'The hybrid release of 'Seetharam Benoy' is a win-win situation'

Vijay Raghavendra’s 50th film will premiere on TV on August 15 before hitting the screens the next day
Last Updated : 17 August 2021, 08:16 IST
Last Updated : 17 August 2021, 08:16 IST
Last Updated : 17 August 2021, 08:16 IST
Last Updated : 17 August 2021, 08:16 IST

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Kannada actor-director Vijay Raghavendra is back on screen with ‘Seetharam Benoy Case No. 18’. The film is touted to be Kannada cinema's first hybrid release. It premieres on Independence Day on Suvarna channel and hits the screens the next day.

Playing a no-nonsense cop in his 50th film, the actor's biggest challenge was to not smile throughout the film. While the 42-year-old has played a cop earlier in 'Ee Rajeev Gandhi Alla' and 'Happy New Year', Vijay says this film was a unique experience.

In a candid chat with Showtime, he talks about the investigative crime thriller, the unique release format and more. Excerpts.

Why did the team opt for a hybrid release? Is this the first such Kannada release?

We are not aware of other such attempts. The film was made for the TV audience. Times are such that people are not able to step out to theatres and this film's content favours a hybrid release format.

When we approached the TV channel, they liked the film and picked it up. The film's team was keen on theatrical release and thankfully we found some exhibitors ready to screen the film. We are not sure if this will influence other production houses. The format doesn't work for all films. For us, it was a win-win situation.

Was this a call to ensure the producer recovers his money?

It was also one of our major concerns. However, we mainly wanted to cater to entertainment that had moved from theatres to the hands of the audience.

Did the hybrid release of Salman Khan's 'Radhe' influence such a decision?

A television release was our plan. Films like 'Radhe' have boosted our confidence.

Tell us about the role and the film.

I play Seetharam Benoy, a cop. He is a serious cop, who is not influenced by things around. My inspiration for the role is my father-in-law, retired assistant commissioner of police (CCB), B K Shivaram. I took inspiration from the stories he told me about the police department.

I got so deep into the character that I didn’t smile throughout the film's shoot. I am a jovial person and being so serious was challenging.

From being recognised for 'Chinnari Mutha' as a child artiste to your 50th film...

I am thankful to T S Nagabharana for giving me 'Chinnari Mutha'. For a lifetime, no matter how old I grow, people will never take off that title.

Coming to ‘Seetharam Benoy Case No. 18’, the film has helped me push myself, and grow, as an actor. I can see myself playing grey or negative shades now.

Published 13 August 2021, 17:35 IST

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