When K. Viswanath paid his tribute to Satyajit Ray through Kamal Haasan’s dance skills – Times of India

While the entire nation mourns the demise of legendary filmmaker and Dadasaheb Phalke awardee K. Viswanath condolences are pouring in since last night. Popularly known as ‘Kalatapasvi’, Viswanath is a prominent name not just in Telugu cinema but also in Tamil and Hindi films.
The legendary storyteller who directed award-winning films like ‘Sankarabharanam;, ‘Sagara Sangamam’, ‘Swati Mutyam’, ‘Saptapadi’, ‘Kaamchor’, ‘Sanjog’ and ‘Jaag Utha Insaan’ to name a few in his illustrious career started his filmmaking journey with ‘Aatma Gowravam’, which starred Akkineni Nageswara Rao and won the Nandi Award for the best feature film.

Interestingly, in his early days Viswanath was greatly influenced by the Parallel Cinema movement in Bengal. The reformative style of Satyajit Ray, Mrinal Sen, Ritwik Ghatak’s films inspired him to look explore subjects that were socially poignant and aesthetically rich.
Many even noticed the influence of auteur Satyajit Ray in the filmmaking style of K. Viswanath. Among his so many cult classic films he will definitely be remembered for the 1983 movie ‘Salangai Oli’, a Tamil dubbed version of ‘Sagara Sangamam’. In this film, Viswanath managed to extract dancing skills from Kamal Haasan more than any other filmmaker the actor had collaborated.

After the film’s release, many critics had pointed out one particular scene in which Kamal was seen exploring different dance forms for a single song and it was called as poetry in motion. Film critics wrote if Satyajit Ray’s portrayal of Durga dancing in the rain in ‘Pather Panchali’ is a legacy in Indian cinema, then Kamal Haasan’s dancing over the well in the rain in a song sequence might well be Viswanath’s tribute to Satyajit Ray.

Some even say that not only Satyajit Ray, Mrinal Sen, Ritwik Ghatak, Guru Dutt, G Aravindan or Adoor Gopalakrishnan but K. Viswanath can also be called as an auteur – a filmmaker celebrated for a distinctive cinematic vision.

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