'Amar is the best launchpad for Abhishek'
...says director Nagshekar, as he talks about directing a newcomer, and the involvement of actor-politician Sumalatha during filming
It was not simple for Nagshekar, who was tasked to launch debutant Abhishek in his film, Amar. There were a couple of directors, before Nagshekar, who were supposed to launch Ambareesh’s son, but the responsibility finally landed on his shoulders.
“While there were a handful of names doing the rounds, I never expected that I will be directing the first film of Abhishek. In fact, I used to learn about directors being approached and was hoping to get lucky. I finally got the call when I was in Hyderabad, and I was told that I will be handling the project. It was like a big shock to me and at the same time I was excited too,” says Nagshekar, who didn’t mind letting go of a Telugu film for Abhishek.
“Directing Abhishek’s Amar was okayed only after the screenplay was finalised. The scene construction was an important tool at the table level,” says the director, adding that the first few people who heard the story were late actor Ambareesh, Sumalatha, producer Sandesh and the hero himself.
“I had presented three subjects and one was selected. Based on the final call, I did the screenplay and narration, for which I spent three months in Chennai along with writer Viji,” the director told Cinema Express.
Nagshekar says Sumalatha was present at every step of the filmmaking process. “Who knows him better than the mother? The launch is very important, and her involvement was an advantage. In fact, for this film, we are blessed by mothers. Apart from Sumalatha, my mother was also a support. She kept telling me that I was launching a legend’s son and that I should take it as a responsibility. There was also support coming from Tanya Hope’s mother, Deborah Puravankara, and also the producer’s wife,”
Nagshekar is happy with the film’s outcome, and he explained his bonding with the actor. “A beautiful friendship has developed between Abhi and me, which helped us make the film better,” he says.
The film is based on a rallyist, and the plot allowed the director to shoot in many different locations and in extreme weather conditions. “It was raining for 27 days during the shoot. While for 20 days, we shot under 6°C in Switzerland, we also shot a song at 46°C in Malaysia. Credit should also go to the technical team, including DOP Satya Hegde and music director Arjun Janya, who gave us support and clarity to the film,” says Nagshekar.
“As a filmmaker, every film is a responsibility, but there is a lot of homework that is required when launching a newcomer,” he adds. When asked if Amar is the right launch for Abhishek, Nagshekar says, “As a newcomer, he has a lot of scope to perform as the movie revolves around action, romance, and comedy. With Amar, he had the scope of exploring the navarasas. Thankfully, he doesn’t come as a newcomer to me, and both the leads have given their best in the film,” he says, revealing that dancing was something that irritated his hero. “It’s probably because of his height.”
Ambareesh’s last cameo in Amar
“I had managed to capture one sequence with the legend, Ambareesh, which will be the last shot of his career,” says Nagshekar, recalling his last conversation with Ambareesh. Nagashekar claims he was the last person to talk to him before his death. “As a responsible father, he was curious about his son’s performance and even watched the first half of the film. I wanted to show him the clippings of the Switzerland episodes, and when I had visited him on the day he passed away, I saw him unwell and told him that I would come back in a few days. Since this film is about a biker, he was keen to know whether his son (Abhishek) was riding well. I updated him on Abhishek’s progress,” he adds.
Businessman buys Amar’s first- day first-show tickets for Rs 1 lakh
Meanwhile, Manjunath, a businessman from Davangere, a big fan of late actor and politician, Ambareesh, is spending Rs 1 lakh to buy tickets for the first-day-first-show of Amar. The film, made under the banner of Sandesh Productions, will release on May 31 all over Karnataka.