Nishkarsha back after 25 years

Nishkarsha back after 25 years

A digitised version of the runaway hit starring Vishnuvardhan is releasing across 100 screens on Friday

(From left) Editor Eshwar, music director Guru Kiran, actress Suman Nagarkar, Srishti Patil (fifth from left, in red), Vanaja Patil, producer B C Patil and director Sunil Kumar Desai at the announcement of Nishkarsha’s re-release.

A Vishnuvardhan blockbuster is coming back on September 20, a good 25 years after its first release.

In its restored avatar, it hits 100-plus screens across Karnataka.

Directed by Sunil Kumar Desai, shooting of action thriller Nishkarsha began on May 12, 1993. It was released on December 24 the same year.

Producer-actor B C Patil got the film restored by April but wanted to release it on the birth anniversary of Vishnuvardhan on September 18. A dubbed Hindi version will be released in Mumbai and the northern states.

For the digitisation, Eshwar, who had edited the film, roped in a technician who had worked for S S Rajamouli’s Baahubali. Desai told Metrolife how he had got to direct Nishkarsha.

“B C Patil took me to Davangere to watch his play ‘Tipu Sultan’. He was playing Tipu and I saw an actor in him. He was then a police sub-inspector at Davanagere. He wanted to show policemen as good Samaritans, and suggested the idea of a rescue drama. That’s how Nishkarsha was born,” recalls Desai.

Patil and Desai travelled extensively on a scooter in Bengaluru to finalise a high-rise building for the shoot.

They saw the posh Manipal Centre off M G Road and decided to shoot the film on a top floor. An office on the top floor was used for the shooting.

With just eight days to go for the shooting to be wrapped up, shopkeepers in the building obtained a stay from a court on the grounds that the crew was causing them inconvenience. Shooting was halted for a month and a half.

Desai was particular Nishkarsha release in Santosh theatre, but the management turned down his request.

“Without permission, I announced that Nishkarsha would be released there. When the owner slammed me, I told him fans would create a ruckus. He thought the movie would run only for two weeks as it didn’t have songs, and consented,” recalls Desai.

Desai admits he had hired some boys to pelt stones at the theatre if permission wasn’t granted. The idea was to get the theatre by hook or by crook.

As luck would have it, Nishkarsha ran for 100 days!

Eventually, the theatre owners withdrew Nishkarsha only to accommodate a Dr Rajkumar release, Odahuttidavaru.

Nishkarsha was shifted to Narthaki next door. Fearing a clash between fans of Vishnuvardhan and Rajkumar, the management moved Nishkarsha to Triveni, which also it owned.

Choosing Nishkarsha for three state awards stirred controversy, but Siddalingaiah, chairman of the selection committee, issued a statement saying he had chosen a good film for the awards. 

Desai thought on his feet as the film was shot. He took about eight days to finalise how to divert the villain’s attention from the top floor.

“A few suggested the idea of flying balloons and creating smoke. One day, I saw two pigeons on the top floor and that triggered an idea,” Desai says.

A Shivajinagar boy supplied 150 pigeons for the climax, but Desai needed 500.

“We tied rubber bands across the wings to stall their speed. We released the pigeons from the top floor and they descended slowly to the ground. We then reversed the shot to show them flying up from the basement,” he says.