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Dr Vishnuvardhan's School Master arrives

Last updated on: January 21, 2010 16:00 IST

Dr Vishnuvardhan's School Master arrives

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R G Vijayasarathy in Bangalore

The School Master has finally arrived.

The Kannada film starring late Vishnuvardhan and Suhasini Mani Ratnam is releasing on January 22.

This is the 199th film of the legendary Kannada actor who passed away last December. The movie is directed by Dinesh Babu. Here's what he has to say about the whole experience.

Dinesh Babu School Master was started much before the launch of Bellary Naga and Dr Vishnuvardhan's 200th film Aaptha Rakshaka. Why was the film's release delayed though the shooting was completed many days before Bellary Naga?

Yes, School Master was made much before the two films. The shooting was over as planned, but later many other things went out of control. We wanted some patch work but Vishnu sir got busy completing Aaptha Rakshaka. Then the producer became busy in his political activities and also in completing his maiden Telugu film. Anyway, there is no point in talking about these things, as the film is now releasing.

You were not present at the audio release function. We didn't see you after Dr Vishnuvardhan's death either

I was away in Tamil Nadu undergoing treatment for my back problem. The place was an inaccessible resort where I had to stay put for nearly 15 days. I finished my work for School Master and left for treatment. Meanwhile I got the news of Dr Vishnu sir's death, but I could not terminate my treatment half way. I came to Bengaluru some days after his death.


Image: A scene from School Master

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'School Master will be another award-winning performance from Vishnu sir'

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You have directed Dr Vishnuvardhan in many films including his last one, Bellary Naga. Suprabhatha too is still remembered. What do you have to say about School Master and Dr Vishnuvardhan's performance in it?

School Master has a contemporary story. I wrote the script keeping Vishnu sir in mind. I briefed the story only after completing writing the dialogues. Vishnu sir was very happy with the script.

Kannada film fans will see one of the most intense performances from their favourite actor in School Master. I am sure that this film will be another milestone. Some of his fans still remember his performance in my earlier film, Laali which fetched him the Best Actor award by the Karnataka government.

This will be another award-winning performance from him. I am sure that Vishnu sir will be in strong contention for the National Award also. We are planning to send the film for the National Awards. But we can send it only for the year 2010 as the film got censored only in January this year.

What is so special about his performance in the film?

Vishnu sir is an actor par excellence. When you have intense subjects like School Master which suit his age and stature, you can be sure of getting the best from him.

School Master is not a regular masala film, but a realistic contemporary one. The narration may be a little classy, but the film will suit the taste of the masses only because of the presence of a fine actor like Dr Vishnuvardhan.

There are many films in which Vishnu sir has acted with Suhasini Mani Ratnam. But in School Master the chemistry between these two great artists have worked out very well.


Image: A scene from School Master

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'There are sequences in School Master which will make the audience cry'

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School Master is releasing after his death. Do you think that there will be some dialogues in the film about his sudden death?

Yes, I feel that there are many dialogues in the film which will have a major impact. There are sequences which will make the audience cry and think about his death. In the climax sequence, the actor speaks directly to the audience that if they find anything good in him, they should follow him. His monologue in the court scene will definitely be an emotional one. I wept every time I watch the scene even though I have seen the movie more than a hundred times. Many people including the editor and producers were in tears.

Is Vishnu is playing the role of a qualified kalari master in the film?

I did not want his image as a Sahasa Simha to override the reality or emotions in the film. These things were all part of the story and Vishnu sir's talents in yoga and kalari just fitted into the story.

What is your favourite scene in the film?

My personal favourite is the court sequence where Vishnu sir tells the judge that he has taken the law into his hands mainly because he did not want to see another father face a similar situation of losing his most beloved child.

Another important sequence is when Vishnu sir tells the school inspector and parents that he is not interested in overburdening the children with home work and exams. He wants the children to play. This will go down well with the audience as children are facing stressful times in school these days.


Image: A scene from School Master

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