‘Ramesh Aravind’s role in Shivaji Surathkal is in contrast to what he is in real life’
...says director Akash Srivatsa, who talks about the upcoming sequel, and working with Ramesh Aravind
Akash Srivatsa feels lucky to have directed his first project, Shivaji Surathkal, with Ramesh Aravind, who played such a role for the first time in the investigative thriller. Collaborating with him for the second time, Akash feels it is a double whammy as the rapport he managed to have built with the actor has worked for him, and the film. “Ramesh Aravind’s role in Shivaji Surathkal is in contrast to his real-life personality. Off-screen, Ramesh sir is calm and composed, and onscreen as Shivaji Surathkal, he is aggressive and intimidating. The success and feedback we received from the audience for Shivaji Surathkal only pushed us to come up with the sequel, which will be presented on April 14,” says the filmmaker.
Unlike the first part, where we saw Shivaji Surathkal grappling with his wife’s death, dealing with anxiety issues and hallucinations, the sequel sees him gracefully aging, and carrying a certain sense of maturity. “Part 2 also sees a new girl in Shivaji’s life, which is his daughter (Siri Surathkal). How she changes his life has been incorporated in the film,” says Akash, who shares with us the little challenges that he went through while making the sequel. “The main challenge was to bring to light Shivaji Surathkal’s inner feelings. We wanted to show it visually, and through sound, which I think we have successfully done.”
Akash reveals how the story idea of the sequel came from Ramesh Aravind. “The idea of doing part 2 came during the lockdown, and we were looking for an intense story, and we were bouncing ideas off each other. He is an avid reader and suggested a series of books to read and research. I read books on forensics, and police investigations, and realised how a dead body always tells a story. I found it interesting, and that is what is explored through Shivaji Surathkal 2.”
While Akash admits that such a subject might seem like it is better suited for the OTT route, he believes Shivaji Surathkal 2 has all the qualities to be a theatrical release. “Shivaji Surathkal as a franchise is not as just a series of investigations. The story comes with emotional turbulence, an intelligence quotient, and it is these factors that will help the audience connect with the film,” says Akash, who calls Christopher Nolan his biggest inspiration. “A Nolan film can only be experienced in theatres because of the grandeur he brings in terms of sound and vision.”
Apart from penning the script and directing the sequel, Akash has also taken care of editing, and is glad to have also brought in changes in the edit pattern. “Instagram reels, which provide information in 30 seconds, were the biggest learning for me. I have tried to apply that method to my editing. When I was writing the script, I started to work on the editing too, and it has worked for the film,” he says.
In Shivaji Surathkal 2, the director reveals that the Case of Mayavi will be quite the challenge for the detective as he not just has a worthy adversary, but also faces time-bound obstacles that make up the thrill element of the sequel.
When asked if he is planning to continue with the Shivaji Surathkal series, Akash promptly says, “We are ready with the third and fourth films. Definitely, Shivaji Surathkal will be an ongoing series, and given the response from the audience, we are confident. Also, there is no doubt that Ramesh Aravind will be the face of the franchise,” he signs off.