What does it imply to be a real hero? Amoghavarsha asks in Gandhada Gudi

What does it mean to be a true hero? Amoghavarsha asks in Gandhada Gudi

2022-11-08 12:40:17

Filmmaker Amoghavarsha J talks in regards to the making of Gandhada Gudi and his relationship with the late Kannada actor Puneeth Rajkumar

Filmmaker Amoghavarsha J talks in regards to the making of Gandhada Gudi and his relationship with the late Kannada actor Puneeth Rajkumar

Gandhada Gudi opened to a rapturous reception on October 28, 2022 and continues to witness packed halls as folks throng to theatres, even on weekday mornings, to catch their beloved Appu on the massive display, one final time.

The premature demise of Kannada actor Puneeth Rajkumar, fondly often known as Appu by legions of his followers, on October 29, 2021 despatched waves of shock and grief not simply throughout Karnataka but additionally amongst his followers and buddies in different states as nicely. A 12 months later, his swansong Gandhada Gudi, has come as a cathartic expertise to all who cherished him.

Gandhada Gudi, a wildlife docu-drama directed by nationwide award-winning filmmaker and wildlife photographer, Amoghavarsha J S, captures him and Puneeth traversing throughout Karnataka, taking within the state’s ample wealth of wildlife. From the joys of sighting wildlife in reserve forests and deep-diving into the breathtaking waters of Netrani Island to visiting Dr. Rajkumar’s ancestral house and understanding the nature-culture relationship via interactions with the native communities, Gandhada Gudi sees the duo exploring an unknown facet of Karnataka.

A still from Gandhada Gudi.

A nonetheless from Gandhada Gudi.
| Photograph Credit score: Particular Association

This emotional experience additionally appears inwards, as Amoghavarsha delves into who a hero is and recasts Appu in a brand new gentle — as a buddy, position mannequin and common human (vishwa maanava). Even because the director laces his gorgeous visuals with concepts of conservation and coexistence, Puneeth’s humour — witty, lighthearted and self-deprecating — cuts via the social messaging, making it extra accessible and intimate.

In a chat with The Hindu, director Amoghavarsha opens up in regards to the making of Gandhada Gudi(GG) and the journey of journey, studying and self-exploration via Karnataka’s wilderness.

With Gandhada Gudi, you could have tried to redefine Puneeth as ‘a real hero’ going past his on-screen persona. Was that concept a part of your preliminary imaginative and prescient?

Initially, we simply got down to discover Karnataka. As we started, I noticed Puneeth was on a clearly-defined quest — to witness nature and wildlife. I, nevertheless, wished to grasp what it means to be a hero, to get a lot love and affection from the folks. That was my quest.  

You might have known as this an experimental docu-drama, of two buddies on a wildlife journey. Have been you anxious about how your dynamic with an actor would play out on-screen? 

It was very natural. There may be positively a narrative arc however it is very important be observant with out predefined concepts, which we as filmmakers have a tendency to hold into the sector. Magic is barely potential whenever you permit for that serendipity. Particularly with the factual area, the extra scope you give to what’s occurring, the extra truthful and related a narrative feels.

Puneeth’s swansong seems like a tribute to him and to Dr. Rajkumar too. Was it a acutely aware selection after his passing?

The movie has many layers and a whole lot of subtext. Wildlife exploration is simply the highest layer that folks see, however from Day Zero, the intention of paying tribute via Gandhada Gudi (2022)was necessary to me. Karnataka has probably the most variety of tigers and elephants on this planet and our earlier generations have labored laborious to guard them. {That a} mainstream movie on conservation like Gandhada Gudi (1973) was made 50 years in the past in Kannada is a motive for celebration.

Nevertheless, the extra I travelled with Appu, the extra I realised he was an individual deserving of an impartial tribute. In a world the place folks ape stars, I noticed a hero who was all the way down to earth and shorn of all artifice whereas filming. I wished to pay homage to that.

Kannada actor Puneeth Rajkumar and director Amoghavarsha at Netrani Island during the shooting of Gandhada Gudi.

Kannada actor Puneeth Rajkumar and director Amoghavarsha at Netrani Island throughout the capturing of Gandhada Gudi.
| Photograph Credit score: Particular Association

Have been there any particular movies that impressed the docu-drama format?

We labored with a few story consultants from Hollywood — individuals who produced Masterclass, the Billie Eilish documentary The World’s a Little Blurry, and in addition work with NatGeo and Netflix. As we perceive, there has by no means been a format like this. It was additionally conceptualised for an viewers which is used to song-and-dance, as a substitute of the dry interview-laden format utilized in most factual movies. The docu-drama format can also be particular as a result of it reveals an Jap perspective of conservation, which is ‘man with wild’. Indian tradition isn’t anthropocentric, the place humankind is on prime of the pyramid. I’ve not come throughout a format like this.  

In contrast to different wildlife documentaries, GG has a robust emotional core. Have been you anxious feelings might overshadow the wildlife facet of the movie?

Fairly the other, really. When there are not any feelings, we are able to’t connect with different people, not to mention wildlife . The emotional journey offers viewers extra context to grasp animals.

Connecting the dancing frog to Appu’s life obtained lots of people excited. In one in every of my visits to a single-screen theatre, folks cheered when Appu makes an enchantment to make use of much less plastic and says, ‘Let’s all grow to be heroes’. I’ve by no means seen folks scream and cheer for a social message earlier than.

Kannada actor Puneeth Rajkumar and director Amoghavarsha in a still from Gandhada Gudi.

Kannada actor Puneeth Rajkumar and director Amoghavarsha in a nonetheless from Gandhada Gudi.
| Photograph Credit score: Particular Association

With Appu’s ‘vishwa manava’, have you ever discovered a solution to what makes a hero? 

Appu’s ‘vishwa manava’ is about being accessible and we are able to all aspire to be that approach. Appu was celebrated not solely as a result of he danced and fought nicely on-screen but additionally for the human being that he was. This format of a hero is one thing his father was additionally identified for. Appu transcends that to say all of us generally is a ‘common human’. 

Alongside Puneeth, GG additionally portrays forest guards as parallel heroes. Is {that a} sub-theme you wished to discover?

That has been one of many main causes for me in my previous couple of movies. Coexistence and tradition are a giant a part of wildlife conservation however a big quantity of safety additionally goes into it and these guards have a thankless job. I wished to rejoice them.   

As anticipated, the viewers’s response has been very emotional. How are you feeling post-release, as a director and a buddy?

You must sit via the edit 1,000,000 occasions, and that’s laborious. In some unspecified time in the future, you park the grief apart since you don’t need your feelings to cloud the movie. It was a giant duty for me to do justice to the movie and to the emotions of his followers. I wished them to see the comfortable, joyous Appu you see within the movie, which is my reminiscence of him. Individuals inform me GG helped them take care of their grief they usually can now smile once they see him on display. That has been probably the most humbling and overwhelming takeaway for me.

As a buddy, I miss him much more now. If he was round to see the adulation individuals are showering on GG, he would have been over the moon as a result of it was his ardour challenge. This proves there’s a chance for trustworthy and common cinema. I actually want he was right here to see all this.  

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