Amazon Prime Video is all set to release filmmaker Karthik Saragur’s upcoming film Bheemasena Nalamaharaja on October 29. The family drama has Aravind Iyer, Aarohi Narayan, Priyanka Thimmesh and Achyuth Kumar in pivotal roles and has been jointly produced by Pushkara Mallikarjunaiah, Rakshit Shetty and Hemanth M Rao.
In an exclusive interview with Filmibeat, director Karthik spoke about his film and its inspiration. He also revealed the struggles the team went through whilst stating that the core essence of the film is centred around food, emotions and relationships. Here are the excerpts!
How has the response for the film’s trailer been so far?
The response has been quite amazing and encouraging for us. The audience has been able to connect to the core subject of the film, which is food. Since they have been able to do this, our battle is half won. In that sense, we have been successful and we are really happy about it.
Can you tell us a little more about the film, its story and inspiration?
I come from a family of chefs and hoteliers. Throughout my childhood, I have seen an entire generation of people live through and made a life out of cooking. So, it is not just a profession, it’s a way of life, and food being such a universal connect, we wanted to bring out another aspect of it which has to do with memory.
It is scientifically proved that our brain stores information which is produced and created from food throughout our life. As a student of psychology, I am very much interested to know what would happen when somebody suffers through amnesia or memory loss. Our main protagonist in the film is a chef who has a great commitment to food and the person who suffers from post-traumatic amnesia.
Would you have preferred the film releasing on the big screen or are you happy with the OTT presentation?
This film was made for the theatrical release and we were supposed to release it just before the pandemic outbreak. But we accept the new normal. OTT platforms give you so much reach. This film is going to be released in I think 190 countries with subtitles and what we hope is we will be reaching a very large audience with larger sensibilities and acceptance. I think it is a blessing in disguise for me. This OTT presentation also gives you time to sit back and relax with your family and enjoy the film.
How was your experience shooting for the film and collaborating with your actors and producers?
It’s been a huge learning curve for all of us. When we are trying to actualize something, there will be a lot of hurdles but what is more important is whether we stood by each other through the challenges. We are happy with our product and all the artists have been patient. Since my producers Rakshit Shetty and Hemanth Rao are also directors, they know the challenges of a director in putting together a project. I am definitely grateful to all my team members who have stood by me.
How has the COVID-19 crisis changed the way you work and how the industry functions and operates?
Films in the past 110 years have gone through many ups and downs and it is still been able to evolve itself. Most filmmakers are definitely trying to adapt. I think there would be more content-oriented stories rather than large scale films which are made with huge sets and demand more involvement of people in numbers. We will witness a lot more personalized stories, that people might want to explore for a while till we get out of the pandemic situation. I think we will also get back to the studio and depend on VFX a lot as well.
What message would you want to give the audience and what can they expect from the film?
I think the audience will derive the message from the film’s story. What I would say is for them to sit back and enjoy, if possible make some very nice snacks and invite company over. As the food melts into the mouth and creates a certain experience, so will this movie create a certain experience. Bheemasena Nalamaharaja is very relatable because of food and food is a universal concept and I think people all over can enjoy it.