Sagara Sangamam (English: Confluence with Ocean) is a 1983 Telugu musical dance film directed by K. Viswanath and produced by Edida Nageswara Rao, starring Kamal Haasan, Jayaprada, Sarath Babu, S. P. Sailaja and Chakri Toleti. Upon release, the film received positive reviews and became a box office hit. The film has received two National Film Awards, three Filmfare Awards South, and the Nandi Award for Best Feature Film (Bronze). The film is listed among CNN-IBN’s list of hundred greatest Indian films of all time.
The film was dubbed into Tamil and Malayalam and released as Salangai Oli and Sagara Sangamam respectively. Kamal Hassan had lent his voice for all three versions. The film was screened at the International Film Festival of India in 1984, retrospective in 2011 and Celebrating Dance in Indian cinema section in 2014. The film was dubbed into Russian, and was screened at the Moscow International Film Festival, Asia Pacific Film Festival, and AISFM Film Festival.
Balakrishna (Kamal Haasan) is an economically disadvantaged but multi-talented dancer, adept at the Indian classical dances of Kuchipudi, Bharatanatyam, Kathak, etc. Fondly called Balu, his simple and very honest soul does not permit him to attain professional success in the commercial world that requires a certain level of moral laxness. Madhavi (Jayaprada), a wealthy young woman and a dance patron, notices his talent and acts as his benefactress, helping him secure an opportunity to participate in a high-level classical dance festival.
Balu’s aging mother passes away from the afflictions of poverty two days before the performance. Balu, who was very attached to her, is emotionally devastated and fails to participate in the dance festival. Madhavi nevertheless gives him support and encouragement and sets him on the mend. Balu gradually develops a fondness for Madhavi as their relationship grows. He hides his love for her but eventually picks up the courage to express it. Balu discovers that, while Madhavi shares his feelings, she is a married woman separated from her husband. The husband later returns to unite Madhavi and Balu, but Balu decides to sacrifice his love showing respect for the institution of marriage.
The years pass, and Balu, a disappointed man, has become an inconsolable alcoholic and a newspaper journalist/art critic. Meanwhile, Madhavi’s husband dies, and she hears about Balu’s condition. In a bid to revive his will to live and his passion for his art, she tends to his medical needs through his friend Raghu (Sarath Babu) and solicits Balu to be the dance master for her daughter, Sailaja (SP Sailaja).
The film ends with Sailaja’s stage performance with Balu watching her in a wheelchair, his health having completely deteriorated. Raghu and Madhavi are seen taking him away quietly, without interrupting the performance, back to the hospital. Balu dies on his way to the hospital.
Directed by K. Viswanath
Produced by Edida Nageshwara Rao
Written by Jandhyala (Dialogues)
Screenplay by K. Viswanath
Story by K. Viswanath
Starring Kamal Haasan, Jaya Prada
Music by Ilaiyaraaja
Cinematography P. S. Nivas
Edited by G. G. Krishna Rao
Production Arunachalam Vaahini
Distributed by Poornodaya Movie Creations
Release date 3 June 1983 (India)
Running time 160 minutes