Lyricist-turned-director Kaviraj: Cinema is first created on paper
Kaviraj talks about his upcoming film, Kalidasa Kannada Mestru, a comedy-drama, which features Jaggesh and Meghana Gaonkar
Lyricist-turned-director Kaviraj gives a lot of importance to writing, and according to him, cinema is first created on paper before it is presented on the screen. Having penned the lyrics for many films over the years, he marked his directorial debut with Maduveya Mamatheya Kareyole. Three years later, Kaviraj is coming up with his second outing, Kalidasa Kannada Mestru, for which he is teaming up with Jaggesh for the first time. Meghana Gaonkar plays the female lead.
The movie, which was earlier slated for release on November 1, is finally hitting theatres this Friday (November 22). Ahead of its release, the director tells Cinema Express that his strength lies in writing. “A writer’s thoughts usually get lost during the transition period, when the project is taken over by another director. So, I believe that it is always important that the first-hand information comes from the director himself, and that’s when it can be best conveyed on the big screen,” he says.
More than making films for commercial reasons, Kaviraj says he wishes to deal with subjects that reflect our society. However, he is also aware that a serious issue will be accepted by the audience only if it is blended with humour. “I thought of Jaggesh when I was thinking about how to make a film like Kalidasa Kannada Mestru, which takes on the education system, but in an entertaining fashion. Half the job is done with him on board because he is a versatile actor who understands the seriousness of the subject and has the knack to convey it with humour,” he says.
“Secondly, his character, a schoolmaster, has a funny side too. He is a teacher who is against English. Last, but not the least, Jaggesh’s wife, played by Meghana Gaonkar, has a very dominating nature. The film runs keeping all these factors in mind,” explains Kaviraj, who believes that comedy sells. “I am confident that my film, which is filled with humour, will have a good run at the box office.”
Kaviraj, who is a follower of Aamir Khan’s work, cites examples of the Bollywood superstar's films like Taare Zameen Par, 3 Idiots, and PK, which were serious subjects narrated humorously. “I would like to bring that kind of formula and pattern into my films. There should be something for the viewers to take away,” he says.
Apart from Jaggesh and Meghana, the film, which has music by Gurukiran and cinematography by Kundlupere, features an interesting star cast, he points out. “It has Ambika, Tabla Nani, Nagabharana, Suresh Chandra, PD Sathish, Usha Bhandari, Raghu Ramankoppa, and Yathiraj playing pivotal roles.”
Recalling his first film as a director, Kaviraj says Maduve Mamatheya Kareyole packed in more excitement than preparation. “The film’s subject was a thread that took place in my family, and producer Dinakar felt that it was good to be told on screen. Though I got good feedback, the film had two negative points, one of which, I was told later, was the wrong release date. It had come around when eight films were doing well in theatres, including 1st Rank Raju, MasterPiece, Rathaavara, and Killing Veerappan.”
It appears that he is repeating the same mistake, given half a dozen films are slated for release this week. But Kaviraj feels the case is different this time. “Except for one or two, the films that are currently running now are not creating that kind of buzz. We have over 250 Kannada films releasing every year. Also, Karnataka is a place where films in other languages also get a good hold. So I don’t have a choice but to come with other films. However, I expect my film to do the talking in the week of its release,” says the director, who was very particular that his film be released in November.