Actor-director Suchendra Prasad has had a successful stint in the Kannada film industry, balancing art and commercial cinema. When it comes to directing, he is known to lean towards literature, the history of Karnataka or ancient science as is obvious from his earlier films including Prapaatha (an educative film) and Sangdhigdha (on child marriage).
His latest film, Maavu Bevu, which will be ready for release by Sankaranti or Ugadi, is a tribute to author Doddarangegowda, playback singer SP Balasubrahmanyam (SPB) and composer C Ashwath.
A full-length feature film, Maava Bevu Suchendra says is inspired by Doddarangegowda’s eponymous collection of poems, published in the ‘70s. “The late C Ashwath set the poems to music and it was Doddarangegowda’s desire that the songs were sung by SPB. This was achieved with the help of the late musicologist L Vaidyanathan, who provided the orchestra. Now that we have lost these precious talents, Doddarangegowda asked me if I could weave the 10 songs into a film.”
Suchendra was stumped for a bit as usually songs are written for a film and not the other way around. “I believe this is the first time a story is written around songs.”
Ensuring the songs and story fitted together perfectly, Suchendra stresses that the songs are not light music nor is the film a documentary.
“The songs have been around for decades, celebrate every aspect of the navarasa. Some are played in temples across Karnataka even today.” Suchendra is confident the audience will connect to the songs and the film.
The film is produced by Rajashekar Somashekar under the banner of Sri Sai Gagan Productions, which has earlier produced a short film, White, featuring Priya Mani and the voice of Amitabh Bachchan. Suchendra says there are no heroes in Maavu Bevu as the subject itself is the protagonist. “There are talented actors from theatre who have brought the work to life on the screen.”
The film features Ninasam Sandeep, singer Chaitra and Supriya Rao. Chaitra, who has sung over 1,000 songs, faces the camera for the first time with Maavu Bevu. “Doddarangegowda plays himself in the film.”
Music and background score is by Dr Deepak Paramashivan.