Suman Nagarkar is known as the Beladingala Baale of Sandalwood after her role in the Sunil Kumar Desai-directed classic film featuring Anant Nag in the lead.
The actor, who later settled in the United States, is now making a comeback after 15 years, to restart her journey with Babru. A line from the film’s trailer says, ‘Some journeys change destinies,’ and Suman hopes to see a change in her life with her return.
“It was Nagathihalli Chandrashekar who put me back in front of the camera. I had made a guest appearance in his last film, Ishtakamiya, and I followed it with Jeerjimbe. Babru puts me back in a full-fledged lead role and also as a producer,” says Suman, adding that she had never planned to quit the industry. “When I moved out of India and got busy in a new country, people thought I wouldn’t act, and that gap became 15 years. I have also worked in a short film called Grey, directed by Sujay Ramaiah, with whom I got associated for Babru,” she says.
Said to be a suspense thriller, the unique title, Babru, is the name of a car that plays a key role in the film during a journey that Suman calls a roller coaster ride. “An unavoidable circumstance brings two strangers together when they have to move a car from Mexico to Canada. What initially begins smoothly comes with a lot of twists and turns,” explains the actor.
Babru, which has entirely been shot in the United States, is a project made by NRI Kannadigas, most of whom hail from the IT industry. “Except for Sujay and me, the rest of them are IT professionals, who are passionate about films, and wanted to make something different for the Kannada audience.
The shooting for this film was done in the evenings, or during long weekends. People also took leave and participated in the shoot,” says Suman, adding, “From my personal experience, I have seen that a lot of things change for people when they travel and live abroad. You become much more flexible, open-minded, and it pushes you to do different things. That’s what brought in Babru.”
The film, Suman’s first production venture, also features Mahi Hiremath. It has Sumukha cranking the camera, while Poonachandra Tejaswi has composed the music, and Aravind Menon has handled sound designing. “Poorchandra, who is noted for his folkish tunes, has come up with a different album for Babru. We also have a Spanish song, which again will be a first in a Kannada film,” says Suman. She adds, “Babru is a travel-based film with a universal appeal, and all we need to do is drive along.”