Success formula is just a myth: Dia-director Ashoka
Dia is set to hit theaters on February 7, and according to Ashoka, it is a heartfelt gift for the audience, ahead of Valentine’s Day
It’s been seven years since director KS Ashoka’s claim-to-fame, 6-5=2, a spine-chilling horror footage film was released. This film, which brought in a new wave to Kannada film industry, was a game-changer for the filmmaker and for the production house. From horror, the director has now shifted his focus to love in his sophomore outing, Dia, produced by Krishna Chaitanya. The film is set to hit theaters on February 7, and according to Ashoka, Dia is a heartfelt gift for the audience, ahead of Valentine’s Day.
Talking about the long gap between the two films, Ashoka says, “I know I was not making Avatar 2, and this gap between my two films was not needed. However, certain things were not in my control, and I had no choice but to deal with the wait.”
While the success of 6-5=2 gave him the confidence to make another film, Ashoka did not want to work in the same genre. “In my opinion, the success formula is just a myth. Just because 6-5=2 was a hit, there is no guarantee that a follow-up in the same genre would work. Repeating a success formula might work for star films, but not with newcomers,” the director explains.
Ashoka also reveals that he had worked on the script of Dia much before 6-5=2. “I could not take up the subject because of the budget constraint. That’s when I decided to keep that subject aside, and did a horror film,” says Ashoka, adding, “A director writing a script and then deciding on the budget is normal, but I was very clear that 6-5=2 should be made with the least budget and the purpose was met.”
Handling a love subject is equally challenging, says the director, who has already caught a lot of attention with the poster and intriguing trailer. “Dia is an intense roller-coaster journey of this 24-year-old girl, and her love story,” says Ashoka. “Dia is all about romance but has no songs. However, on the producer’s insistence, there might be a promotional track,” explains Ashoka.
The film has Ajaneesh B Lokanath doing the background score. “A love story without romantic tracks is a challenge, but music shouldn’t come as a speed breaker,” he opines, adding that the pattern of the film itself didn’t warrant any songs. “Also, I wanted to bring about a change in the thinking that songs are a staple in such films,” he says.
Ashoka firmly believes that a film of any genre can work based on the screenplay and its presentation. Citing the example of Arjun Reddy, which was remade as Kabir Singh in Hindi, Ashoka says that the story was just another version of the age-old character, Devadas. “But the cinematic presentation made by that director for today’s audience made all the difference. Content can only be elevated with a good screenplay,” he asserts.
Opting for newcomers, Ashoka has cast Deekshit Shetty of teleserial Nagini-fame; Kushi, who made her debut with Soda Buddi; and Prithvi Ambar, who is an established Tulu film actor in the leads, along with a host of other artistes.
Just like his directorial debut, Ashoka wants Dia to be discussed much after its release too. “Every film should give the audience something to take home, otherwise there is no value. The film should linger in the cine-goers mind and be a point of discussion. Otherwise, whatever work has gone into the film will be a waste,” he says.
What’s next from Ashoka? “I am waiting for the result of Dia. If all goes well, I am planning to come up with a psycho-thriller next,” he signs off.