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Aravind Kuplikar’s 'Puksatte Lifu' has actors from theatre portraying every character on screen

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Director says that film will be a "realistic look at life around us"

Director Aravind Kuplikar is busy winding up the shoot and dubbing for his debut venture, Puksatte Lifu. The cast comprises theatre artistes — from National-Award-winning actor Sanchari Vijay to Achyuth Kumar and Rangayana Raghu. “It was easy to bring this cast together as I have worked with each of them during my theatre days,” says Aravind with a smile. He has also written the story and dialogues for the film.

Aravind Kuplikar’s 'Puksatte Lifu' has actors from theatre portraying every character on screen

“The story is taken from a line by MS Ramesh. Puksatte Lifu is not a love story. It is a realistic look at life around us. I am not sure if people will look at it as parallel or commercial cinema.”

The film has been shot extensively in and around Bengaluru. “Nothing is beautified or glamorised on screen,” says Aravind, who started off as a stage actor at the age of 10. “My first play was with Professor B Chandrashekar and I shared the stage with theatre actor Rajaram. That was my debut.” Aravind gives credit to his uncle, TV and cinema actor Sreenivasa Meshtru, who also is a theatre artiste. “He would take me along to all his theatre activities and I was gradually being drawn to it,” says Aravind, who has acted with every professional and amateur theatre group in Bengaluru and Mysuru.

“I never dreamt of getting into films. One day, I shot a two-minute film on my camera. It was that of a plane landing. I captured the plane and its shadow on the earth as it landed. The film ends with the two merging and becoming one. When I shared that with some of theatre directors, they suggested I train in cinematography.” This advice led him to the famed cinematographer Bhaskar, who advised Aravind to train as a director, not cinematographer. “He said I was basically an actor and that would help me bring out the best in actors on screen.”

Aravind Kuplikar’s 'Puksatte Lifu' has actors from theatre portraying every character on screen

Aravind went to Chennai to study filmmaking at the LV Prasad Film and TV Academy, Chennai. He made many short films during his study. One film, Amoortha, based on Jayanth Kaikini’s book, won him accolades.

Soon, opportunity came knocking in the form of actor Prakash Raj, who was looking for an associate director for the Kannada version of his film Oggrane. “This film was being made in Tamil and Hindi too. The film became my school. I not only wrote dialogues for the Kannada version, but also found myself getting involved in every aspect of the film from dubbing and song recording to the Hindi version.”

Aravind Kuplikar’s 'Puksatte Lifu' has actors from theatre portraying every character on screen

The Hindi version had Nana Patekar and Sriya Saran and the Tamil version had Sneha in the lead. “For some reason the Hindi version was not released. Working with Prakash Raj exposed me to the workings of the Kannada, Hindi, Tamil and Malayalam film industries. The only difference I saw in the Hindi film industry was that everything is done in a lavish manner, including the paper work and scheduling. Everything is written to perfection, even lifting a spoon is assigned to someone and only he has to do. Here, we don’t go into such detail. We just verbally assign tasks and whoever is free pitches in. I was a amused and impressed with their style,” laughs the director, who worked with Prakash Raj in Tadka and Idolle Ramayana in which he also plays a pivotal role.

Aravind Kuplikar’s 'Puksatte Lifu' has actors from theatre portraying every character on screen

All his past experiences, feels Aravind, helped him now when he is directing Puksatte Lifu, which he terms as a “serious comedy. In the sense, serious issues are dealt in a comical manner. It will not be a heavy film and the story will take you on a light-hearted journey of the characters in the film.”

The film, produced by Sarvaswa Productions, is scheduled for a year-end release.

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Printable version | Jan 20, 2020 12:38:28 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/movies/director-aravind-kuplikars-film-puksatte-lifu-has-actors-from-theatre-portraying-every-character-on-screen/article29498085.ece

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