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Nishkarsha in a digital avatar

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At a time when the Kannada audience was treated to family dramas and romance on screen came the film Nishkarsha. Expectations were high as it was directed by Sunil Kumar Desai, who had earlier given us Tarka.

Nishkarsha saw the late actor Vishnuvardhan as a commando, Anant Nag as the commissioner of police, Suman Nagarkar as a bank employee and BC Patil, who made his debut with this film, as the leader of the terrorist group.

The film created waves as it had no song and dance and Vishnuvardhan’s entry comes way after the plot has progressed. This year, the film completes 25 years and will be re-released in digital format on September 20 to celebrate Vishnuvardhan’s birthday.

Nishkarsha in a digital avatar

The film won the Karnataka State Award as First Best Film, Best Screenplay (Sunil Kumar Desai) and Best Sound Recording (R Kannan).

In a meet ahead of the release, the team took us on a trip down memory lane sharing interesting behind-the-screen anecdotes. Desai, Patil, Suman and composer Guru Kiran were also present. They not only shared details of how the film was made, but also wove in lighter moments for the audience to enjoy.

Patil recollected how for years, he would drive past Manipal Centre and remember his debut. “The building we chose was occupied during the day. So we had to shoot from 6 pm to 6 am,” said Patil, who also revealed how he became the villain of the film.

“I was working as a police officer then and had watched Desai’s Tarka. I was bowled over by how Devaraj was walking away with accolades despite playing negative characters. I approached Desai and told him I wanted to act with him and that I wanted to be a villain and not the hero. Nishkarsha was great for me as I had stalwarts like Vishnuvardhan and Anant Nag as part of my first film.”

Then he looked at Desai and told the media, “He looks very quiet; don’t get bowled over by that. Only we know how he has yelled at us through the making of Nishkarsha.”

Desai smiled and shared that he had watched Patil act on stage. “I was impressed with his talent, but was bugged with his habit of twirling his moustache every few seconds. That was when I thought if I cast him, I will make him look like a sleek, white-collared, sophisticated villain. So I had him shave off his moustache!”

That moment still seemed fresh in Patil’s mind, who immediately countered, “That was the scariest moment in my life, walking around without a moustache!”.

Desai continued teasing Patil. “Even on the sets, his hand would reach for his upper-lip to twirl that missing moustache out of sheer habit.”

Then Desai explained how the team brainstormed for the famous pigeon scene, where Vishnuvardhan’s character has to switch places with his duplicate in a split second.

“I was told that, that particular scene won the most applaud at almost every screening,” beamed a happy Desai.

Suman, who looked pretty much the same as she did in the film, spoke about her character and how friends from the industry felt, “that I would be typecast with sad roles as my character is sexually assaulted by one of the terrorists. But, I tell you I have not done such a powerful role as that till date.” She also praised Desai for, “the subtle yet powerful manner in which the scene was shot.”

Guru Kiran, who is one of the most sought-after film music composers today, was also a part of the film.

“At that time, I was a beginner and was known as a singer. I was thrilled when Desai offered me a role. But, sadly, all I had to do was carry a gun and run around the bank. I did not even have a single dialogue to my credit,” shares the composer.

Desai responded to that with, “He would stand sulking most of the time. I would tell him this was the opportunity of a lifetime.”

Guru concluded with, “Sitting here with some of the cast is a treat and brings back fond memories. It is like a walk down memory lane, loaded with precious memories.”

Ask Desai what he feels about the re-release and he says, “For me it is an old film. The digital format is not just aimed at youngsters, but a celebration of completing 25 years for me and the team.”

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Printable version | Jan 29, 2020 10:37:59 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/movies/sunil-kumar-desais-kannada-film-nishkarsha-will-now-release-in-a-digital-avatar/article29373512.ece

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