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I picked up Ajagrata only for my brother’s sake: Radhika Kumaraswamy- Cinema express

I picked up Ajagrata only for my brother’s sake: Radhika Kumaraswamy

The actor talked about her absence on the silver screen,  her desire to be involved in various aspects of filmmaking,  and her eagerness to work on back-to-back projects

Published: 15th May 2023

Radhika Kumaraswamy has been noticeably absent from the silver screen, and even her recent release, Ravichandran’s Ravi Bopanna (2022) was a project she finished filming years ago. Currently, she is waiting for the release of Bhairadevi, a movie made under her production venture (Shamika Productions), and has now finally signed another project after a year-long break.

Titled Ajagrata, this multilingual film, directed by M Shashidhar, is made in seven languages. Ajagrata also stars Shreyas Talpade, who makes his South Indian debut with this film, which was launched in Hyderabad on Saturday.

Speaking to CE on the sidelines of the event, Radhika shared that she picked Ajagrata only for the sake of her brother, Raviraj, who is producing the film. “I didn’t want to accept any film until Bhairadevi was released. In fact, I did get offers from the Malayalam industry too but I had to let go of them because I was hell-bent on releasing my film first before taking up any other project. Incidentally, my brother was producing Shashidhar’s next, and I was kept involved in the proceedings of the film. He was constantly telling me that they couldn’t zero in on a heroine. I suggested a few names but none fit the bill. I saw his struggle to find the leading lady and when I came into the picture, he was more than happy to have me on board,” says Radhika who added that the project will also put a full stop to the rumours about her being away from the industry. “I was glad to come in support of my brother. Moreover, Ajagrata will be out in the theatres only after Bhairadevi,” she says.

Radhika says that she would keenly observe director Shashidhar’s working pattern during his discussion session with her brother and understood that he had a passion for filmmaking. “When I got into the project, I had asked for the bound story along with dialogues, and it was submitted to me in a day’s time by the director. He has conceived a good subject,  which is ‘content-oriented’, with commercial elements and has a message too. I watched the director’s debut, Garga, and his first attempt has been good. He has significantly improved Ajagrata after I joined the project, particularly with the songs and the way he plans to present the film,” says Radhika.

Going forward, Radhika has decided to work on back-to-back projects. “Apart from Ajagrata and Bhairadevi, I am also in the process of getting ready for another project. The story is getting ready, and an announcement will be made once I have a film release,” says Radhika, who is planning to bring in more variety of films under her production banner. “It need not be that I should act and produce. I am okay to bankroll projects for other actors and directors as long as they have a good story to tell.”

As an actor and producer, Radhika likes to have a hands-on approach to every department of cinema. “I like getting involved in every department, but I do have a better comfort level as an actor. A producer holds a responsible job but it comes with a little tension.” When asked how updated she is about today’s cinema, Radhika cites the example of Ajagrata.  “It is a simple story, and more focus has been given on the making, which has been the case of today’s films,” she says.

Ajagrata will be shot and released simultaneously in seven languages including Kannada, Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Hindi, Konkani, and Marathi.

The film also stars Samuthirakani, Jayaprakash, Sparsha Rekha, Devaraj, Suchendra Prasad, and Vinay Prasad. With music by Shrihari, Sandeep Valluri is on board as the cinematographer.

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