The power of the underdog: Rakshit Shetty on '777 Charlie' success

Actor-producer Rakshit Shetty shows what it takes to succeed at the ticket window, as his ‘pet’ project, 777 Charlie, makes it to the Rs 100-crore club.

Published: 04th September 2022 05:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 03rd September 2022 09:40 PM   |  A+A-

A still from the film 777 Charlie. ( File Photo)

A still from the film 777 Charlie. ( File Photo)

Express News Service

When a factory worker’s life is caught in a rut—work, fights, home and work again—the unexpected appearance of an unassuming companion gives him a fresh lease of life. The ever-endearing tale of the bond between man and dog has struck again, this time with the recent Kannada film 777 Charlie which has taken the cinema world by storm at a time when big-banner films are failing at the box office. Made on a budget of Rs 20 crore, the adventure comedy-drama has minted over Rs 100 crore globally through its 50-day run in theatres.

Kannada actor and filmmaker Rakshit Shetty, who bankrolled and acted in the film, is delighted but is careful not to get carried away. “You learn something from each project. Every film I have worked on so far has been a unique experience and a milestone in its own way,” he says.

Known for his non-linear, experimental cinema, Shetty’s popularity has only been expanding across the country. Known for films like Simple Agi Ondh Love Story, Ulidavaru Kandanthe, Kirik Party, and Avane Srimannarayana, the 39-year-old believes that “a good story has no boundaries”.

“There was a time when Kannada films were restricted within the state, but today, a film from one state travels across the country, across languages. This is particularly true of a film like 777 Charlie, which has emotional strength and is centred on a universal idea. We have had people across the country praising it,” Shetty says.

While the film itself has been dubbed in five Indian languages, the Bengaluru-based actor believes that not all films need to feel the pressure of appealing across regions. “Dubbing makes sense only when you are convinced that there is a market for your film outside your region. You can’t force films into other languages for the sake of doing so,” he says, adding that his next venture, Saptha Sagaradaache Yello, will not be dubbed and released in Hindi. “We might consider dubbing it in one or two languages in the South, provided we find a distributor who’s convinced that the story will do well,” he says.

It was this conviction in his story that also made Shetty opt for a theatrical release for 777 Charlie at a time when filmmakers are giving ticket windows a miss for OTT premieres. “With 777 Charlie, the content felt universal, and yet, when I watched it, I decided it should be a film for the big screen. The kind of business it has done for us, wouldn’t have happened through an OTT release. I’m glad my calculations worked out,” he says. The film, after a successful run in the theatres, is now available on OTT platform Voot.

Success, it is said, begets more success, and this has been true of Shetty’s career. The actor is currently working on the second part of Saptha Sagaradaache Yello. “I needed time to work out my appearance for this film,” says Shetty, who also has Richard Antony lined up for this year. With the sequel to the much-celebrated Kirik Party also expected to go on the floors in 2023, the shining star is not leaving the box-office night sky anytime soon.

India Matters


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