Rohit Padaki: 'Rathnan Prapancha' is a hard-core Kannada film

Rohit Padaki, the director of the upcoming flick, opens up to Showtime on the travel-drama starring Dhananjaya and a host of senior actors

Dhananjaya and Umashree in 'Rathnan Prapancha'.

The hilarious trailer of the upcoming Kannada film ‘Rathnan Prapancha’ has piqued the curiosity of fans. Dhananjaya leads the film’s ensemble cast. The film is helmed by Rohit Padaki, who debuted with the anthology ‘Dayavittu Gamanisi’ in 2017. 

Ahead of its release on Amazon Prime Video on October 22, Rohit spoke to Tini Sara Anien about the film.

Excerpts: 

Tell us more about the film.

‘Rathnan Prapancha’ is a travel-drama film. It is a journey that embodies all the emotions and includes introspection and self-realisation. Every character shown in the trailer has a subplot to them. The protagonist Rathnakar travels into their worlds and comes out of them as a better version of himself.

How did the film happen?

Producer Karthik Gowda and I met in November 2019. He had asked me if I had a story and I shared a one-liner of the story. He was excited and we planned to go ahead. Soon, the lockdown happened and we had enough time to work on the script. A team of five wrote the screenplay.  

So, how did you decide upon Dhananjaya?

I knew him much before he became ‘Daali’ Dhananjaya. I know him as a simple and humble guy. We know each other for almost 12-13 years, right from his theatre days. There are fans and there is the audience. Dhananjaya is someone who is loved by both. There are very few actors like him who can be cast in any role. He was a definite choice. 

Rohit Padaki

What explains his popularity? 

Dhananjaya is a fantastic actor to work with. He does a lot of homework for a shot and is always ready with his lines. You don’t feel like you are working with a star. He comes to the set with the enthusiasm of a newcomer.

The second half of the film is extensively shot in North Karnataka, and he has a huge fan base there. Many times, people formed a crowd and followed him. Many travelled 100 kms to see him. Once, we had to lock the compound a house we were shooting in, yet many climbed in.

Being a gentleman, Dhananjaya assured everyone that he would spare time in the mornings and evenings to meet everyone. Fans thronged to meet him by 7 am and 7 pm. 

Why did you opt for an OTT release?

It is a tricky situation. We wanted the film to reach people. I didn’t want to request people to watch the film like I had to for ‘Dayavittu Gamanisi’. We didn’t want a one or one-and-a-half-week theatrical run. We know that ‘Rathnan Prapancha’ has good content. It is a hardcore Kannada film.  

Was the industry not ready for your anthology ‘Dayavittu Gamanisi’ in 2017?

I don’t think the industry is still ready for anthologies. I did ‘Dayavittu Gamanisi’ with the hope that I would not be narrating just one story but four. Many themes in the film went unnoticed. However, that is how the industry works. One tries something and then realises that it won’t work at a certain period. We still have a long way to go in accepting anthologies.