K.Balachander doesn’t need any introduction to Telugu Audience. A legendary director who gave films which made people think about the contemporary problems of the 70s, Balachander is well known for his fantastic work- straight Telugu films as well as the ones dubbed from Tamil. At an age when South Indian Cinema was filled with needless sentiment and monotonous characters, and when the female leads were shown as helpless creatures- Balachander changed it all with his strong female characters along with hard hitting realities shown in his movies. His films questioned the audience about family troubles, poverty, unemployment, humanity and what not? Balachander redefined film making in South India- where films were not only seen as entertainment or escapism but also as a thought provoking medium.
Let it be a strong willed unmarried woman(Jayaprada) who has an irresponsible brother (Rajnikanth) in Anthuleni Kadha, or a Tamil Brahmin Youngster Balu (Kamal Hassan) loving a mentally stronger Telugu girl Swapna(Saritha) in Maro Charitra. Balachander is nothing less to perfection in defining characterizations and the subjects he choose for films. People cannot forget the strong questions asked by the unemployed youth (Kamal Hassan) in Akali Rajyam about why India remains to be poor and questioning the sad plight of unemployment in the 80s. His films have strong realities shown in very direct fashion- which even shock the audience at some point of time! A master story teller, his Maro Charitra is great not just because it is a love story, but because it speaks wonderfully about how strongly a woman can be- through two female leads played by Saritha and Madhavi respectively.
Balachander has been instrumental in discovering some great new talents in South India in every field of film making. Veteran actors like Kamal Hassan, Rajnikanth, Chiranjeevi,Sridevi, Jayaprada, Saritha, Jayachitra, Suhasini, Jayasudha, Geetha, Prakash Raj and so on got amazing break in their careers- thanks to Balachander’s films. Known to be a strict disciplinarian as far as work is concerned, many actors grew under Balachander’s guidance.
He takes utmost care in the music department for every film of his. In fact, Balachander’s films are best remembered for wonderful songs and lyrics they have. Some of the greatest musical classics such as Sindhu Bhairavi (Dubbed in Telugu) and Rudraveena come from Balachander’s thought- and it fetched Ilaiyaraaja the national award for both these films for best music! His association with veteran musicians such as MSV and Ilaiyaraaja cannot be forgotten by any Telugu Film Music lover.
Balachander is well known to the serials world as well with some thought provoking serials which aired in 90s such as Guppedu Manasu.
It was indeed a great loss for the Indian Film Industry to lose such a brilliant director last year and he enthralled the audience with his memorable performance in Kamal Hassan’s Uthama Villain – which his termed as his last work in films.
iQlikmovies remembers this legendary film personality on his birth anniversary today.