'Ulidavaru Kandanthe is not an experimental film'
Achyuta Kumar is an accomplished actor. He has received rave reviews for his work in the recent past. Last year, his role as Shankaranna in the crowd-funded Kannada film Lucia was appreciated by critics and audiences.
Achyuta Kumar also occasionally dabbles in Tamil films.
He talks to rediff.com about Ulidavaru Kandanthe, which releases on March 28.
From talking to actor and associate-director, Rishab and cinematographer Karm Chawla, I gather that your character in Ulidavaru Kandanthe has negative shades. Would you elaborate on that?
I like to just act and leave it to the audience to see for themselves what my character in a film is all about.
The fun lies in watching the film rather than talking about the character. I don’t mind talking about it after you have watched the film.
To be honest, if I talk about it now, it would appear like I am just blabbering.
Image: Achyuta Kumar
'Everybody in the film has an interesting role'
What motivated you to sign up for this film?
Rakshit came to me and narrated the entire story. As he was narrating, I realised that this is not a regular film, especially for the Kannada film industry.
Its narrative pattern is different. Everybody in the film has an interesting role.
The movie is about perspectives of different characters from each one’s point of view.
Can you share some experience of shooting for the film?
I play this character called Balu. I had to get my face and body painted every day. It used to take over two hours.
But for two or three scenes, I am always in a Huli Vesha (face and body painted to resemble a tiger to perform in a folk art form).
Image: Movie poster of Ulidavaru Kandanthe
'We had to go for several re-retakes during the shoot due to sync sound'
The film was shot in sync sound; that must have been an interesting experience.
Most TV serials I have worked on were shot with sync sound. Yes, in Kannada cinema this is the first time.
We had to go for several re-retakes during the shoot, and there were several other challenges but the responsibility of achieving quality sound was in the able hands of Rakshit and Renjith.
They have done a brilliant job. The best part about live-sound is that the tonal quality is the same as that in which the actor delivered his lines during the shoot. It syncs perfectly with his performance.
Also, while filming; all the actors involved in a scene will be in perfect sync with each other, enhancing everybody’s performance and the scene in general. This cannot be achieved in dubbing.
The fact that the film is set in the coastal region and not Bangalore, Mandya or Mysore has triggered interest among film goers.
Absolutely! In the film, I speak in Kundapura dialect of Kannada. Many people believe that the form of Kannada spoken in Bangalore or Mysore is the only one.
A lot of our films are in Mysore Kannada. We have not explored the different dialects of Kannada in our films at all.
The dialects spoken in Mangalore, Udupi, and Kundapura have been extensively used in this film. You will get to hear the entire Karavalli belt’s dialect which could be a nouvelle factor in itself in Ulidavaru Kandanthe.
If you drive down National Highway 4, you will observe how Kannada changes as you travel. It is such a delight to hear different dialects.
Also, because we performed in sync sound, we had to get it all right. It was good fun.
Image: A still from Ulidavaru Kandanthe
'I hope the film crosses the linguistic barrier and is appreciated outside Karnataka also'
Your role in Pawan Kumar’s Lucia was appreciated. Do you expect a similar reception for your performance in this film?
I hope so. Ulidavaru Kandanthe also has English subtitles. I hope it crosses the linguistic barrier and is appreciated outside of the state too.
I would like to add that Ulidavaru Kandanthe is not an experimental film. That is a term used by journalists and film critics. The moment someone uses the word ‘experimental’, it seems like it is art house cinema and something that the audience might discard.
I would just call it a film with a new sensibility and a fresh narrative.
There are so many young boys now who are breaking the conventional pattern and coming up with such films for the last two years. That is very important.
Actors like me are challenged. It is exciting to work with these guys, because the narration is fresh, even the approach to our performance is accentuated.
Rakshit was very professional. He gave me a bound script before the shoot, along with a CD of dialogues and their accent or slang.
Rakshit is a filmmaker with clarity. Karm Chawla, the cinematographer is a very hard worker. He takes his time but works diligently.
Music director Ajaneesh has also given good music. You will realise its impact when you watch the film.
If there are five characters in the film, the music itself is another character.
Image: Movie poster of Ulidavaru Kandanthe