’ magazine Chandamama had become much more popular and it was children who mostly enjoyed the film to a large extent.