It is director Champa P Shetty’s roots in theatre that prompted her to make a film like ‘Ammachi Yemba Nenapu’.
An adaptation of the play ‘Akku’, a compilation of short stories written by renowned Kannada writer Vaidehi, the story dwells on the lives of three women --- Puttammatte (Radhakrishna Urala), a widow, her granddaughter Ammachi (Vyjayanti Adiga), a ‘progressive’ woman stuck in the patriarchal society, and Akku (Deepika Aradhya), a middle-aged woman.
The director says these three women from three different age groups are trying to overcome challenges posed to them by society.
Champa has made sure that she has given every character a unique twist. “Puttammatte, a helpless widow, does let her circumstances come in the way of wanting to give her granddaughter a good future. Ammachi, the strongest character in the film, doesn’t cow down to the dictates of Venkappaiah (Raj B Shetty), an egoist who wants to make sure that all the women in his household are under his control and finally Akku is always on a road to understanding what she really wants,” she tells Metrolife.
She adds, “From a younger age, women are always taught to walk, talk and behave in a particular manner. I feel that women still don’t enjoy complete freedom. In some places, boys were sent to English medium schools after class seven, but women continued to study in the Kannada medium of instruction. A lot has changed but more needs to be done to allow women to chase their dreams and fulfil their aspirations.”
The director feels that people will be able to connect to every character in the film. Asked what message Champa has for her audience, she says, “Women are not as weak as they are made out to be. She must be provided with the opportunity to demonstrate her strength and intelligence.”
- The film is based on the short stories written by renowned Kannada writer Vaidehi.
-It reinstates the integrity of women.
-Classical music compositions by Kashinath Pattar.
-It has featured theatre artists.
What made you accept the role?
I was fascinated with the character because it is normal. There's nothing filmi or larger-than-life about it. There is some amount of cruelty in everybody and people show this cruelty to those he thinks are inferior to him. This trait says a great deal about how we are as human beings.
What did you think triggers that cruelty?
My character Ammachi is such that he can go to any extent to prove that he is stronger than you or that he has control over you. You notice that when he speaking to women who are superior to him, he is humble but when it comes to conversing with the women in his household, he behaves and talks in an authoritative manner. This is quite scary. He is an extremely relatable character.
You didn't sign any other film after 'Ondu Motteya Kathe'. Why?
We should know why we are here as actors. I am not here to create a fan following or attain any sort of stardom. I have only 10 to 15 minutes of screen space. But I can fully relate to him and connect with the character.