The release of Sudeep’s much anticipated Vikrant Rona made under the Shalini Arts banner is right around the corner. The rushes of the film have created a lot of curiosity and hype about director Anup Bhandari’s upcoming film.
Similarly, the work of art director Shivakumar, music composer Ajaneesh Loknath, and cinematographer William David too have been appreciated by the audience. Here’s a quick conversation with the offscreen heroes, who have come together to provide a new experience with Vikrant Rona.
‘A calculative move has been made for the music’
Vikrant Rona marks the first Sudeep project for Ajaneesh B Loknath, who has previously worked with director Anup Bhandari in Rangitaranga. “Anup Bhandari has created a new world in Vikrant Rona, and my music had to reflect that geography. At the same time, with a star like Sudeep in the picture, we wanted to keep it commercial to his huge fanbase,” says Ajaneesh, adding, “A calculative move has gone into composing the songs and the background score for Vikrant Rona.” Ajaneesh shares that as a musician, he understands how important it is to compose songs that can be sung by the audience too. “There are songs, which are just enjoyed, and they are songs which can be sung along, and I want to go by the latter.
That’s when we get the repeat listeners. One of the recent and best examples is Ra Ra Rakkamma song, which is still in trend,” says Ajaneesh, who added that today a musician has just 5 to 10 seconds to grab the attention of the listeners, and it should work right from scratch to catch their attention and mood. Director Anup Bhandari, who is also a lyricist, helped in Anup’s decision-making. “Today lyrics are equally important to match up with the tunes, and Anup, the captain of the ship, knew what will suit best,” he says, adding that an equal amount of time was invested in the background score too. “It is very difficult to express the amount of effort that has gone through with the BGM. Our only agenda was to make it huge, and not have the energy drop at any moment. We have looked into every second of music in Vikrant Rona to make it impactful while maintaining the intensity, and overall
‘We used 22 trucks of plants to create the forest in the film’
Even as Shivakumar’s work in KGF Chapter 2 is still being discussed, his work is equally being noticed for his creativity in Vikrant Rona. This project will be Shivakumar’s next after KGF, and Vikrant Rona is also made on a big canvas. “As an art director, this was the first time I was creating a forest-like setup. To me, it was literally trying to imitate nature, and that is something that can’t be perfected even with our technological advancements. This brought in a lot of curiosity and challenges, and we wanted to create a realistic illusion,” says Shivakumar, who has created 14 huge sets for Vikrant Rona. “Except for a Kerala episode, which was inside an original house, everything else was created,” he adds.
Shivakumar mentioned that they had around 22 trucks of plants, and had to even come up with a nursery on a one-acre land. “We had initially planned to buy artificial plants from China since we couldn’t maintain live plants. But the pandemic changed our plans, and we ended up going with natural plants. We employed 4 people to take care of the plants, and every twenty days, we would change the plants. The first step to create the forest set-up was the flooring, which was developed as layers, and that gave an authentic forest look,” says Shivakumar, who considers the creative artwork, especially in the climactic portions to be one of the highlights of Vikrant Rona.”
‘Vikrant Rona allowed me to adapt to new things’
Cinematographer William David, who came to the limelight with Anup Bhandari’s Rangitaranga, considers working in Vikrant Rona a big deal. “It is tough to express my experience of working in Vikrant Rona. Even though I had previously worked with director Anup Bhandari, capturing his vision for Vikrant Rona was quite challenging. Working in such a film with such a big star helped me to adapt to new things.”