Gudipudi Srihari, a renowned film critic and a prolific journalist both in English and Telugu, breathed his last on Monday night at his residence in Hyderabad. Srihari was a staffer of Eenadu group of newspaper. He also used to write for The Hindu. His column ‘Harivillu’ in Telugu was published by Eenadu for twenty five years. He was copiously contributing to Sitara, film magazine from Eenadu stable.
I met him a couple of years ago along with Maa Sarma in connection with the book I was writing on NTR. He was an authority on NTR and ANR. He could talk for hours without any reference notes about Tollywood industry. He personally knew giants such as Nagaiah, SV Ranga Rao, Gummadi, Kannamba, Savitri, Relangi, Rajababu etc. He spoke about the production details and off the set developments regarding several movies. He was very helpful to me in understanding the reel life of NTR.
When Srihari visited NTR at the latter’s house in Chennai one day early in the morning, the hero was narrating a story in animated fashion to his wife Basavatarakam who was listening to him in all attention. NTR told Srihari that his wife is the first person to hear his new ideas and give her frank opinion. She was his litmus test. She proved right most of the times, the hero commented.
Very frank and fearless in expressing his opinion, Sirhari was very soft at heart. He used to express his opinion on actors and directors without mincing words. He was always objective in his assessment sans rancour and has a legion of fans including most of the film personalities. An era in film criticism has ended with the demise of Srihari, a great critic.