Mythological movies are now so rare in telugu cinema as if it were some unknown world. But there was a time when Telugu cinema, along with its technicians, was so into mythological movie making as a fish to water. And among those individuals was on director who was known as “Pauranika Brahma.” Kamalakara Kameswara Rao deserves a special mention in the pantheon of Directors in Telugu Cinema for enriching Telugu cinema and carving out a special position in the golden age of 50s and 60s.
Born in Bandar in the year 1911, Kamalakara Kameswara Rao was interested in journalism and worked as an in house film reviewer for the tabloid “Krishna Patrika”. His reviews used to be impartial and to the point. Seeing his reviews which were constructive on a film, H M Reddy asked Kamalakara Kameswara Rao to work for him on “Griha Lakshmi”. Later on he joined K V Reddy and B N Reddy and worked closely with them on all aspects of Film Making right from script to Direction.
He made his Directorial debut with the film “Chandra Haram”. The movie was not a box office success. His second movie “Penki Pilla” was also a non starter at the box office. But his third movie “Panduranga Mahatyam” earned him ever lasting name in the pantheon of Directors and became a movie of a life time.
After “Panduranga Mahatyam” he directed “Nartanasala”, “Pandava Vanavasam”, “Sri Krishnavataram” and “Sri Krishna Vijayam” which were termed to be poetry on celluloid in the Mythological genre and it is no mean achievement to be called as the “Pauranika Brahma”. It is not a tall statement that North Indian Directors used his movies as references when they attempted mythological genre.
He did not direct only mythological movies but also some social comedies like “Gundamma Katha” and touched history with “Mahakavi Kalidasu” and “Mahamantri Timmarusu” which remain as classics in the genre. He was a person of immaculate character and always remained with a calm posture. He had to face a lot of criticism and also controversies during the filming of “Kurukshetram”. The film became a big success. And that was the last notable success he got in his career.
Though he continued to direct, the changing trends in cinema did not favor film makers like him. His last film was “Edu Kondala Swamy” in 1991 which was like a swansong over his career which lasted for 4 decades.
The “Pouranika Brahma” breathed his last in the year 1998 at a ripe age of 87. He has left this world after enriching it with his art.