Karthik Saragur: Bheemasena Nalamaharaja is served with love and sincerity
Director Karthik Saragur talks to Cinema Express about his upcoming film, Bheemasena Nalamaharaja — a family drama that will be out on Amazon Prime
Food is often said to unite people, and Karthik Saragur is all set to feed his delectable story, Bheemasena Nalamaharaja, to a global audience. The director admits that the process of making the film took a long time, but promises that it is served with love and a lot of sincerity.
“I am pretty sure that during this pandemic, people have been craving for something delicious and Bheemasena Nalamaharaja will soothe their souls. It will be a product that they will really be happy to savour,” says Karthik, ahead of the release of his film on Amazon Prime Video on October 29. “This is the first Kannada film considered an Amazon Original, and I am happy that our film will be reaching 25 million viewers worldwide,” he adds.
In the film, Karthik, tells the story of a passionate cook, Lathesa (played by Aravinnd Iyer), who is ready to go to any extent to make his loved one happy. “There is a song from one of Annavaru’s film, Haalu Jenu — Bheemasena Nalamaharajaru Gandasare alave, which set the tone for my movie and gave it its title. That apart, the plot has a connection between Bheema and Nalamaharaja. Among the Pandavas, Bheema was known to be an excellent chef. On the other hand, Nala was the first king to come out with an anthology on food science, which was named Pakadarpanam. Also, among the five Pandavas, Bheema was the one who would fulfil every small wish of Draupadi's, and stood by her. Nala too, who lost his kingdom for his cousin, left everything for the sake of Damayanti’s well being. When you love somebody, it should be unconditional, and that’s something I have tried to explore in this film, but in a contemporary tale,” he explains.
Throwing light on chef Lathesa’s character, Karthik says he is a blend of both Bheema and Nala in his traits as well as the craft of cooking. “The character played by Aravinnd Iyer has the aggression and impulsiveness of Bheema, and he is as dignified and royal as Nala.”
The film also features Aarohi Narayan and Priyanka Thimmesh, who play the roles of Vedavalli and Sarah Mary, respectively, as well as Vijay Chendoor and Achyuth Kumar, among others. “Six rasas are important in preparing food. Likewise, my film has six important characters. When they are brought together, they have to retain their individuality and identity, but at the same time have to blend with the others,” says Karthik, adding, “There are different kinds of people living in a family. The contribution you make as an individual, and how much you are ready to sacrifice will be the aspects to watch in the film. Overall, Bheemasena Nalamaharaja is the story of a family. It is not just about love between a male and a female, but relationships across generations.”
The director is happy to work with Pushkar Mallikarjunaiah, Rakshit Shetty, and Hemanth M Rao, who have jointly produced the film. “To understand the potential of the story, you need to be passionate, and also need to know the craft. I had a passionate producer like Pushkar, who goes to any extent to realise the project, and on the other side, I had Hemanth and Rakshit, who know the craft and could envision what the final product would be. So it was a very good combination for all the three to produce this film, and come out with a nice family subject.”