Sriimurali: MadhaGaja has all that is expected out of a mass entertainer
The actor talks about his upcoming film, directed by Mahesh Kumar
Undoubtedly, Prashanth Neel’s Ugramm was a turning point in Sriimurali’s career that propelled him to do mass films like Rathaavara, Bharaate, and now MadhaGaja. With each of these films, Sriimurali has chosen interesting subjects. So is it the demand of the audience or is it his creativity, and curiosity that pushes him to choose such themes? “Preparation plays a key role, especially at a time when we are facing a lot of competition from our peers across languages. My basic intention has always been to give the audience a new experience with each film,” explains Sriimurali as he talks about his upcoming release, MadhaGaja, which is slated to hit the screens on December 3.
Sriimurali says MadhaGaja brought together a good team, which included producer Umapathy and one-film-old director, Mahesh Kumar. “The two exactly knew what kind of a subject I fit into, and worked around it. From the technical team, we had Ravi Basrur, whose work I can’t express in just a few words. He is fabulous. Then we have Naveen Kumar, with whom I am associating for the second time after Mufti. The credit will go to the entire team,” he says.
Reluctant to give details about his role in MadhaGaja, Sriimurali says, “At this moment all I can say is that it is a film made wholeheartedly. Nothing is overdone, and everything is to the point. MadhaGaja has all that is expected out of a mass entertainer,” he says. However, Sriimurali states that he had his struggles in MadhaGaja, and shares a few unforgettable incidents.
“The shooting began in the year 2020 during Sivaratri, and we managed to complete the first schedule in Varanasi, and just when the shooting was at a good pace, the pandemic gave us the first blow. I was heartbroken and shattered. Just when life was getting back to normal, and we had planned various schedules, I suffered a leg injury during a fight sequence. This further annoyed me and I was irritated. Then followed the second wave, which took away six more months. And when the time was running out, we took it up as a challenge and completed the shooting,” says Sriimurali, who is still mourning the death of his cousin Puneeth Rajkumar. “I miss my cousin, and he has no replacement. I still don’t want to believe something like this has happened. We are unlucky to lose him," he adds.
With Ashika Ranganath as the heroine, Sriimuralii, who is part of the ensemble cast had the opportunity to share screen space with actors like Jagapathi Babu and Devayani for the first time. “Coming with a lot of experience, they still maintain professionalism. They come prepared and are focused on their work. It is not easy to work with such senior actors. I tried to behave normally to let go off that fear, and it worked. It was equally a pleasure to work with our artistes like Rangayana Raghu, Chikanna, and Shivaraj K R Pete among many others,” says Sriimurali, who signs off by saying, “It is not easy to bring out such movies like MadhaGaja now and then. I am eagerly waiting for the audience’s reaction.”