Anu Prabhakar Mukherjee: It was challenging to a play a character from 16 to 60 years in Saaravajra
The actor, who had taken a break to focus on her family, is now making a comeback with the film based on the Sara Aboobacker novel, Vajragalu
Anu Prabhakar Mukherjee’s next is Saaravajra — a woman-oriented subject in which she plays the protagonist. The actor, who had taken a break to focus on her family, is now making a comeback with the Aarna Saadya-directorial. The filmmaker, earlier known as Shwetha Shetty, made her directorial debut with the children’s film, 1098.
Saaravajra is based on the novel, Vajragalu, written by Sara Aboobacker in the mid-1980s. The film is produced by Devendra Reddy under the Sambramma Dream House banner.
Anu Prabhakar completed the shooting in December 2019. Talking about her experience of playing Nafisa, who is shown from the age of 16 to 60 in the film, she says, “Sara Aboobacker belongs to the Beary Muslim community and hails from the Mangaluru-Kasargod stretch. All her books are more or less based on the characters she has seen in real life or heard about from relatives and friends belonging to the community. Saaravajra traces the life of Nafisa. It is about how she ends up getting entangled in talaq, and how her life turns topsy turvy through no fault of her own.”
Anu feels that the subject presented the perfect comeback opportunity for her. “When my daughter turned one, I wanted to get back to acting since it has always been my passion. And I thought this was a meaningful subject. The one-line narrated by Aarna Saadya was very impressive, and it further solidified in my mind when I read the book,” the actor adds.
According to Anu, the director has not deviated much from the novel and has done a fantastic job. “When you decide to film a novel that spans a person’s life, it needs to be precise. It was challenging for the team to handle a story that revolves around such a sensitive subject,” she says, adding, “As an actor, I had to follow the shadow of Nafisa, who is soft-spoken, was abused, and is a person whose liking is never taken into consideration. Though her story is related to the Beary community, the characters and the film, in general, will resonate with every man and woman. The challenging part about playing this character was switching between the different moods and ages.”
The entire film was shot in Ullal. Saaravajra has music by V Manohar and cinematography by Paramesh. The editor is Akshay P Rao
The film is now in the post-production stage, and the makers hope to release Saarvajra in June, around Sara Aboobacker’s 84th birthday.