The story of a man and his dog

The story of a man and his dog

‘Naanu Matthu Gunda’ is inspired by the life of an auto driver and his dog in Mangaluru

Bengaluru-based filmmaker Srinivas Thimmaiah began his career as a documentary filmmaker and worked in various forums connected with entertainment before deciding to wield the megaphone in Sandalwood. Thimmaiah’s launch vehicle, ‘Nannu Matthu Gunda,’ released recently. It tells the story of an autorickshaw driver and his dog. How they come together and how their relationship grows strong is the crux of the story. In an interview with Metrolife, Srinivas talks about the making of the film and more.  

How did you decide to make a film with a dog as the central theme? 

I was browsing the internet when I came across a research paper that indicated that animal lovers in India have almost doubled in the last few years. This clearly shows that human beings are finding in dogs what they don’t find in other human beings — which is unconditional love.

We also found out that Bengaluru has the highest number of pet lovers. This is what triggered the idea. 

Tell us about the lead character?  

Actor Shivaraju plays an autorickshaw driver. A while ago, I had come across an auto driver in Mangaluru. He would drive around the city with his dog. I was inspired by his life. I probed a bit and found that his dog had played a major part in bringing his family together.

Shivaraju was thrilled when I narrated the script to him. He is primarily a comedian in the Kannada film industry, but it is said that every comedian has a deeply emotional side to them. I found the perfect mix of emotions in Shivaraju. He embraced the role very well and has done complete justice to it.  

Actor Samyukta too had a pet dog by the same name. Was that a coincidence? 

Yes, it was a coincidence. When I first narrated the script to Samyukta, she was surprised and asked us if we were trying to make a movie about her story. We were contemplating many titles but after we came to know about Samyukta and Gunda. We decided to call the film ‘Nannu Matthu Gunda.’ 

Was it easy to train the dogs? 

We have two dogs in the film, a puppy and another one, who played the older version. It wasn’t easy to get the extract same emotions from the dogs. We couldn’t force the emotions, so we had to wait for the dogs to get into the right mood and then shoot.

It was a time-consuming process. We also brought a trainer to train the dogs. There was a time when we had to wait for eight hours to just get one shot. 

There are so many films based on animals. How is this different? 

The script is the hero of the film. The in-depth screenplay and strong emotions are what set this film apart.

Crafting the emotion between a man and his dog requires a certain knack and I think we have achieved that in this film. The film will strike a chord with everybody, irrespective of age, religion and language.