Duryodhana gets a voice in war film

The ace director spoke from a Hyderabad studio to Metrolife. “The film has already caught the attention of pan-India audiences,” he says.

Naganna, known for directing period films, is convinced Kurukshetra, released on Friday, will expand the horizons of the Kannada film industry.

The ace director spoke from a Hyderabad studio to Metrolife. “The film has already caught the attention of pan-India audiences,” he says.

Naganna, who began his career as an associate to director KSL Swamy in Jimmy Gallu (1982), is known more recently for Kotigobba, O Premave and Krantiveera Sangolli Rayanna.

In an exclusive interview, he spoke about the much-awaited Kannada mythological, and this week’s big release.

What kind of Kurukshetra is this?

It’s our own Kurukshetra, about the 18-day battle between the Kauravas and the Pandavas, told differently.

How is it is different?

Tales from the Mahabharata have entertained, enthralled, instructed and enlightened Indians for thousands of years. The Mahabharata is a wide canvas and provides many possibilities. It may be viewed from the perspectives of Krishna, Arjuna, Bhishma, Karna.... Our film looks at the Mahabharata essentially from Duryodhana’s viewpoint.

Many films and TV series have done the Mahabharata. Why should audiences watch your film?

In the history of the Kannada film industry, we haven’t had a single film on the Mahabharata.

Ours is the first attempt to make a film out of the epic. It is impossible to narrate the entire story in three hours. It’s like a wedding feast.
It may have hundreds of items, and you can still ask why a specific dish isn’t available. Though the film deals with the Mahabharata war, it tells many stories.

I don’t know why everybody is debating whether Duryodhana is a hero or villain. I want the audience to see and decide for itself whose story we are attempting to unravel.

Is there a message in the film?

Kurukshetra is connected with the Bhagavad Gita. There is everything in the Gita. It’s about life and after-life. It’s also about conflicts, perceptions and right and wrong. Kurukshetra comes out with a solid message for the contemporary world.

Why was the project delayed?

A week before we ended shooting for the 2D format, we decided to produce it in 3D. We shot the film separately for the 2D and 3D formats.

Hence, it took as much time as it would for two films. Moreover, we needed every artiste in every scene. Post-production in 3D is tedious. That is why the project dragged on.

 

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