‘Egghead’ movie says beauty is but shell-deep
Raj B Shetty, actor, writer and director of Ondu Motteya Kathe, says the story is about our understanding of life and craving for beauty
There is much curiosity about the ‘egghead’ Raj B Shetty, the writer, actor and director of Ondu Motteya Kathe. In a rare attempt, he has tried to gain a deeper understanding of his own life story and self through the film. In a conversation with CE, Raj shares the reason for making Ondu Motteya Kathe and how filmmaker Pawan Kumar is taking their ‘bald’ attempt to a global audience.
The RJ turned filmmaker says that movies or any form of art helps us get a better understanding of life. “To get a handle on life, we need to recognise our weaknesses and accept ourselves as we are,” he says. “That’s why I am not shy about my baldness now. I can laugh about it and realise that it is just a condition.”
Raj says that his baldness never caused him to feel inferior but the process of the filmmaking helped him be more comfortable with it. So did the director want to make a movie debut with Ondu Motteya Kathe or did he want to convey a message? “I am not a preacher, and I call myself entertainer,” says the filmmaker. "More than baldness, I wanted to talk about beauty and life within. When I started with this film, I had the same questions and confusions that Janardhan (the main character in the film) had. I started looking at his life from his perspective. That’s when I could understand my life. In the process of telling an entertaining story, I could help Janardhan learn something. I guess even the audience will learn from it, in the same way.” he says.
Raj draws inspiration from Malayalam and Iranian movies. “Anything which is good will always inspire,” he adds. He says that he always liked storytelling and radio jockeying was the closest he could get to it. He later moved to the advertising industry and followed that with short films, before entering cinema. “I never thought Ondu Motteya Kathe will be my first feature film because I had written three other scripts before this one, but they weren’t made into movies,” he says.
He never had imagined that it would be received so well or that it would get such a big platform. “There was no pressure until Ondu Motteya Kathe became the talk of town,” he says, “All credit goes to Pawan Kumar, the man with a full head of hair and intelligence who took over the film. Even though the story is woven around baldness, the movie is about how beauty-conscious we are. That’s why Pawan could connect to it because he knows how everyone is caught up with this selfie mania and wants to be more beautiful than they really are. As a filmmaker, he could enjoy the story and relate to this romantic comedy. We screened it to Pawan and a select few and got a standing ovation from him and others.”
Raj says that without Pawan, Ondu Motteya Kathe wouldn’t have seen this kind of release. “I had planned to release it in Udupi and Mangaluru. Because of him, the film will now be taken to theatres in London and across India,” he says.
The film featuring Usha Bhandary, Shailashree among others has music by Midhun Mukundhan