With Sumana Kittur considering Agni Shridhar as her Godfather, who has guided her film career, it is but obvious that he will be part of her projects. And so it is with her latest film Kiragoorina Gayyaligalu for which he has written the screenplay and dialogues. This is Sumana’s next outing after Edegarike. According to Shridhar, a writer and an artiste, Sumana’s natural talent for filmmaking is awe-inspiring. “Moreover, she is part of our family and naturally, I will see to it that every film of her is finished and released appropriately,” he says.
While adaptation of novels to silver screen is not something new for Sumana, Kiragoorina Gayyaligalu was indeed a challenge, says Shridhar. “Adapting the short story by Poornachandra Tejaswi, which has been read by millions, discussed and incorporated in text books, was a daunting task. Since many are familiar with the story, the approach had to be quite honest. The audience will need to connect with what they had read,” says Shridhar.
He asserts that while many others had tried to make a film of the novel, they could not succeed.
“Kiragoorina Gayyaligalu is a short story and those who had taken the rights could not take it forward because they did not know how to stretch it into a two-hour-long film. So it became even more challenging for Sumana and me,” he reveals.
But there is a confidence in his voice when he talks about the finished project. “Today, after I watched the film with a few of my friends, I felt extremely happy. This particular movie is sure to reach the common man,” says Shridhar and makes a special mention of the women folk in the film. “They were all city based artistes and they surprised me with their artistic performance. And all credit goes to capability of Sumana and she could bring out the natural instinct only a woman can understand,” he adds.
According to Shridhar, the film is a mirror of the women folk of any village in India but does not talk about feminism, neither in the story nor through the characters. “But the feminist theme Sumana has portrayed would be the answer to the people in all fields, including politics,” he avers.
Revealing that it is a dialogue-oriented film and runs through the interaction between men and women folks, Shridhar says that writing the dialogues became easy for him because he is also from a village. “Women in the village react from their heart, unlike city women who tend to be more ‘civilised’. Though they are controlled by men, they are totally free and do not tolerate any nonsense,” he says.
Speaking about Sumana’s career graph, there is a sense of pride in Shridhar, when he says that he has seen a phenomenal growth in her, striding past all hurdles in a field dominated by men. “I know her from when she was just 17 years old. Her father was close to me and I had a lot of respect for her uncle,” he points out.
He also reveals that Sumana was determined to make Kiragoorina Gayyaligalu, a commercial subject, since she wanted to reach the masses. “In fact I told her that we could do a film like Edegarike since I had similar subjects, but she was insistent on Tejaswi’s novel. Initially, I was reluctant but today I am proud. Every character, who is part of this project has come together to make a wonderful movie,” he says. The film stars Shweta Srivatsav, Achyuth Kumar, Kishore, Sonu, Manasa Joshi among others in the star cast.