Having dealt in crime romance with his debut Geleya followed by action films Birugaali and Chingari, the blockbuster fantasy Bhajarangi and drama Vajrakaya, small-time dancer turned choreographer and director, A Harsha has now tried his hand at comedy. With Jai Maruthi 800 all set for a summer release, Harsha says that he wanted to be known as a versatile director. “Tomorrow, if I am offered an offbeat subject, I should be ready to do justice to it. Humour is a knack not many can master and I realised in the process of making Jai Maruthi 800 that it is indeed a tough job. Even though there is pain in comedy, we still have to capture it in such a way that people consider it as humour, which is not the case in other genres,” he says.
According to the director, while trying to deal with the comic timing and dialogue, he has also ensured that the ambience is given equal treatment. “Usually, in comedy films, we don’t see much importance given to the ambience. So, I have gone into details with ambience and costumes for the film. I have shot in small villages in North Karnataka and even in Belgaum and Malaysia. Visually, I have made it look big,” he asserts.
Giving credit to the technicians, Harsha says he is glad to have a cinematographer like Swamy J. “He is just 27 years old who started as a camera assistant. I was happy to introduce him as DOP in Vajrakaya.
Jai Maruthi 800 is his second film and he has done an extraordinary job. I roped in Arjun Janya for the music and he has blended his music perfectly with my storyline,” he says.
The film starring Sharan, Shruti Hariharan, Shubha Poonja, Sadhu Kokila, Arun Sagar, among the 25 members of the ensemble starcast has about ten comedians giving it the required comical touch.
But he says that his belief of commercial entertainers does not necessarily have to include a message. “I just want to provide paisa vasool entertainment. I have seen a lot of films of late, which has a message at its heart, but for me, I like is to hear the whistles. Little emotions, beautiful songs and a couple of action episodes are what I would personally prefer. I don’t like breaking my head with complicated subjects. I would rather go for a simple story, keeping all the elements,” he states.
Speaking about the film’s title, the director is open to assert that he is a staunch believer of Lord Hanuman and his films have a shade or two of the god in some form or the other. “I feel happy to have his presence in whatever work I do. Many people have asked me why him, but I question them ‘Why not him?’. I am not spoiling his name with any item song. Today, the songs of Hanuman, played in my films, have become popular everywhere,” says Harsha, who makes sure to show Hanuman in the beginning, at interval and in the end of his films.
Made under Jayanna combines, the film that's got a U/A from the Censor Board is slated to release for Ugadi.