After a three-year-long hiatus, Musanje Mahesh has returned to direction with Shivarajkumar-starrer Belli, which will be produced by H R Rajesh. The feature film maker who came to limelight with Musanje Mathu reveals that he had taken time off to observe the trends of the industry and find out what the audience wants.
“If I made another film like Musanje Mathu, people may not like it. Every year, there is a change in people’s tastes. Understanding what they want was difficult and took some time. Since Shivanna was also busy, I waited for the right time to speak to him about the script I had in mind. I felt he would be perfect for the role in Belli, and luckily he agreed,” says Mahesh, who is working with Shivanna for the first time.
“We had agreed to work together for the film Maha Shivarathri, but unfortunately, it got shelved. Later, I didn’t want to tie up with him for the same project. That is when Belli happened,” he explains.
The director, who recently released the posters of the film, only reveals that Shivanna’s name is Belli in the movie. He has left fans guessing what role the actor will play. “It shounds cliched, but Shivanna’s characterisation is different from those in all his past films. He put Belli on top of his list even though he had four other films on hand because he realised that it was a different role,” Mahesh adds.
Apart from the hat-trick hero, the film also has a few little-known actors like Vinod Prabhakar, Orata Prashanth, Deepak and a serial artiste. “I also wanted Belli to be a multi star-cast film, which is a rarity in Sandalwood,” Mahesh says.
On the combination of Kriti and Shivanna, Mahesh says, “I find Kriti to be a very talented actor, who is fit to do roles with both young and senior actors. Doing a film with a legend will boost her career,” he says.
The muhurath for Belli will take place on March 19 and shooting will begin on March 20. “We will start off in Bangalore and finalise other locations soon. We have also fixed the dates in consultation with the actor, who has told us that he would not disrupt the shooting schedule regardless of the election. No wonder film makers like to work with Shivanna,” he says.