A perfect contrast

Gandhinagar Grapevine

A perfect contrast

The much-awaited film ‘Allama’, featuring actors Dhananjaya and Meghana Raj in prominent roles, opened to packed houses. Both actors have been complimented for their exceptional performances in the film.

The actors say that they were thrilled when they were offered the roles; not only because it was a challenging proposition but also because they had never essayed such characters before.

‘Allama’ is the biopic of 12th-century mystic-saint Allama Prabhu. Dhananjaya, who essays the role of Allama Prabhu, says, “I would say that this is by far the best project that I have worked on. I was handed over the script of ‘Allama’ a month before the shooting began. This gave me enough time to study the character and read about him, to understand what made him one of the most sought-after saints of his time. I also learnt mridangam because Allama was a master at playing the instrument.” 

“After reading the script, I chose to portray Allama Prabhu the way I understood him. I also read his teachings and books to understand his thoughtprocess,” he adds.

Dhananjaya and Meghana had to undergo a major makeover of sorts for their respective roles. “I had two contrasting roles. One of a young Allama Prabhu and the other,  the older version. The body language and makeup had to change accordingly, which was a big challenge,” says Dhananjaya. Meghana was required to walk, talk and look every inch like her character — Mayadevi — in the film. “I was expected to put on some weight for the character and wear costumes that were very heavy. The hairdo was elaborate and my body language too had to change according to the scenes,” says Meghana.

The biggest challenge, she says, was to be comfortable in what she was wearing. “The task was not only to feel comfortable but also to portray the character of a woman who is strong and has a bold personality. I had to showcase  that confidence on screen,” adds Meghana.

The actor adds that portraying Mayadevi’s character was an exhausting but exciting task. “There really wasn’t anything that Mayadevi couldn’t do or achieve in her life and she expected everybody around her to be just as perfect as she was. And switching between extreme emotions was a challenging endeavour for me,” she adds. 

Both Dhananjaya and Meghana feel that their roles perfectly complemented each other. “Meghana did a perfect job as Mayadevi. I don’t think anybody else could have
done it better than her,” says Dhananjaya. She also feels that Dhananjaya has understood the essence of the role. “Dhananjaya worked overtime to get into the skin of the character and that’s truly admirable,” she says.     

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