Anveshana Movie BGM by Ilayaraja
Directed by Vamsy
Produced by Kamineni Prasad
Written by Vamsy
Starring Karthik, Bhanupriya, Satyanarayana, Sharat Babu, Rallapalli
Music by Ilayaraja
Cinematography by M. V. Raghu
Record Label: Echo & Aditya
Release date: 1985
story of an Ornithologist and a Police investigator coming to a forest and trying to solve the mystery of a series of killings allegedly by a man-eating tiger but soon find out it is a serial killer and the identity is revealed in the end.
During the shooting of Sitara at Kovalam Beach, Kamineni Prasad met with director Vamsi expressing a desire to produce a movie directed by him. He even had a co-producer, Chinna, who was the owner of Hotel Apsara in Vizag. Prasad had produced ‘Intinti Katha’ in 1974 with Krishna. Vamsi wanted to make a thriller this time and started writing the story.
Vamsi and Ilayaraja went to Madhurai to work on the music of the movie. After reaching the hotel, the director realized he left the script in Araku, the place he went before this to work on the script. So when the maestro asked him for the story and the situations to compose the music for, Vamsi made up some story hurriedly, whatever came from the top of his head. Though not completely different from what he had written, the plot had changed when he narrated it to Ilayaraja. The composer gave wonderful music, after which Vamsi returned to Madras and wrote the script based on Ilayaraja’s tunes and the new plot he himself had narrated. He titled it Anveshana.
Anveshana is a thriller, a murder mystery at that. Bhanupriya comes to record bird sounds in a forest. She is related to Kaikala, who stays there. Sarath Babu is the forest officer. A lady comes to the forest before Bhanupriya, and she is killed. The forest officer says it is a tiger that killed the lady. People start getting killing, and it is clearly not the work of a tiger. Karthik is an undercover cop, who is trying to find out the identity of the killer.
Once he finished the script, he sent it to Yendamuri Veerendranath to fill in the dialogues. He did so and sent him back, but Vamsi was dissatisfied with it. So he worked on the dialogues himself. After Seethakoka Chiluka and Abhinandana, Karthik was liked in both Tamil and Telugu. He was chosen as the main lead, while Vamsi repeated Bhanupriya after Sitara and Alapana. For the crucial role of Ponni, dancer Sumati was finalized. The other cast included artists like Subhalekha Sudhakar, Kaikala Satyanarayana, Sarath Babu and others.
A lot of the shooting was done in Talakona forest. Though it looks like dense forest, they really did not go deep inside. A lot of the scenes were shot at night. Thota Tharani did wonders with the art work, including the forest officer’s cottage which was done up authentically. Instead of the required steady camera, they had to make do with a hand-held one due to budget constrains. MV Raghu, the cinematographer, used his camera to scare and thrill. Award winning editor, Anil Malnad, also deserves credit for that, as timing is essential in a thriller. The movie was shot with a budget of 15 lakhs and a schedule of 60 days.
Veturi wrote the lyrics for the songs. The songs were recorded at Prasad Deluxe Theatre in Madras. The first song recorded was ‘Keeravani’ with SP Balasubrahmanyam and Janaki. Ilayaraja got some special equipment for the re-recording. He used musical instruments to mimic the sounds of nature, like birds singing and trees rustling, etc. For the song ‘Ekantha Vela’, Karthik was unavailable for part of the shooting. So they took the choreographer and shot him and Bhanupriya in long shots. Ghantasala Ratna Kumar dubbed for Karthik. Lakshmi dubbed for Bhanupriya in Sitara, but for the first time, she dubbed for herself.
Bhanupriya dubbed for her role for the first time in Anveshana.
Critics opine that it is based on the Kannada-Telugu dubbed super hit of the late 70s, Aparichithudu, which was a horror-suspense. Vamsi accepts this fact, and adds that Hollywood movies like ‘Visiting Hours’ and ‘Evil Under The Sun’ also inspired him. The humor in the movie is provided by Mallikarjuna Rao, who plays the part of Puliraju. He stops people in the morning as they go to attend their nature-call and narrates stories. Kaikala also generates some laughs as an absent-minded man.
The movie was a musical hit. It ran for 100 days in 11 centers. At the 100 days function at Hotel Woodlands in Madras, Raghavendra Rao, Jayasudha and Gollapudi Maruti Rao were the chief guests. Maruti Rao said that this movie was a technician’s movie. ‘It is a technician’s victory. It’s a regular mystery story, but it had a great director, editor, musician, cameraman working on it. It is a great experience.’ The director’s presentation and technique worked well for the movie. The movie’s specialty is how it keeps the viewer at the edge of their seat. Every character acts suspiciously till the last reel. And the villain’s identity is unknown. Though thrillers are usually a one-time watch, Anveshana got a lot of repeat audience.
They wanted to remake it in Marathi, but this venture did not work. The movie was dubbed in Tamil as ‘Paadum Paravaigal’ (Birds Also Sing). Mallikarjuna Rao’s track was re-shot with Tamil comedian Senthil Mani. Ilayaraja’s music, MV Raghu’s camerawork, Anil Malnad’s editing, the cast and last but not the least, Vamsi’s unique directorial skills make Anveshana a must-watch.
Click for songs: Anveshana Telugu Movie Songs