S Krishna, who started his career as a cinematographer, is best known for his work in the romantic drama, Mungaru Male.
In the 15 years of his journey as DOP, he struggled to make his mark, competing with cinematographers joining the fray from other languages.
“Mungaru Male changed perceptions, and it got easy for me to go with directors, and their visualisation,” says Krishna, whose first directorial break came from producer Jayanna when Gajakesari happened in 2014, for which he received appreciation from fans.
Krishna’s second outing was with Sudeep in Hebbuli, and the duo is coming together again for Pailwaan.
Apart from direction, this will also launch him as a producer, as the venture is made under his home banner, RRR Motion Pictures. The film, being made in Kannada, will also be dubbed and released in Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Hindi.
As Krishna looks forward to the September 12 release, he spoke to City Express, about how Pailwaan was an unimaginable product, made possible only by Sudeep’s support.
“For a technician like me, the actor became the pillar of strength. It was due to his presence that I was able to make this film on a larger scale and take it to five languages. Pailwaan, which eventually became a brand, also gave rise to the production house, RRR Motion Pictures, and my debut as a producer. Though we have experience in doing tele-serials, it is a different experience when it comes to making a movie,” says Krishna.
Pailwaan features Sudeep in the role of a wrestler and boxer, and put the actor through a fitness challenge.
“I recall the days when I went to Sudeep not only with the content but also with the film’s title. He knew it right then that the film did not require just performance, but also needed him to hit the gym, which he did for the first time. For me, it was exciting to work with an actor who hasn’t attempted this kind of a subject or character earlier. Of course, there was initial hesitation from Sudeep’s end, but the subject attracted him. Pailwaan was my imagination, and he brought the character alive. It was nothing but the faith he had in me that gave me enough confidence,” the director says.
Krishna, who has come with a commercial entertainer, says he also has a message to convey to the audience. “Every talented person should be given an opportunity, and India is full of talent. All we need is to identify them, which is the universal thought we have tried to put across through Pailwaan,” he says.
The initial rushes and teaser gave rise to a lot of talk and references about Aamir Khan’s Dangal and Salman Khan’s Sultan. Krishna was aware of it, he says. “In case of popular genres like sports drama, comparisons are bound to be there. It only turned out good for me. People compared our film to Sultan and Dangal because of the wrestling episodes, and so is the case with English films like Rocky or Creed, where boxing is highlighted. Whether it is hockey, cricket or football, there will be reference to previous films. Today, when it comes to subject of rowdyism, we often compare movies to Om. In spite of all these comparisons, our film stands different because of the content, which the audience will know on the first day, first show,” he says.
So what was the best compliment he got from Sudeep? “I haven’t heard anything from him till date. The reason he gave me dates for the film was because he knew my passion towards work. This relationship itself is a compliment, and the best rapport a director would want to maintain,” reveals Krishna.
The film was made over a 140-day schedule, and the director has got several actors and technicians on board for Pailwaan.
While the editor came from Chennai, stunt masters joined the team from Hyderabad, Bengaluru, and even Hollywood. Bollywood choreographer Ganesh Acharya was also part of the project. Arjun Janya has scored the music and Karunakar is the DOP.
That Suniel Shetty is making his debut in a South Indian film with Pailwaan was the icing on the cake. “It was a proud moment for me. Again it was Sudeep, who made it easy. It was nice to work with an actor of that stature. We also have Aakanksha Singh and Sushant Singh working in a Kannada film for the first time, along with Kabir Singh and Sharath Lohitashwa as part of the cast,” says Krishna.
For the director, the best moments have been when the film made a lot of buzz, and people started admiring the work. But it also brought stressful moments for Krishna.
“Handling the promotion in five languages has been the toughest task. I am also running around to check on the CG works, music, DTS as well as the promotions, which is something I am finding difficult to cope with. However, it is just a matter of a few more days,” he says. “We can’t wait to get into the ring, and go out with a bang.”