Lohith H: Devaki is based on a real-life incident
The director talks about his film journey, collaborating with Priyanka Upendra for the second time, and why he set the film in Kolkata
Usually, filmmakers wish to make their debut with a commercial film, but Lohith H took a different track and created a name for himself with the horror film, Mummy - Save Me, starring Priyanka Upendra.
Two years post its release, the director is back with his second film, Devaki, again with Priyanka in the lead and he has chosen thriller as his film's genre. He says his initial intention was to make gangster films. “That was six years ago. However, my lean and schoolboy looks made the producers and actors underestimate my capacity in handling the genre. They would have a good conversation with me, and send me back without any intimation.”
He goes on to reveal that his original plan was to make a sequel to his first film. "But the subject demanded to be shot during snowfall. Meanwhile, I read an intriguing article about a family, which lost its children in Kolkata and it became the base of Devaki,” Lohith says.
He adds that the incident still remains a nightmare for the family. “Even after six years the mother still waits for her son with a glass of milk exactly at the same time every day. I took a few key points from the article, and tweaked the story to suit a feature film.”
He says that he initially wanted to shoot the film in a different state. "I felt it would bring out a different kind of emotion. But, later I felt that the film must be shot in Kolkata as a kid gets kidnapped every 10 minutes in the city and Delhi and I wanted to highlight that point. The screenplay of the film will keep changing every ten minutes and am sure it will entertain the audience and also move them emotionally.”
Asked about his decision to cast Priyanka Upendra for the second time, “ The success of our combination in the first film brought us together for Devaki. I share a good rapport with Priyanka, and I would like to work on a project with her every year. She is an extremely patient actor and perfectly fits into all characters. She gives complete support to a film, right from the shoot to the promotions, and stays on board till the release. However, she thinks that I am very adamant, and I take that as a compliment,” he says.
Devaki has music by Nobin Paul and cinematography by HC Venu. It also marks the debut of has Priyanka’s daugther Aishwarya. “She is the soul of Devaki, and actor Kishore is the connecting point of the plot. The film also has Bollywood actor Sanjeev Jaiswal, Bengali actor Samardarshi, and around 40 theatre artistes as part of the cast.
Lohith signs off saying, “Cinema is an entertainment medium, but it doesn't mean that all the films have to be commercial masala ones. I want to entertain the audience with subjects I like, but I also make sure that it appeals to them largely.”