Harom Hara is not a film for kids: Gnanasagar Dwaraka

The Harom Hara director talks about how his second film belongs to him, the special emphasis he places on visual design of a film, and more
Gnanasagar Dwaraka; A still from Harom Hara
Gnanasagar Dwaraka; A still from Harom Hara

Harom Hara, the upcoming Sudheer Babu starrer, tells the story of an underdog figure from a small rural town in Andhra Pradesh who becomes a powerful person after he enters the gunmaking trade. Gnanasagar Dwaraka, who has directed the film, recalls reading some articles about a gunmaker in Chittoor district and watching a documentary, both of which were helpful for him while drafting the script. He adds, “And yet, these were not enough. So I decided to add an element of Kuppam, the place I come from. There is plenty of Kuppam-specific information in the film, whether it be about language, food, or culture.”

At the same time, the director clarifies that gunmaking is not the main subject in Harom Hara. “There are many threads to the narrative, including a spiritual element,” he adds. The director also shares that he is a devotee of Lord Subramanya, which is why he named his film’s protagonist after the deity.

Gnanagsagar says emphatically that he loves underdog stories, which is the core of Harom Hara, and that he took an organic approach to his script. “If someone from a rural area is making guns all by himself, to what extent can he use modern equipment? We tried to deal with such information on a screenplay and execution level,” the director adds. The director also states that the post-production for Harom Hara took a long time, considering it was a period film. “The genre meant more time spent on finalising costumes and production design—more time than usual." The director says that even though Sudheer Babu had expressed great excitement about the project during the first narration itself, he didn't open office until he got complete clarity on Sudheer Babu’s dates, adding that the film’s shoot began only in April 2023.

Harom Hara showcases Sudheer Babu in a whole new light, the director reveals. He adds, “He is a damn good performer. No one has fully explored his potential until now. There is a swag in dialogues that only certain actors can enhance, and Sudheer Babu is one of them.” Gnanasagar also recalls how Sudheer Babu had no trouble grasping the local Kuppam accent and finished the dubbing for the film within four days.

Gnanasgar’s first film, Sehari, is a romantic comedy released in 2022. The director, however, clarifies that he is not a big fan of the genre. “It wasn’t my story. But the opportunity to direct Sehari came at such a time that I couldn’t say no. Harom Hara, on the other hand, is my film. From conception to direction, I can say it belongs to me.” While on the subject, the director also speaks about his inclination towards a contrastful colour scheme for the visuals in a film. He elaborates on his preferences, saying, “If a story has intensity, it should reflect in the frames. If one observes, there is generally a low-key light inside a temple. That way, one feels the intensity of God to a greater degree.”

Harom Hara has received an A certificate from the censor board, as opposed to the U/A certificate for most mainstream films. The director states on the subject, “It’s not a children's film. There is a lot of violence.” At the same time, the director asserts that there is a strongly emotional father-son in Harom Hara that will resonate with the audience. He says, “Rest of the elements, like action or detailing, doesn’t work if the emotion doesn’t land. I lost my father in 2017, and I believe the essence of my relationship with him will reflect in this film.” The director takes a moment to thank his producers for continually showing faith in him and the story. “There is a certain risk of getting involved with these kinds of projects, which only passionate producers can take, fully knowing that films can go overbudget to some extent.”

Harom Hara was earlier billed and promoted as a pan-India film, slated to release in languages like Hindi, Tamil, and Kannada. However, the makers withdrew the decision a few days ago. Gnanasagar throws light on the development, recalling how he wasn’t happy with the translated dialogue script that was penned for other languages. “After hearing the lines written for the dubbed version, I realised they didn’t capture the essence of the film, and an attempt to nail it would take another 6 months. My learning from this experience was that the dubbing should begin at an early stage, and the dubbing script should be penned by experienced writers.”

Gnanasagar confirms that his next film, too, will be from the Harom Hara producers, and that it will be an action-oriented project. “It will perhaps have more violence,” the director smilingly adds, before noting that the rest of the details are in the discussion stage and that he will make an announcement soon. 

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