Movies

Of homes and hearts

There is a lot of hype around Ammana Mane as the film has Raghavendra Rajkumar playing a pivotal role. So off we go to NR Colony, where the shooting of the film is in progress.

The location is an old Bengaluru home and the neighbourhood looks as sleepy and laid back as Bengaluru must have been. The house seems to be totally taken over by the cast and crew — with lights, wires, trolleys, cameras and people walking all around.

As we enter the compound, we are greeted by a smiling Raganna sitting in the garden, waiting for his shot as the crew runs around, making arrangements.

Of homes and hearts

Rohini Nagesh, who plays Raganna’s mother in the film sits ready on a wheel chair – quiet and contemplative as she readies herself for “an emotional scene”.

Slowly the crowd starts to gather around the house out of curiosity. And you hear Nikhil Manjoo the director call for the shot to be ready. Raganna is supposed to push his mother into the kitchen, looking for his daughter. Once he enters the kitchen, the daughter walks out while his wife comes and kneels before the mother and smiles.

Of homes and hearts

Raganna then turns around and looks at his daughter walking away from the kitchen. Though Raganna looks frail, he is full of energy and intensity for the shots and retakes.

Just as the director is about to say cut, an old grandfather’s clock strikes three with three loud rings. Nikhil calls for a retake.

Of homes and hearts

Forty minutes later the scene shifts to the garden, where Raganna is supposed to nail a name plate, Ammana mane, at the entrance while his wife watches him and his daughter wheels his mother to the door.

Everyone is supposed to smile. The scene goes off smoothly with the DOP Swami capturing every emotion on his camera moving sideways on a trolley on the road.

As the shoot goes on, neighbours take turns to come watch the action and whisper excitedly to each other when they spot Raganna.

Deep emotions

“The film is about serving my mother. I related to the character as I recall similar moments spent with my mother. I tried to visualise my mother while playing the part,” says Raganna, who also gives credit to Nikhil for the intense portrayal of the bond between mother and son.

Owner’s pride

Gadadhar Prem Kumar, whose house is chosen for the film beams as he mingles with the cast and crew. A television actor himself, he says he normally opens up his home for serials and “this is the first time” his house has been used for a film. He says his house was built in 1949 and his family has been living there since 1950.

Brain behind the scenes

“I have chosen easy scenes as I want the actors to get comfortable with each other. Today we are shooting happy scenes. The reason I chose this particular house for the film is because it has that old world charm and is also suited to the story. The house is not just a space but also a character in the film,” says director Nikhil Manjoo.

Of homes and hearts

Standing tall

Amongst the actors, Manasi, who plays Raganna’s wife captures your attention with her height. Tall and slender, her face is totally bereft of make up and she looks as natural on screen as in real life.

She is thrilled “to be a part of the film. I was first scared to act alongside a huge star like Raganna. Now, however, I am happy and this is such a nice team to work with. I still pinch myself to see if this is for real.”

The mother

Rohini, now done with her shot, relaxes and smiles and starts talking. Coming from a theatre background, she says she likes to “remain in character” even when the camera is not on. “As I need to look sad and morose and am wheel-chair bound, I try and go inwards. This is a challenging role and I am loving every bit of this.”

“If all goes well, we plan to release the film in January,” beams Nikhil as we head out.

On Location
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Printable version | May 7, 2021 6:35:54 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/movies/of-homes-and-hearts/article25483835.ece

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