From 1965’s Miss Leelavathi to Rama Rama Re; anchoring change in Sandalwood!
In terms of commercial aspects, technology, weaving and narration of stories, movie industries cutting across language line have been seeing a set of new experiments. Here is a feature film in Kannada, Rama Rama Re which has hit silver screens emanating fresh fragrance.
Change is a constant phenomenon. But there are strong reasons and inspirations to see things in a fresh perceptive and give birth to newness. Exploring this recalling brief history of Kannada cinema narrate many stories of change. “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing ever has” says Margaret Mead.
Since the inception of movies across the globe and in Karnataka, experiments are on-going. It’s a kind of present continues. According to a cinema journalist, who is a senior assistant editor in English daily, The Hindu, Muralidhara Khajane, history of cinema in Sandalwood industry has more such examples to offer.
Making a quick recall of Dr Rajkumar starrer, Sarvamangala, Muralidhara opines, director Chaduranga experimented back in 1968 and there is a big history on experiments in the industry. Another socially relevant movie produced in 1965, which won an accolade – national award for second best film in Kannada that featured yesteryear actress Jayanthi as protagonist of the movie was an experimental piece. A plot exploring the darkness of female sexuality on screen was a never before for 60’s.
Muralidhara holds a view that “change is like flowing water”. However, on meticulous observation on change in Kannada cine-industry, he says ‘shift happens once in 10 years’. And production of Rama Rama Re, Lucia or Ulidavaru Kandante is not renaissance, it is quite natural.
Further commenting on recent wave of change, Muralidhara said advent of technology is encouraging independent youth to participate in movie making. In a changed time, technology is huge backer. This is boosting the confidence of young film makers to produce movies. He refused to term Rama Rama Re, a trendsetter or outstanding movie, while credited Lucia for exploring new way (crowd funding) of funding. Lucia has shown a way to make commercially viable fresh movies.
For audience Rama Rama Re looks fresh just because amid formula driven commercial cinemas, this has something vivid to cater to the audience. Muralidhara says Kannada movie named Atti Hannu Mattu Kanaja has a story that revolves around human relations, that holds similarity with Rama Rama Re. But, it did not attract staggering response for commercial reasons and common audience did not accept it as a movie at all. “Contemporary youth have an art to bring out commercially viable cinemas”, he added.
Rama Rama Re director Sathya Prakash says “he wanted to make a movie, fresh” Having toiled in sandalwood since 2006 and being passionate reader of Poornachandra Tejaswi he finally decided to come up with his own feature film.
A knot for the story was developed in 2012 and he groomed the subject till 2014 and finally started to look for apt locations for the movie. The backdrop of the scenes is formed in the movie by wide barren fields and blue sky. “This kind of story may happen in any corners of the world. Hence we have not confined unfolding of story to particular geography”
Satya says he was inspired by a new wave kicked off after Lucia. Ulidavaru Kandante, Tithi, U-Turn, Godhi Banna Sadarana Maikattu, Nanu Avanalla Avalu.
One of the driving forces of this current change, Pawan Kumar, director of Lucia and U-Turn says, “I did not make a movie to herald change. I wanted to do a good, innovative movie. On the other hand for experimental movies old-school producers do not support. To compensate this part, crowd-funding was an idea introduced and emerged successful.”
He quipped, when asked – do you think more such number of movies must hit, saying “in a way it is good that old-formula commercial movies are still in the making as creative ideas can land at a better position.”
Another director Rakshith Shetty said before Lucia, there was a good number of audience decided to stay away from Kannada movies as the industry was producing poor quality movies. These new movies like Ulidavaru Kandante that tells compelling stories is engaging audience once felt aloof. “I made Ulidavaru Kandante not to spell change but to tell my story to audience.”
He emphasised change can only happen if a writer writes a story moving away from trend setters or benchmarks.
Sathyamurthy Anandooru, senior cinema scribe says as audience feel bored with one set of movies industry braces itself for a change. It’s a never ending cycle. Today Lucia or Rama Rama Re, and another day some other will anchor change.