A few years ago, actor Aniruddha Jatkar was surprised when a visitor of his mother-in-law, Bharathi Vishnuvardhan, introduced her as the wife of superstar Vishnuvardhan. It was that moment when Aniruddha felt that Bharathi was a superstar in her own right. Baale Bangara, a documentary by Keerthi Innovations, captures the life and times of Padmashree awardee Dr Bharathi Vishnuvardhan.
Conceptualised, written, and directed by Aniruddha, the two-and-a-half hour long film captures Bharathi’s journey from school, college, films, marriage, life struggles, among a host of other things. “When Amma married my father-in-law, she was already a superstar, having made a mark in five languages. In that context, Vishnuvardhan was relatively a new actor. I want to bring out her valuable contribution to the industry as an actor,” he says.
Baale Bangara is more of an interview-based documentary, and more or less is a feature film which took three years to complete. He watched over 110 films of Bharathi and did hours-long interviews with the Padmashree awardee to make this documentary. “I approached Amma and expressed my thoughts of making a documentary on her. Even though she has acted in several films, I chose to watch only 110 movies of hers. I jotted down points, and made notes. The five-and-a-half hour interview was compressed into a two-and-a-half hour documentary, comprising clippings, songs, and photographs. Apart from her contribution to entertainment, the film also includes her lifestyle, her fondness for jewellery, and her bonding with peers,” says Aniruddha.
The documentary is meant to be inspirational with several of her struggles having been captured. “My father-in-law too faced struggles and didn’t become ‘Sahasa Simha’ overnight. Both of them faced many hurdles. There was a time when both of them survived only on only porridge for six months. The reason: even as superstars their films had flopped.
The notion about stardom is that it is a happy life, but reality is different,” he says, adding that the struggle a star goes through is the most difficult thing to handle. “I am planning to bring Baale Bangara onto OTT platforms, and talks are on with various streaming channels. I consider Baale Bangara an entertainment documentary. While this show will throw light on her works to today’s youngsters, it will create a sense of nostalgia for the older generation,” he says.