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Jaggesh: Guru is based on a Korean film

Last updated on: November 15, 2012 09:57 IST

Jaggesh: Guru is based on a Korean film

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Srikanth Srinivasa in Bangalore

Popular Kannada comedian Jaggesh's maiden directorial venture Guru with his son Gururaj in the lead, is hitting the screens this Friday, November 16, across Karnataka.

It has taken 30 years for the veteran comedian to realise his dream of wielding the megaphone.

He is now truly an all-rounder in the industry: actor, producer, distributor and exhibitor, and now director.

In this interview with Srikanth Srinivasa, Jaggesh talks about his experience as director and how he struggled to find his feet in the industry.

What is the film Guru about?

Guru is based on a Korean film that deals with drug trafficking. Shankar has scripted this film to suit Kannada audiences.

We worked out the scenes for the opening, interim and climax by doing a mix and match with the Korean original to suit our sensitivities and nativity.

The film has a message for the youth who plan their life to head in a particular direction. Then, when there is some turmoil, they are devastated and think they have just two choices – death or life.

This is sort of a moral to the youth of today that they should come out stronger rather than accepting defeat and thinking their life is finished because of a failure.


Image: A scene from Guru. Inset: Jaggesh


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'I came into the industry with the intention of becoming a director'

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Does this movie reflect your own personal and professional life where you had to struggle hard to reach a respectable position?

I should say there was no red carpet waiting for me. I have got used to the struggle. To this day I am fighting it out and enjoying a struggle of a different kind.

How do you think your children are placed in society?

My children are better placed than me and I have groomed them to become good citizens of this country.  

Why did you think of becoming a director with this movie?

Actually, I came into the industry with the intention of becoming a director.

I made my bow in the early 1980s and worked as an assistant director and co-director for about 17 films.

 


Image: A scene from Guru

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'I pick and choose the films that I want to do'

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How is it then that you became an actor?

Due to unforeseen circumstances, I got to play some roles. It was my good fortune that the films that I worked in became hits. I started to get acting offers.

I got to do all kinds of roles. I played a villain, a comedian, a character artiste and became a hero as well. It would have been foolish not to grab these opportunities.

Do you think that it is good that you have waited for so long to become a director?

I had the desire to become an actor somewhere at the back of my mind. If one doesn't get to do what one wants, one tries to do something else that is closely related.

Were you satisfied with the roles that came your way?

Yes, definitely. Acting gives me a high even to this day. By the grace of my parents, God and audiences, I am still getting opportunities to act.

Now, I pick and choose the films that I want to do, based on the uniqueness of the story and the narrative.


Image: A scene from Guru

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'There is a misconception in the media about box-office collections'

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How did your son prepare for this role and for a career in movies?

My son Gururaj is geared up and fully prepared to become an action hero. He underwent an acting course with Namith Kapoor School in Mumbai for a year and another six months with Mohan Pai before we went on board with this film.

Why were your son's earlier films unsuccessful?

His debut movie did well. However, his second release did not do well because of bad timing.

There is a misconception in the media about box-office collections. The media still believes that a film is successful if it runs for 100 days or 25 weeks.

However, today we see Kannada films recovering their investment within 15 days due to multiple theatre releases.

Technology has helped the industry improve its economic status considerably.


Image: A scene from Guru


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'My son shocked me with his performance'

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Were you comfortable directing your son? Did he feel shy doing intimate scenes with the heroine in front of you?

The script that I gave him is a tough one for a newcomer. He shocked me with his performance.

The climax requires a lot of strength and only an established actor could pull it off well. He has surprised me with the way he carried himself.

An atmosphere was created on the sets where I had to do my work and he had to do his job.

I would explain the scene very openly and what I expected from him. He would listen to me like a student and even tell me that he will do it in a particular way. 

We would discuss the scene like director and actor. On the sets I was strictly the director.

How difficult is it to balance what the director wants and what the producer is willing to provide?

We have produced 23 movies and I have worked in all sectors of the film trade. I understand all the subtleties and nuances involved.

A film has to be ready on paper. If a scene has to be shot in a particular way it has to be done that way while using the resources that are available.

There are limitations to the budget based on what the script demands. Differences crop up when budgets shoot up beyond what is necessary.


Image: A scene from Guru

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