‘Sanchari Vijay’s role in Taledanda is deserving of a National Award’
...says Taledanda director Praveen Krupakar, whose decision to release the film's teaser just hours after the actor's death received a lot of criticism
The teaser of director Praveen Krupakar's Taledanda, starring the late Sanchari Vijay, was released just a few hours after the actor's death. This created controversy with respect to the time of release. However, Praveen clarifies that it was purely a creative tribute to the actor, and he had no other malicious intent. “I was disturbed by his passing away, and it was a random decision by me. Initially, when I was discussing this with my friends, they suggested I release a few clippings, but I chose to release the teaser,” says the director.
Sharing a few stills with CE, he tells us that Sanchari Vijay’s character as Kunne Gowda aka Kunna in Taledanda is worthy of a National Award, and the actor too was confident about it. Remembering his last conversation with the actor, which was on Saturday morning, Praveen says that Sanchari, apart from speaking about his Covid relief working, also spoke about how the film’s promotion should be done once the industry reopens.
“Sanchari was keen that Taledanda reach national and international audiences, and he wanted a few national-award winners to talk about this film. He was planning to ask actor Mammootty to give a byte about the film. He was equally enthusiastic about having a few words from another National award winner, Kamal Haasan. This was something we discussed a few hours before his fateful accident,” says Praveen, adding, “He also spoke about organising an event and inviting the Chief Minister. He wanted to appear in the get-up of Kunna, the character he plays. But then... he suddenly left.”
Apart from directing the film, Praveen has also written the story, screenplay, and dialogues. Taledanda tells the story of Kunna, an intellectually-challenged person showing exemplary concern and awareness about the conservation of the environment. The film has been sent to over 16 international film festivals and has also been sent to national awards. "We will also apply for the State awards as and when it opens,” says Praveen, who adds that Kunna was a tailor-made character for Sanchari Vijay. “He took my request and stayed with the Soliga tribes. He did this to understand their culture and food habits. For this, I took permission from authorities. This is just one example of how deeply he got involved in a certain character.” Praveen makes a special mention about Vijay’s onscreen chemistry with actor Mangala. “She was his mentor and as artistes, the two had healthy competition,” he says.
About the release, Praveen is looking at a September date. “With a lot of festivals during that period, I want to release it then,” he says.
The film has cinematography by the veteran DoP Ashok Kashyap, who says, “Sanchari got into the skin of a character. I saw a certain energy in him. He didn't imitate any actors. He looked into minute details. The combination of Mangala and Vijay is something to watch out for. As a cinematographer, I didn’t
want to picturise it like a movie, but wanted it candid, which he made possible.”
Taledanda produced by Hema Malini Krupakar and co-produced by Arun Kumar R has music scored by Hari-Kavya.