Anant sir and I connect at a deep level: Hemanth Rao

Anant sir and I connect at a deep level: Hemanth Rao

Hemanth M Rao says ‘Kavaludaari’ throws light of the life of the traffic police personnel.

Hemanth M Rao, director of ‘Kavaludaari’.

Hemanth M Rao made an impactful debut as a director with ‘Godhi Banna Sadharana Mykattu’ in 2016. Hemanth is now back with an even stronger, thought-provoking subject in ‘Kavaludaari’, releasing on April 12.

The film, while weaving the story around a crime, puts the spotlight on the life of traffic police personnel and how they don’t get the respect that they deserve, given the harsh conditions that they work in. In an interview with Metrolife, Hemanth M Rao talks about the making of the film and how Anant Nag and his work has influenced him.

‘Kavaludaari’ deals with the criminalisation of politics. Was it a conscious choice to release it during the election season?

It wasn’t planned but a very cosmic process. The film blends with the criminalisation of politics and how there is very little knowledge about who we vote for. As a society, we should strive to have representation that is better than ourselves. If we have politicians with vested interests, doing their own thing, then it affects the lives of ordinary people. And more often than not, it is the people in uniform who bear the brunt of such things. 

What kind of research has gone into breathing life into the project?

I have done a lot of groundwork. It is important that when police officers watch this film they must be able to connect to the instances shown in it. They shouldn’t watch the film and say that none of this really happens. I have interviewed a lot of police officers. A couple of cops were sweet enough to also allow me to go on a night patrol with them. I have incorporated some real instances that I saw in the film. 

Does this film only feature traffic police personnel?

Hemanth did his internship with Metrolife in 2005, just after his
 graduation. He spent some time on the desk on Wednesday.

 The film is about two traffic cops. One currently on duty (played by Rishi) and a retired cop (played by Anant) who come together because of sheer coincidence to solve a complicated case. It is curiosity and an urge to bring out the truth and bring forth justice that prompts them to work together. 

What did you understand about the life of traffic personnel?

It is a tough job. The traffic police personnel who stand on the streets don’t even have basic amenities like a washroom, drinking water facilities and no proper place to eat. They also have poor increments which don’t match the increasing cost of living. We are not really incentivising their job. But these issues are just undercurrents in the film. On the surface, it is an out-and-out thriller that is sure to keep you hooked.  

This is your second film with Anant Nag. How has he influenced you?

Anybody who has grown up on a diet of Kannada films will know the impact Anant sir and his brother Shankar Nag have had on us. The most amazing thing about them is that they constantly challenge the norms and have always taken the less-beaten path. Anant sir can hold his own with any other actor across the world. They are among the handful of brilliant actors this country has produced.   

On working with Anant Nag for the second time...

Anant Nag brings life into just about any character. He only improves the script with his performance. In ‘Kavaludaari’ I have tried to write scenes that were challenging for him as an actor and those that bring out his strength as a performer.

What kind of rapport do you share with Anant Nag?

He understands my perspective. Anant sir and I connect at a deeper level. He understands my intentions and what I am trying to convey. He is a very intelligent actor and an extremely well-read person. His contributions certainly strengthen the script.