'Raj B Shetty's inputs helped us enhance Gubbi Mele Brahmastra'
...says debutant director Sujay Shastry, while talking about his upcoming comedy-drama, Gubbi Mele Brahmastra, which will be released on August 15
Sujay Shastry, who was initially on board just as an actor in Gubbi Mele Brahmastra, ended up taking on directorial responsibilities too for the comedy-drama starring Raj B Shetty and Kavitha Gowda. The first-timer, who accidentally got this offer from producer TR Chandrashekar’s son, Kishore Chandra, had not expected this so early in his career.
“However, when I was offered the responsibility, I grabbed it with both hands,” says Sujay, as he gets ready for the film’s release on August 15. Admitting that he is anxious and feels as if he is suffering from exam fever, he adds, “I believe that fear, in a way, helps us do a better job. I had the same feeling during the movie-making process, and feel so even now.”
Everything in Sujay’s career has been accidental, he reveals. Coming from a theatre background, he is a man of multiple talents — a musician, singer, actor, RJ, and commentator. He can play 10-12 musical instruments and now, he is happy to test the waters in the field of direction.
“I wanted to become a good singer, and that’s something I aspire for even now. But I could not follow my dreams in that field. Even today, my mother wants to see me as an engineer or a doctor, but my father, a temple priest, always encouraged my presence in cinema. Both have extreme opinions regarding my career. In between all this, my wife felt that I can do well in whatever I choose. For my part, I believe in going with the flow,” he says.
Even though Sujay didn’t have any experience as a director until Gubbi Mele... happened, his acting stint in films and serials came in handy. “I mostly played comedy roles on the big as well as small screen. What I learned in front of the camera became a tool to handle such a subject,” he explains.
Gubbi Mele Brahmastra is a proverb, and the film has been made on those lines. “I believe that comedy movies should only stick to entertainment, and not think of giving too much of a message. It should only be a laugh riot. Of course, there are comedy films that are meant to give out a message. Gubbi..., however, is a brainless comedy,” says Sujay, who also believes that comedy can go wrong if not handled carefully.
"When it comes to comedy, I bet on the director and actor, and Kashinath kind of stories, and that is why he became famous in this genre. As for Gubbi.. , I have not gone by a certain template. Moreover, I always believe in actors. If they do well with their performances, even the background gets a whole new meaning,” he says.
Sujay got help from Raj for his debut directorial. Raj, the director of the critically-acclaimed film, Ondu Motteya Kathe, plays the lead in Gubbi Mele Brahmastra. “Coming in as an actor, he initially did not interfere in the directional activities. It was in the second schedule that he started getting involved, and his inputs helped us enhance the whole picture,” says Sujay, who, as a first-time director, did not mind taking help from the actor-director.
“There is so much to learn from people around, and I felt there is nothing wrong in taking a helping hand. Cinema should not be a place for ego. Otherwise you can never grow. He has a good directional vision, and I made sure I took tips from him. I also had help from director MG Srinivas, who did Birbal,” he says.
Sujay is happy to know that his film is already in demand in other languages. The rights of the Telugu remake of Gubbi have already been sold, and talks are almost through for the film to be made in Malayalam. Discussions are also on for the Hindi remake. “When a Kannada film is acknowledged by other languages, that's really exciting,” he says.
While he considers music the toughest skill to master, as a director, he wants to try his hand at different subjects. “People feel that I should stick to comedy, but I want to work on unique stories. I will think of them once I am done with the release of Gubbi Mele Brahmastra,” he concludes.