A few directors in Sandalwood believe in the absence of linear narratives and conventional soundtracks and also prefer abstract techniques. Young director BM Giriraj surely falls in such a category and has shown his knack for experimentation in his last film Jatta. His next film Mythri has already evoked much curiosity.
Always ready to push boundaries, Giriraj finds a sense of achievement in the fact that this time, he has stalwarts like Mohanlal, Puneeth Rajkumar and music director Ilayaraja supporting him along with NS Rajkumar as the producer. “Mythri can be called ‘my-three’ as it is my third film and I have three biggies working with me,” he chuckles.
The film is releasing in 100 theatres in Karnataka and will also release in Chennai, Mumbai, Pune and Delhi. The makers also plan to release it in US and Australia. Giriraj had to postpone the release due to various unforeseen reasons. “I am nervous. I have started getting reports from the industry that the film has turned out well. There are a lot of expectations from Mythri now. We were dark horses when we made our last film Jatta but not so now.”
The director says that nurturing small films is the need of the hour. “I look at Mythri in two ways. One is that the film is a voice of the voiceless. It speaks about a lot of issues faced by the society. Secondly, when you look back at 10 years of cinema, in the whole melee of commercial films, I feel the industry forgot to tell socially relevant stories. Even if we make such films, they are usually branded as art films,” he says.
But Giriraj is hopeful especially with big stars now eager to be part of experimental films. “Even Puneeth said that we should make films like Mythri. If it succeeds, other stars will also follow the trend,” he says.
Mythri has Puneeth playing himself while Mohanlal plays the character of a defense research scientist. While the director is all praise for Puneeth, he is in awe of Mohanlal. Giriraj says, “Mohanlal is like a pot full of water that will never go dry. What drives an artiste even after 350 films to do a film like Mythri remains a mystery to me.”
Giriraj recalls, “Mohanlal used to practice the Kannada dialogues while interacting with the light boys and watching their expressions. That is a genius actor right there. He is not only a great actor but also a great human being and brought positive vibes and enthusiasm to the sets of Mythri.”
Talking about Ilayaraja, Giriraj says, “The legend has composed music for more than 1000 films and he has seen films of different genre coming at different periods of time. For him, our film was not challenging at all, but he took complete care of our baby. At 73, he still works 14 hours a day. We can only kneel before his dedication,” he says. The film also stars Atul Kulkarni and Bhavana among others.