'Vedha explores a universal conflict'
Kannada star Shivarajkumar discusses his latest hit Vedha, which is set to release in Telugu today
Shivarajkumar has seen 125 release days but the excitement and nervousness that takes over him as D-day inches closer remain a constant in the 37-year-long career. “The anxiety kicks in at least a week before the film’s release. I have been here for 37 years and if I give a substandard film now or if people stop watching my films, it’ll start hurting me. And of course, I will question my capabilities and begin thinking if I am becoming old. But after the release, we just cannot help it. We just have to learn from the response. Being scared, in a way, helps,” says Shivarajkumar, who is in an interesting space when he shares this. His 125th film, Vedha, proved to be a success in Kannada and is now gearing up for a Telugu release. In a way, the film is already a winner and the Telugu release, in a way, is an exercise for the actor to test the waters.
He strongly expresses his disappointment that they couldn’t manage to give the film a simultaneous Telugu release. “We went everywhere in Karnataka but even for the Tamil release, we couldn’t manage to promote due to the time crunch. Many people asked me why we didn’t release such a nice subject in Hindi. Well, you see, planning is necessary. The planning was slightly delayed. We cannot predict whether it’ll reach people but at least after hearing positive reports about the film, we could have tried. Without trying, how will it reach?” he questions. “To me, pan-India means I have to speak in all languages. For Vedha, I dubbed in Tamil and I would have dubbed for the Telugu version too, but I really didn’t have the time. Yes, the dubbing and all is fine but if it’s not the original voice, a slight disconnect is bound to be there.”
Speaking about the film and why he holds it dear to him, the actor says, “Vedha deals with a universal conflict, one that women have faced years ago, continue to endure today and unfortunately, will have to deal with in the future too. I don’t want people to watch the film for Shivarajkumar, but for the message, we are propagating. I am not saying this film will eradicate the problems faced by women. But it’ll serve as a reminder for men to take care of their families and respect women. An important message shouldn’t be missed. Many families will connect to the film and it will encourage them to be careful about their children. Moreover, we are telling the message in quite an entertaining way, it is not a thesis or a public service announcement.”
The film has action and emotion in equal proportion, he says. “The heavy emotion fuels the heavy action. Even women fight in our film. There is a larger purpose and a beautiful emotion behind the action here,” he signs off.