June 03, 2009
The six-foot-plus body-frame, broad shoulders, rugged looks and sharp eyes - all these ingredients make the man the ideal star material.
Sacheen Suvarna, who has already made a mark selectively in Bollywood movies, was busy with the outdoor shooting of 'SriMokshaa', a Kannada movie, in the picturesque locales around the Nandini river backwaters at Sasihitlu on the outskirts of Mangalore, in early May.
In between the shoots, he mixed freely with the cast and the crew, with no signs of star hang-ups, treating everyone with extraordinary courtesy and a friendly outlook. That has won him everyone's love and admiration and the whole shooting schedule in and around Mangalore for almost a month was all smooth for the whole unit.
Interestingly, SriMokshaa is Sacheen's second Kannada movie, while 'Encounter Daya Nayak', based on the real-life exploits of the renowned supercop of the Mumbai police, was his first.
As for Bollywood, Vaastav: The Reality (1999), Pitaah (2002), Footpath (2003), Black Friday (2004), Shuklam Bharadaram, Kurukshetra and One-Two Ka Four (with Shah Rukh Khan) are a few of his best-remembered movies.
While in Black Friday, directed by Anurag Kashyap, he played the tough role of Shoaib Ghansore, Pitaah gave him an opportunity to brush shoulders with bigwigs like Sunjay Dutt, Jackie Shroff, Om Puri, Shivaji Satam and others - under the direction of Mahesh Manjrekar.
Produced under the banner of Kohinoor Creations by Vidya Suvarna, Mahindra Salecha, Pramod and Dilip Kothari, the credit of story and screenplay of SriMokshaa also goes to the hero, Sacheen Suvarna, himself. Ritu Sachdeva, a Delhiite, who was 7th runner-up in the Miss India 2006 contest, plays the female lead opposite Sacheen. Bollywood’s Mohan Joshi and Sanjay Narvekar – who is remembered for his Dedh Phutia role in Vaastav – are also prominently featured in the movie.
Based on a storyline by Shiv Jamkhandi, the film is being directed by Keshav Shetty, with music by Sujit Shetty. Extensive shooting at locales in Mangalore, Bangalore, Mandya and other places has been completed. Some memorable scenes have been shot in the Urwa police station, Immaculate Conception church, Urwa and near the Sri Bhagawati shrine in Sasihitlu, said Sacheen.
Editing and dubbing process is now in progress, with dates of release being worked out.
Sacheen spoke exclusively on the appeal potential of the movie and related subjects.
What is the theme of the movie, SriMokshaa?
With the theme developing around Mangalore, it depicts the life of a simple fisherman, how the system drags him into the wrong side of the law and how he handles the situation. Whether he is able to come out of it remains a matter of suspense until the end.
Besides being the hero of the movie, you have taken the job of script and screenplay also on your shoulders. Who was your inspiration behind this new-found ability and skills of yours?
Kannada actor 'Dattanna' (Dattatreya) urged me to get into it. Bollywood director Mahesh Manjrekar also gave me a major boost and inspiration. I am grateful to both of them.
How have you depicted Mangalore, the city of your ancestors, in the movie?
Mangalore has been shown as a financially-sound city. Besides the positive aspects, an attempt has also been made to portray how money can contribute to the rise in crime as well.
Any impact of Bollywood co-stars in the movie SriMokshaa?
The characters in the movie should show a bit of Mumbai touch, because Mangalore is the mirror of Mumbai in many ways. But eventually the co-stars are very well known in India as well as in Karnataka, so there is no issue of their making any impact on the movie SriMokshaa.
How proper is it to show a grey-scale character as a hero in the movie SriMokshaa?
Every soul has two faces - negative and positive. I believe positive is always the right side to be with, so naturally the negative side gets broken down. Even in the movie Sada, my role was negative but it had a positive impact and impression.
There are reports that SriMokshaa is based on the life of the late Paniyoor Sadananda alias Sadhu Shetty. Are they true?
No, there is no resemblance at all. But there could be some situations, which are common to the underworld, and they can be termed as mere coincidences. In essence, this movie is based more on human relations than crime.
Do you think you have done justice to the character played by you?
I tried my best not to talk much but have given a full effort of body language and facial expressions. I have read crime, I have even seen it, and I have met people who have given up crime. I don’t say that I have tried my hand at crime but I have a vast experience by observation. Based on the story, I have written a simple script wherein human relations will have some justice towards the character.
While on the subject of negative roles, these days we come across a lot of Kannada heroes playing violent roles. The public walls are splashed with posters with violent graphics showing swords, guns and hatchets (commonly known as 'long'). While the legendary Kannada icon the late Dr Rajkumar is being remembered for his saintly roles like Bedara Kannappa, Bhakta Kanakadasa, Sanadi Appanna and others, his sons are seen in violent movies like 'Hodi Maga'. What do you have to say about this?
Dr Rajkumar was a true legend. His powerful acting potential was his best weapon. So he did not need to wield any other weapon nor did he rely on any weapon to prove his worth. Violence can be portrayed according to the situation, only if necessary, not with the intention of glorifying it, but such in such a way that people will develop a revulsion towards it.
The majority of your outdoor unit hails from Bangalore, Chennai etc. How did they feel working here?
Since the local population, especially the people of Sasihitlu, made us feel at home, our unit had absolutely no difficulties. My gratitude goes out to everyone who made our stay such a pleasure.
What message do you want to convey to the society through the movie SriMokshaa?
"Live and let live!" I believe in this saying. World has given us both Bin Laden and Lord Krishna. World has even given both crime and peace. So it is up to us to choose where to walk ahead. That is the message of the film.
Any plans to make any movie in your mother-tongue, Tulu?
Yes, I am working on a script for a Tulu movie "Aase" ("Desire") and that is my desire.