Behind the camera

Behind the camera

Reflecting reality

Behind the camera

Director Apurva Kasaravalli has a mind of his own never mind his lineage. He has drawn extensively, in terms of inspiration from his father Girish Kasaravalli but the end product —  his debut film ‘Niruttara’, reflects Apurva's thoughts and imagination.

He considers himself fortunate to have grown up watching his father work and decipher every scene to create something extraordinary. Apurva shares with ‘Metrolife’ what went into the making of his debut project.

What triggered the idea of ‘Niruttara’?

It was around October 2013 that we — Bhavana, Arvind Ramanna and myself — decided to collaborate on a film. Then came the difficult task: “What kind of film?” We wanted the film to be realistic, no larger-than-life characters or settings, like having the ethos of an art film but with commercial elements. Vikram Hathwar, a writer, had a story idea woven around just four characters. I liked the idea and decided to develop that into a film. I started writing the screenplay and what I had when I finished was ‘Niruttara’. A story involving four characters — their crisscrossing lives and interconnected relationships.

Is it easy to make a movie on relationships since the concept of relationships itself is so complicated?

Not really. Isn’t our existence as human beings defined by our relationships? Family, friends, colleagues and pets are all relationships. They are not complicated, we complicate them. I've always been fascinated by relationships – the paradox of how the more deep a relationship is, the more fragile it appears to be. It’s like wax chains that bind people but melts with a small flame. This paradox in relationships, is what makes it such a fantastic tool, for filmmakers to use.

What is the essence of each of the four characters in the movie? 

The characters are based on people we see around us. For instance, Achinth is a musician living life one day at a time. Shravya is a documentary filmmaker who is very motivated. Pradeep is a vice president, in a corporate company, who is focussed but by his own admission, a corporate slave and Hamsa is a homemaker and an amateur Hindustani classical singer. How these people and there lives get intertwined forms the basis of ‘Niruttara’.  

How did you get Rahul Bose to agree to do the role?

Rahul plays the character called Pradeep, a vice president of a corporate company. I visualised Pradeep as someone who is suave and sophisticated. My first choice was Rahul Bose because I felt he would be right for the role. I called a friend in Mumbai and he set up a meeting. I met Rahul and narrated the script. He liked the role. Then we did a little workshop so he could understand the character better, understand the dialogues, and work on the body language. He has even dubbed for the character.

What elements of filmmaking have you learnt from your father?

I think I've been lucky that I had opportunities to assist some fantastic filmmakers, my father being one of them. He is to me — a smorgasbord of cinematic idioms. As a filmmaker, it is very important to understand why good directors do what they do. Seeing my father work, the reverence with which he approaches the script, the way he constructs a scene, breaks down the scenes into shot, why he uses a particular camera movement or angle, the use of sound, the use of silence and how you say a lot of things without actually saying anything, is awe-inspiring. But having said that, we are from different schools of cinema.

It is very realistic subject but do you think it will be commercially successful?

I don't think anyone can successfully predict what film will work and what won’t. The only thing one can do is give their best and hope the audience like it. The good thing with cinema in India now is that the audience are more open and accepting to different kinds of films. And over the last couple of years, we’ve had films that have proven that. What we have with ‘Niruttara is, a film that, I think, will appeal to a cross-section of audience — both Kannada and non-Kannada speaking.

As told to Nina C George