Creative differences set aside, producer N Sandesh revealed that it was Airavata star Darshan who insisted to have director AP Arjun helm the soon-to-be-released project.
All said and done, the makers of the film are now gearing up for October 1, ready with the censor clearing it with just a couple of mutes and giving it a U/A certificate. The director who has helmed projects for Yogi, Dhruva, Dhananjay finally had the opportunity to work with one of the biggest stars in Sandalwood. But according to Arjun, Darshan never behaved like a star. “I was as casual with him as I was with the others. However, working with Darshan in Airavata was a good experience,”
But handling an ensemble starcast was no easy task. “My last three films were all love stories. This is the first time I’ve been part of an out-and-out commercial film. That’s why I felt nervous working with so many established actors like Darshan, Prakash Raj, Anant Nag, Sitara, Ashok, among others,” he says.
The stress only multiplied for the director when shooting took up 150 days, seeming to never end. “At one point, I felt I made a mistake naming the film Airavata (White Elephant), as it’s living up to the name. Finally, it got over at Chamundeshwari Temple, Mysuru. Although we worked continuously for the film, we felt that very little was being done. Airavata has given me tension, but at the same time it has removed fear from me. After making Airavata, I feel confident to handle any kind of a film with any number of stars,” he says.
Admitting to creative differences with the actor and producer, Arjun also reveals that it’s happened in all his films. “Both negative and positive feedback will allow me to be a better person. The rapport with Darshan has always been good except for arguments during the shoot, which I will not rule out and it was all done for a good product,” he says.
Airavata to release in over 350 screens on October 1
Airavata is already breakimg even with the film being bought over by various distributors for their centres. The film is expected to release in 350 theatres in Karnataka and will simultaneously release outside Karnataka and abroad. “As of now, we have finalised 306 theatres in Karnataka and we are expecting more. Lahiri Audio Company, which has taken the responsibility of distributing it abroad, has confirmed 31 screens and it is expected to go up to 56. Outside Karnataka, the film will be released in around 28 theatres,” says N Sandesh, the producer.
First ticket of Airavata sold for Rs 1 lakh
The very first ticket of the yet to be released Airavata was bought by none other than actor Srujan Lokesh. Currently being one of the reasons for the success of his show Majaa Talkies, Srujan is a good friend and fan of Darshan, and bought the first ticket. “The deal happened on Saturday over a casual conversation with Darshan. Srujan surprised me by giving a cheque for Rs 1 lakh and the ticket has been sold to him,” says Sandesh.