Naveen Shankar, joins the list of actors seeking a career in tinsel town and he begins his journey with Gultoo, directed by Janardhan Chikkanna. It would be interesting to note that, unlike heroes who vie on a commercial subject to make their mark, this young actor from a theatre background has opted for a story that is content driven. Fortunately, he has caught the audience’s attention even before the film’s release. Thanks to the right kind of trailers and teasers that got released over time, the positive response to it has evoked further interest.
For the newcomer, Gultoo is a cinema that is neatly blended and subject driven with strong characterization. But ask him to define the title and he says, “Gultoo is not a dictionary word but there are a few reasons for choosing this title. While it is a catchy name, it gives meaning to the cinema and adds weightage to the various sequences. One can’t derive Gultoo in just a one-liner. It is a key element and should be experienced to understand the meaning of it,” says Naveen.The first-timer feels that Gultoo is coming at the right time, when cyber crime is on the rise. So how does Naveen go about cracking the codes? “The character played by me is a very confident person. Am I the criminal or not is the suspense the film. It will be thrilling to figure out if he commits the crime or gets involved in it by chance,”says Naveen.
The ‘con’ glasses is how Naveen describes the accessory worn by lead actors including Sonu Gowda, Avinash, Rangayana Raghu and himself. In the film, it is not just for attraction, but they have a statement to make, the actor reveals.“The reason we call it con glasses is because it was mostly worn by actors, who played negative characters, a trend in old films. Similarly, the glass holds a symbolic representation. Though we don’t verbally mention it, their purpose will be understood by the audience,” he adds
Naveen’s entry into this film was through association with college batchmate and director Janardhan Chikkanna.
“I started a Kannada theatre group in college, while he was planning for a movie club. That’s how we met first. But I discontinued my studies after 1st year and went to professional theatre while he, after completing his education went to study Films at MGR Film Institute. I did a few short films before entering silver screen, unfortunately, my first project, which was halfway through shoot got stalled. We both decided to start our career when we committed with Gultoo,” he says.
Coming from Illakal, Bagalkot, it was not any childhood dream for Naveen to become an actor. “There was interest into acting and I got influenced by watching Kannada cinemas on DD channels. I considered it seriously once I came to Bengaluru and joined college. However, I knew where my passion lies and took up theatre over acting school because I felt I could gain confidence in facing the people,” he tells us.Director Janardhan and him had mutual interests. They discussed a lot about theatre, cinema acting and how to convey through their performance. They finally got to work together in Gultoo.The debutante is happy to have signed his second project. “Gramayana is another film, I have recently signed. As I prefer quality over numbers, I intend to take up projects which interest me,” he signs off.