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What’s up in Bakrapur?

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sneak peek A goat named Shah Rukh? Well, that’s the protagonist of filmmaker Janaki Vishwanathan's upcoming Bakrapur

on a different pathJanaki Vishwanathan
on a different pathJanaki Vishwanathan

National award winning filmmaker Janaki Vishwanathan’s first Hindi film Bakrapur has an unusual protagonist in the movie — a goat named Shah Rukh, but she has brushed off any reference to the Bollywood superstar.

“It has nothing to do with Shah Rukh Khan. You see people have a tendency to name their pets after actors or someone they love. The goat is integral to the story, so we needed a name for it... something catchy,” Vishwanathan said when asked if it was an attempt to poke fun at Khan.

“You see, the name is just Shah Rukh which literally means face of the Emperor,” she added.

Asked if the 47-year-old actor had reacted or tweeted about this, Vishwanathan said she had not come across any comment so far.

“I have great admiration for him and though I have not personally interacted with him, from the interviews he has done, he seems to have a great sense of humour.”

Vishwanathan also said that Bakrapur was not a take-off on Cyrus Broacha’s MTV programme Bakra . It is just an imaginary title, where everyone makes a fool of everybody else.

“The movie is a social-political satire set against the backdrop of rural India. A multi-layered film, it dwells, at the primary level, on the relationship between eight-year-old Zulfi and his pet goat Shah Rukh. It is also a hilarious take on the complex belief systems in our society and the conflicts that ensue thereon,” she said.

The 90-minute film, scripted and directed by her, stars Anshuman Jha, Asif Basra, Faiz Khan, Shameen Khan and Suruchi Aulakh.

Vishwanathan has earlier made four films, three in Tamil. The first film Kutty , released in 2001, won her two National awards. She did Kanavu Meipada Vendum in 2004 and then Om Obama seven years later. Each movie dealt with social issues. Kutty focussed on child labour, while Kanavu Meipada Vendum reflected the plight of the devadasi women.

Om Obama , about a fictional village in Tamil Nadu and the relationship the hamlet believes it shares with U.S. President Barack Obama, was completed two years ago, but is yet to hit theatres.

The journalist-turned-filmmaker acknowledged the difficulty in finding distributors for these types of movies, including Bakrapur .

Bakrapur does not have an item number or any masala associated with commercial films. It is tough to get distributors. Not easy but the trend, I believe, has been changing over the past one year. I am keeping my fingers crossed,” she said.

“I am not focusing on getting awards or film festivals. I just pick up a subject that catches my fancy and work on it.”

There are two songs in the movie and they have been composed by Agnee , a Mumbai-based rock music band.

The movie is expected to hit theatres by year-end and they are busy with the post-production work.

Vishwanathan also said that they were also planning a peppy promotional song. — PTI


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