At Kannada movie Shivam’s audio launch on Sunday, actor-director Upendra said that the phrase Satyam Shivam Sundaram describes his film the best. “Satyam stands for the time, money and effort that have gone into the making of the film. Shivam is the title, and Sundaram refers to the lovely audience,” he said.
According to Upendra, Shivam is a commercial film with a message. The story begins in an ancient civilisation. “The film carries the message of preservation of culture. The makers have thrown in some commercial elements, to convey the same effectively,” he said. A part of Upendra’s role in Shivam resembles Kamal Haasan’s Dasavatharam — a film that starts in the 12th century and ends in 21st century. Upendra said, “Yes, they might be similar in some portions. But please don’t compare me to a big star like him. The problem is, as actors, we can’t exist without comparisons, but life will be easier without being compared with others.”
Directed by Srinivas Raju, the film has had its share of controversies with the title Basavanna (a social reformer), which was decided earlier, and Upendra’s attire. Opening up for the first time about the issues, Upendra said, “Some liked the title and others did not. While discussing the matter with the director, I had said that even if one person did not like the title, it is better that we change it. Though the film does not have any references to Basavanna, I felt that we should not hurt anyone’s sentiments,” he said. Later, Srinivas decided to name it Shivam.
However, Upendra is called Basavanna in the film. The actor appears in two distinct roles — one with a bald hairstyle and traditional attire, and the other in a modern, stylish avatar. The trailer was released at the audio launch. About his role, Upendra said, “I liked playing both characters, but the one with the bald look was more interesting and new,” he said. The makers, who planned to release the film in December, took 110 days to finish the shooting. “We had high budget shots in various locations. Even my make-up took a lot of time,” he said.
Meanwhile, Upendra is also busy with Uppi 2. “I am left with two months of shooting, which will take place in December and January. I am planning for an April release. I am trying to do something different in Uppi 2 and hope the audience likes it. All my films have had an Upendra image. But Uppi 2 will not have one,” he said.