Rakesh Roshan owes his career as a filmmaker to K. Viswanath
Rakesh’s father-in-law is filmmaker J Om Prakash.
“But I never got an opportunity to observe my father-in-law at work. It was Viswanath ji whom I watched and learnt filmmaking from. We did four films together. He would shoot for the day and then leave the editing of the footage to me in the evening. It was while I edited Viswanath ji’s films that I realised I could direct films.”
The first film where Rakesh worked with Viswanath was “Aurat Aurat Aurat”.
“During the making of this film, I got the chance of observing Viswanath ji at work. One evening after pack-up, I found him worried. He told me his new Telugu film had not opened well.
“The next day I went to see that Telugu film. I loved the idea of a lazy man who doesn’t want to work. I told Viswanath ji where the script went wrong. He re-wrote the script and I produced ‘Kaamchor’ which Viswanath ji directed. The film launched me as an independent producer. I had earlier produced another film ‘Aap Ke Deewane’. But it was ‘Kaamchor’ which put me on the path of filmmaking.”
After “Kaamchor”, Rakesh worked in two films with Viswanath including the outstanding “Jaag Utha Insaan”.
“In ‘Shubh Kaamna’, I was just an actor happy to be directed by Viswanath ji. But I produced ‘Jaag Utha Insaan’ and played the lead in it. It was a brilliant script and Viswanath ji directed it with outstanding sensitivity.”
“We went wrong in the casting. Mithun Chakraborty was unacceptable to the Hindi audience as a Harijan after playing the Disco Dancer and Gun Master G-9. Sridevi as a classical dancer didn’t appeal to audiences after ‘Himmatwala’, and I was also miscast as a Brahmin boy.
“But I don’t regret producing ‘Jaag Utha Insaan’. Every moment spent with Viswanath ji has been a learning experience for me. Like I said, I owe my career as a filmmaker to him. He should’ve got the Dadasaheb Phalke Award long ago.”
Multiple National Film Award-winning filmmaker Viswanath has directed 50 films, known for their strong content, endearing narrative, honest handling and cultural authenticity.
Some of his major Hindi films include “Sargam”, “Kaamchor”, “Sanjog” and “Jaag Utha Insaan”.