Watching the legendary actor on screen

At the ongoing ‘6th Bengaluru International Film Festival’, a large number of film-buffs turned up for the screening of retrospective films of legendary Kannada actor Rajkumar. The screening began with Rajkumar’s 1960s film Bhakta Kanakadasa at Sulochana Auditorium.

The 127-minute-long film is the story of the spiritual journey of Kanakadasa, a devout follower and poet from the Dasa sect. The catchy music had become a rage after the release of the film. The black and white film was directed by YR Swamy. 

Paravathamma Rajkumar, wife of the late actor Rajkumar and yester-year actress B Saroja Devi who has acted with Rajkumar, were present for the inauguration and screening. Speaking prior to the screening, Paravathamma Rajkumar said, “I am so glad that my husband is remembered and revered even today. I am so overwhelmed with the response that I am left speechless.” 

Saroja Devi said, “I feel so honoured to have worked with the actor. There was so much that I learnt from him. There are so many traits of his, which the film industry should pick up. It will surely benefit them.” She went on to add, “In place of the superstar now, I look up to his wife. However, we will not get a superstar like him again.” 

According to RK Shivaram, joint director of information department, the festival has become a brand to reckon within national and international circuits. “The overwhelming response that BIFFes has received is a testimony to the success of the festival,” he said. 

Rajkumar fans were thrilled with the choice of the film for the screening on the first day. “It’s quite rare that we get to watch these old films as a group. I have grown up watching Rajkumar’s films. Although I’ve watched Bhakta Kanakadasa several times, I’ll never get bored of it,” said Narayan, a member of the audience. Another film-enthusiast, Alok R accompanied by a friend, was keen to watch as many films during the festival. “I see that there is a lot to choose from. This morning I watched ‘35 Shots of Rhum’ and now I’m here to watch this one. I have watched Bhakta Kanakadasa previously but each time I watch it, I like it more,” he said. “I’m attending the festival for the first time. I am hoping to make the most of it. The films being screened seem interesting,” said Lokesh, another audience member.  

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