Chiru likes the odd ghost, while Sharmiela needs company
Aake stars say that they are fans of the genre and are looking forward to their upcoming movie
Horror keeps you on the razor's edge
Chiranjeevi Sarja's career in horror started with Chandralekha and continued with Whistle, Aatagara and now Aake. Chiru, in a conversation with CE, says that each movie is fresh and different because of its content. "Aake is not like any of my previous films," he says.
Chiru's 'commercial hero' image has worked well for his movies, with the audience taking a ready interest in them. But according to the actor, movies come first and each movie chooses its hero and audience.
He says his interest lies in establishing himself as an actor. "Whether I am part of a film with an introductory song, romance, dance and a heroic get-up, or I do something like Aake, all I want to be known as is an actor. People who watch me on screen should feel that they are watching a different character with every film of mine," he tells CE.
It is interesting that Chiru personally does not like dark movies. "I like adding shades of bright colours into the dark shades, and the movie becomes more colourful when the storyline and dialogues come in to play," he says.
One horror film he remembers from his childhood? "Evil Dead", his answer is given in an instant. "I watched it when I was a child, but I can remember it like yesterday, and the the experience of it still lingers in my head," he says. The 1981 movie was about five friends who have horrifying experiences in a haunted cabin they are vacationing in. "It is so scary that people name this most easily when you talk of horror movies. But today horror has changed, and it has become movies like Conjuring." This 2013 movie is of the haunting of a family home with less gore and is more suggestive.
The current run of horror movies is a combination of brains and technology, says Chiru. So what is the role of an artiste in such films? "No film is a one-man's show, it is teamwork," he says. "In Aake, I got an opportunity to work with Chaitanya and to associate with Yogish Dwarakish, and both of them allowed me the freedom to give suggestions. If they were found valid, they would consider them," he says.
The title, Aake, is the name of the heroine in the movie. Does that make it a heroine-centric film? "I don't think that every film should take the hero's name first and then mention the heroine's name, and then those of the supporting characters," he says. "The movie is a joint effort and the bottom line is that it should catch the interest of all kinds of audiences."
Having said that, can horror movies be considered for a family outing? "It depends on each person," he says. "I know people who are older than 40 years and still scared of these films, while my granny enjoys it."
Chiru himself likes the genre and gets goosebumps everytime he watches a horror flick. “The heart beats faster, you are eager to know what comes next and afraid of it at the same time,” he says. “You want to and do not want to know what is coming. This is what makes it fun and thrilling.”
His next movie too is with Chaitanya, a third in the series, and Chiru says it will be a commercial thriller. “Chaitanya and I felt that before people bracket us as a horror combo, we should break out of it.”
Sharmiela spooked by nightmare during Aake shoot
It's Sharmiela Mandre's first attempt at horror cinema. Was she spooked during the process? Yes, but the commercial movie actress welcomed fear with open arms for this project.
"It was exciting," says Sharmiela. Acknowledging the contributions of technicians in the film, she says, "Director Chaitanya has captured the several hues of horror in the film, in contrast to how the genre usually only has a dark shade."
The actress confesses to CE that watching horror movies freaks her out, but she sees them anyway. "I enjoy the goosebumps I get when I watch such films," she chuckles.
Sharmiela recounts that she was actually spooked while shooting for Aake. "I had a nightmare the night after I met Chaitanya to dicuss the story. I still remember the words in my dream: Don't try to change the world or it will harm you," she says.
The actress says that she woke up the next morning with her heart beating really fast. "After a few days, I forgot about it, thinking it might just be a subconscious thought playing itself out," she adds.
However, to Sharmiela's horror, she got the same dream twice again. "When I got it for the third time, I checked with my friend and producer Yogish Dwarakish, who suggested that I do a pooja as I was attracting some negative vibes," she says.
Although Sharmiela hasn't be particularly active in the Kannada industry lately, she doesn't consider the film her comeback. "The fact that I have not been part of many films has been questioned," she says. She tells us that this is because she has not got many good scripts. "Over the years I have learnt from my mistakes. I don't want to do movies which I am not too happy with," she signs off.