Nagshekar's next film is on its way, Mynaa went on the floors, and Prasad doesn't move you

"Sanju Weds Geeta” other than garnering critical acclaim also did reasonably well at the box-office last year. Wading through severe constraints, financial and otherwise what prevailed was director Nagshekar's passion. He was able to elicit a standout performance from Ramya while his shot taking showcased his love for the medium. Nagshekar after basking in the plaudits has moved on though his bank balance remains unchanged. He fell in love with a fascinating case former cop BB Ashok Kumar narrated and has been nurturing it for some time now. Producer Raaj Kumar a confidante and friend of Puneet fell in love with Nagshekar's narration and decided to back the project. The plot in a nutshell is about a boy who falls hopelessly in love with a beautiful but physically handicapped girl. “It has every emotional ingredient a film demands,” says producer Kumar. “The film will be dramatised, but I'm making sure I remain faithful to the basic plot,” says an excited Nagshekar. He's already zeroed in on apt locations, has decided on a couple of lilting tunes and can't wait to say ‘action'.

The film has been titled “Mynaa” and a simple muhurath was performed on the auspicious day of Ugadi. Chetan who's mysteriously been given the cold shoulder by the Kannada film industry gets a role he can sink his teeth into and prove his detractors wrong. There were offers but nothing has excited Chetan as much as ‘Mynaa' has. Nitya Menon who's an effortless performer grabbed the role even before Nagshekar finished his narration. Tamil star Sarath Kumar plays the role of a super cop. Sathya Hegde will capture whatever Nagshekar visualizes and Jassie Gift scores the music. Traditional percussion artistes welcomed the guests who trickled in before the auspicious hour. Puneet and Raghavendra Rajkumar arrived with wives in toe to wish their long time friend Kumar. Puneet again asked about how people were reacting to his game show on TV. Not many gave it a chance but the show has struck a chord with the TRP soaring and I told him he should be worrying about it affecting the collections of ‘Anna Bond' his next release! He gave a bewildered laugh before melting into the crowd. The latest trend at filmi functions is the hug, so outstretched hands are grabbed and pulled for a crushing of pectorals. Anyway, after the bonhomie, genuine and otherwise, Puneet's wife Ashwini sounded the clap for the first shot where a dapper looking Chetan shouts the title! Priyamani who was shooting nearby dropped in while Nitya decided to spend time with the percussion artistes. The film industry is a magnet for moneybags. The reasons vary from just being able to sidle up to stars to the basic misconception that most girls in the film industry come easy. Another reason is the reams of free publicity you garner effortlessly. I was shocked to see a gargantuan cut out of the producer Ashok Kheny, adorned with garlands and cardboard stars outside a theatre showing ‘Prasad' in the heart of the city. There was only a poster of the leading man Arjun Sarja. “That could be one of the reasons the audiences are keeping away. They think he's the hero,” said the manager in earnest. The film neither entertains you nor moves you emotionally which was probably the intention. I'm more surprised that with money a film as prosaic as ‘ Prasad' can sneak into a film festival, as prestigious as the Berlin one.

sshivu@yahoo.com

Keywords: Kannada cinema