Dark days for Grahanam

Special Correspondent

VISAKHAPATNAM: Very few serious-natured literary works in Telugu have been made into films after Kanyasulkam, and Mohan Krishna Indraganti always wanted to adapt Chalam's works into screen.

So, he picked Chalam's short story, Doshagunam and the result is Grahanam.

"I have read most of his short stories. He is one of the few writers whose works can be adapted into filmsThere are many writers whose works are good but can't be made into movies. I don't think they need not be adopted at all," the young director, who recently bagged the Nandi for Grahanam.

Mohan Krishna wanted to show how Chalam, rather brutally, analysed the man-woman relationship. This relationship could not be easily categorised into one between a husband and a wife, a father and a daughter or a sister and a brother. It was inexplicable.

Grahanam is about the complex way in which the female sexuality is controlled in a patriarchal society. A superstition that a teenager will suffer due to "Doshagunam" when he has physical relationship with a woman older to him, pushes the life of a rich man's wife into tragic circumstances.

Mr. Mohan Krishna said the name of the short story, Doshagunam, was changed into Grahanam to symbolically explain how lives of two persons get eclipsed.

The film has a Visakhapatnam link too. Chalam's daughter Sourees lives in Bheemunipatnam and the director came to her in 2003 to seek her approval to make the short story into a film.

Many laurels, but...

But despite winning the National award for debut director's film in 2005, followed by the State Government's Nandi award, laurels at the international film festivals at Kolkota and in Kerala, Grahanam is still facing distribution problems.

The film is not released commercially in the port city. It was released in Hyderabad, Vijayawada, Kakinada, Rajahmundry, etc., but ran for a week. Those who watched the film liked it but it had a short run.

``I don't think it reached the target audience. A good cinema theatre to screen the film is almost impossible to get. People coming to see this movie want a comfortable theatre," he explained. Lack of experience on the part of producers was also one reason. There was no publicity for the film. Instead of simultaneous release, the film should have been screened at one place at a time, he felt.

Plea for theatres

In this connection, Mohan Krishna supported the actor-director R. Narayana Rao's plea to the Government to have a theatre of its own in some cities and towns in the State to exhibit Nandi and other award-winning films at a subsidised rate.

The Vizag Film Society arranged a screening of Grahanam here on Saturday. The society was arranging screening of films which did not have the commercial advantage of commercial screening, its secretary, Narava Prakasa Rao, said.