Gnyana Rajasekharan is an I.A.S. officer, but he has this great passion for cinema. Which was what made him attempt to join a film institute in his early years for a course in direction. But he was rejected. He did get admission in the film institute at Chennai, but left mid way as he had to prepare for his civil services exam, as per his father's wish. He became an I.A.S. officer and fulfilled his father's dream. And it was when he was posted as the chief of the Kerala Film Development Corporation that he got to interact with talented filmmakers and see their films. His passion for cinema was rekindled. And when he was posted to Chennai as the chief of the Censor Board, he got his chance to direct a feature film. That was 'Moghul Mul', which got him the National Award for the best first film of a director. 

It was based on Janakiraman's popular novel and centred round a youth's attraction for an older woman. Well-crafted and sensitively handled, Rajasekharan proved he had a firm grip on the medium. But his second film 'Mugham' disappointed. It had Nasser as this man with a grotesque face who finds a magic mask. He becomes a superstar overnight and comes face to face with the reality of the hypocrisy of the people around him. The opening scenes were promising, but somewhere along the way, the director seemed to lose focus. "It was an interesting role to begin with, but then it seemed to go nowhere," Nasser had said. Now Rajasekharan is into his third directorial venture titled 'Bharati'.

The film centres round the life of the great Tamil poet Subramania Bharatiyar. When the poet passed away, there were reportedly just fourteen people attending his funeral. What happened to all his admirers? Why did they stay away? Rajasekharan explores all this and more in the film. It is also about Chellamma, the poet's wife, who looked after the home front, so her husband could concentrate on writing. The poet even forgot his daughter's wedding day, and it was left to Chellamma to make the arrangements. Sayaji Shinde, the talented stage and small screen actor from Mumbai, plays the role of the poet. Devayani is Chellamma. Quite excited about her role, Devayani hopes it will fetch her a national award.

Indu plays Chellamma's sister, while Srikant is the poet uncle. Nizhalgal Ravi acts the role of Arya, the poet's friend, Director T.P. Gajendran is Kuvalai Kannan, while Bharati Dasan is played by Kumar Natarajan. Businessman V.G. Santhosham is Ettayapuram Raja and Delhi Kumar plays Mandapam Srinivasa Acharya. The younger Bharatiyar is played by Master Pushpak. Illaiyaraja sets to tune the lyrics written by Pulamaipithan, Mu. Mehta and the poems of Bharatiyar.

Thangar Bachan cranks the camera while Lenin-Vijayan are the editors. Krishnamurthy is the art designer and the dances have been choreographed by Naseer Babu and Radhika. 'Bharati' is produced by Media Dreams, who have made many serials for the small screen. Computer graphics designed by Penta Media finds a place in the film. With shooting at locations in Chennai, Nellai Puthuchery and Karaikudi, the film is almost complete and expected to hit the theatres shortly.

Malini Mannath