‘Kalathapaswi’ K Viswanath is considered one of the greatest filmmakers India has ever produced. And ‘Ulaganayagan’ Kamal Haasan is an actor par excellence. When these two behemoths join forces, you can expect a masterclass in filmmaking. Sagara Sangamam (1983), Swathimuthyam (1986) and Subha Sankalpam (1995) are films that emerged from the association and have a lasting impact on South Indian cinema.
Sagara Sangamam hit theaters on June 3, 1983. Despite the many reruns on television, the film still finds fans even today.
Starring Kamal Haasan, Jaya Prada and SP Sailaja in the lead roles, Sagara Sangamam is the story of Balakrishna (Kamal Haasan), a classical dancer who lives hand in mouth. While classical dance is at the heart of Sagara Sangamam, the film also touches on the value of an artist and his/her craft in today’s commercialized world. While Kamal Haasan steals the show, K Viswanath conveys a strong message with the film. The music of maestro Ilaiyaraaja is the icing on the cake.
Songs like “Thakita Thadimi”, “Vedam Auvanuvuna Nadam”, “Om Namah Shivaaya”, “Vevela Gopemmala”, “Mounamelanoyi Ee Marapurani Reyi” and “Naada Vinodamu Natya Vilasamu” are still etched in the fans’ memory. This film also gave Ilaiyaraaja his first National Film Award for Best Music Direction. SP Balasubrahmanyam won the National Film Award for Best Male Playback Singer.
Sagara Sangamam also won Nandi Award for Best Feature Film (Bronze), Nandi Award for Best Actor (Kamal Haasan), Nandi Award for Best Art Director (Thota Tharani), Nandi Award for Best Editor (GG Krishna Rao), Nandi Award for Best audiographer (AR Swaminadhan) and Nandi Award for Best Female Playback Singer (S Janaki for “Om Namah Shivaaya”).
Jaya Prada and Kamal Haasan in Sagara Sangamam. (Photo: Facebook/Pulagam Chinnarayana)
Sagara Sangamam was released in Tamil and Malayalam with the titles Salangai Oli and Sagara Sangamam respectively. It turned out to be a blockbuster in all languages.