BANGALORE: While director S Krishna is still savouring the success of his debut Gajakesari, he is already on to the next story. And, this time he has chosen to do something very different from his first film. “My second film will be Hebbuli, which will have a modern outlook with a contemporary narration. It will be a story of today. Hebbuli evokes a tiger ready to pounce and that will be the backdrop of my story,” reveals Krishna, who wrote the story during the post production of Gajakesari. “I am currently working on the screenplay. I have a couple of stars in mind with whom I will soon sit and narrate my story. I will confirm the rest of the details when everything gets finalised,” adds Krishna.
No doubt the cinematographer-turned-director is on cloud nine after his debut directorial film, because Gajakesari is running to packed houses at almost all the theatres in Karnataka including the multiplexes, which is quite rare for Kannada films. “Gajakesari, which had a huge hype, has lived up to the expectations and the appreciation that we are getting from the audiences is overwhelming. It is good news for any first-time filmmaker and the team that has worked day in and day out,” he says.
While many are appreciating the movie, there are a few who feel that Gajakesari is nothing but a film inspired by the Telugu flick Magadheera and a remake of our own Kannada film Bhajarangi. Krishna replies, “Opinions are welcome but the fact is that people who have watched Gajakesari are finding it sensible. Even though I have taken upon a certain genre, there is a certain element in the screenplay that does not resemble any other film. In that way, we can claim that Magadheera is inspired by an old Kannada film Raja Nana Raja. I am happy if people feel that my film is like Bhajarangi because it stars one of my favourite heroes, Shivarajkumar, and my friend Harsha has directed it. People find Gajakesari entertaining and the rest of the comments can be ignored.”
However, he adds that by the time Bhajarangi released, the shooting of Gajakesari was finished, except for the songs.
The film has earned `10 crore, which includes the rental and taxes, says Krishna. He further adds, “More than the money, the film is running to packed houses at A and C centres The latest report is that the film is running houseful at a multiplex in Orion Mall and all 51 shows are full till Thursday. It is also running full in places like Dharwad, Mysore, Tumkur, Davangere. Our film is doing well even though it was bombarded with Tamil, Hindi and English films that released on the same date. I hope Gajakesari has a long run.”
The period film was a huge responsibility admits Krishna. “Yash had three successful films running up to 100 days and this was his fourth film. Expectations were much higher and it was a task for me to match them. Producers had invested a huge amount of money in my debut project and they will be happy if they break even. If the producer is happy, so are the people. At present, I feel I have delivered,” he adds.
Krishna is also gearing up for a special screening of the film for a few Telugu producers and actors who are keen to buy the remake rights. Though he is happy that his efforts did not go in vain, Krishna has also learnt the pros and cons of being a director. “I am aware of some mistakes I made in Gajakesari, which I would not want to repeat in my next film. The experience taught me a lot about screenplay and editing,” he says.