K. Viswanath's ‘Subhapradam' promises food for thought for students and parents. M.L. Narasimham

The master storyteller knows pretty well that certain burning issues, when narrated through a song, can make a better impact than through lengthy ‘bhashans'. Who else can bring out such melody from a music director so well than him? After a brief hiatus, veteran film-maker K. Viswanath is back to wearing his khakis and to the director's seat. He was shooting the remaining song portion for Sri Raja Rajeswari Films (P) Ltd.' s Subhapradam at a specially created set by art director M. Venkateswara Rao at the spacious floor in Rama Naidu Studios, Nanakaramguda.

The master craftsman has retained one of his favourite choreographer, Bhushan Lakhandi, to choreograph the campus song, Vormi Chalamma O Bhumatha ; Bharincha Vaddamma ee Papathmula Motha…” written by Seetharama Sastry to Mani Sharma's composition.

Draped in black salwar suit, the lead actress Manjari Phadnis led the 30-odd male and female dancers in the guise of students wearing similar costume while the song is played on the nagra. The ace choreographer made them undergo a thorough rehearsal before Venugopal's camera captured the shot.

“They raise their voice against ragging in colleges,” explains Hari Gopala Krishnamurthy who produces the movie along with Peela Neela Tilak. “The joy of a fresher when he or she enters college can only be compared with the joy of parents cuddling their just born baby. Such a joy should be enjoyed and should not be curtailed sadistically by resorting to ragging. A change should take place in such student mindset. Family upbringing also plays a role in their behaviour. So the fault lies with their parents. And they should create awareness against ragging and emphasis that it is not our culture. The purpose of entering into a college is to achieve academic excellence and to bond with fellow students,” adds the producer.

Allari Naresh plays the hero. Since he is not part of the song sequence he is not required for the shoot. “He plays a fun loving character, who is basically lazy. How he meets the heroine, falls in love with her and how Sarath Babu enters into their life creates interesting twists as the story progresses,” said Gopala Krishnamurthy.

Generally in K. Viswanath's films though the hero walks away with fame, it is the heroine who emerges stronger. One is tempted to ask about Manjari's role in the movie. But Murthy evades with a smile and instead talks about Sarath Babu's role that has an aura of mystery surrounding it. He adds that S.P. Balasubrahmanyam plays himself in a special appearance.

“We are winding up the shooting with the completion of this song. Earlier we filmed the hero's house and other scenes in Annavaram, and the heroine's house scenes in Alleppey, and scenes involving Sarath Babu in Vizianagaram, besides five of the six songs at these locations,” said the producer.

Last year, K. Viswanath completed 60 years in films. He started his career in the sound engineering department at Vauhini Studios in 1949 (now known as Vijaya Studios). And this year marks his 34th year as a filmmaker. As we observe him at work, we can't help but be awed by the youthful exuberance as he walks towards the shooting zone and guides his heroine to perfection while the unit members watch, completely bowled over by the wizard's energy levels.

The film, presented by Ch. Kausalendra Rao, releases in July.