'Khatarnaak does not glorify crime'
Kannada dialogue writer and lyricist, Malavalli Sai Krishna’s first movie as director, Khatarnaak, is releasing on Friday, November 22 across Karnataka.
Sai Krishna shot into the limelight after he penned the dialogues for the blockbuster Jogi. Other prominent Kannada films for which he has written the dialogues are Excuse Me, Satya in Love, Bindaas, Hudugaata and Navagraaha.
He has also written the lyrics for some 20 songs in Kannada, one of which in the film Prem Adda was controversial.
Khatarnaak was originally titled Umesh Reddy after the dreaded serial killer and rapist of that name, who was also a former cop belonging to the Central Reserve Police Force.
Following stiff opposition to the title from the family of the real life Umesh Reddy, the title was changed.
Khatarnaak stars Ravi Kale, Rupika, stunt director Ravivarma, Shobha Raghavendra, and Sharath Lohitaswa.
Khatarnaak is based on a story by Prakash and Sadhu Kokila among others.
In this interview, writer-turned-director Malavalli Sai Krishna clears the air surrounding the movie’s title and the film itself.
The film has been mired in controversy right from the time it was titled Umesh Reddy. Is it based on Umesh Reddy’s exploits as a convict?
No. The movie is not about Umesh Reddy or his actions. Khatarnaak is based on a story that was narrated by a policeman.
The story that he narrated was heartrending. The producer wanted to do a movie that deals with the recent happenings in society.
He wanted the movie to be titled ‘Umesh Reddy’ because of his name and fame. Our intention was to do a film that has a strong message for people.
'The film is a story about the recent happenings in the crime world'
Why did you then have to change the title?
We faced some difficulties during our shoots in Chitradurga from where Umesh Reddy hails. His friends and people did not allow us to shoot.
We took the help of 10 lawyers to continue with our activity. We had to reiterate that the story of the movie had nothing whatsoever to do with Umesh Reddy or his alleged activities.
Yes, we have added a few scenes that are based on the serial killer. Yes, the title was not meant to create any controversy but I should admit this has come as a bonus and a plus for promoting our film.
What does Khatarnaak deal with then?
It is a story about the recent happenings in the crime world. We have tried to scientifically explain what led to the crimes and the mental psyche of criminals who perpetrated these crimes.
Image: A scene from Khatarnaak
'The film has a message that law of the land should prevail'
Have you gone out of your way to glorify crime?
There is no attempt or effort on our part to glorify crime.
All that we wanted to convey is the recent goings-on in society and the heinousness of the crime so that people are more vigilant about what is happening in their surroundings.
It is an effort to mirror what is happening in our neighbourhood. For instance, if a family goes on a vacation without informing the newspaper vendor or a milkman it may create trouble for the family as it is likely to give an invite to commit crime. It is therefore necessary to inform all the important people including your neighbours before the family goes on a vacation.
What exactly is the message you want to convey to the audience?
Criminals who live amidst us have exceptional talent that could be harnessed for useful purposes and be brought into the mainstream.
The film has a message that law of the land should prevail. There should be no attempt to go above the law. I am of the opinion that the climax for this movie is perfect.
There are no songs in the movie because of the length that runs to two hours. Sadhu Kokila has scored the background music apart from acting in the movie as a comedian.
Did the movie run into rough weather with the censors?
Members of the Censor Board supported us and our efforts to make this film.
Of course, the film has got an ‘A’ certificate. The censors suggested three cuts, and as usual ordered muting some objectionable dialogues.
Image: Ropika in Khatarnaak