Talk about a married man and his temporary stint as a bachelor, and Diganth opines, “Being a bachelor is a state of mind.” “If my friend calls me home saying his wife is not there, let’s have a party, the first question to them is, ‘Oh, are you a bachelor?’ Yogi seconds this, saying, “When your wife goes to her parents’ or on a particular vacation, we turn bachelors again.” Diganth further adds, “Going on bike rides with friends gives us that enjoyment. Most of my friends are married, but we can still remain bachelors depending on the time and place.” All this in reference to their upcoming film, Bachelor Party releasing on January 26. An Abhijit Mahesh directorial, this humorous situational comedy-drama has become a rare outing in Kannada cinema.
When quizzed about which aspects of comedy they most enjoyed in Bachelor Party, Diganth says, “Yogi has the best one-liner to say. In my case, facing troubles in marriage, people enjoy the situations I am put into. Achyuth Kumar is a mix of both.” Yogi shares there is no place without humour, including the worst situations. “For instance, my character in Bachelor Party keeps laughing at Diganth’s situations, sometimes at myself, and there are certain things about Achyuth anna’s character that makes me laugh,” he adds.
Considering Abhijit Mahesh is a debutant director, and according to both Diganth and Yogi, even though he comes across as a first-timer, he has a good vision and has understood the comedy genre well. Bachelor Party might be his first feature film, but being a long-time associate of Rakshit Shetty, he has worked in films like Kirik Party, Avane Srimannarayana, which were hits. He is good at penning dialogues. In the case of the Bachelor Party, he was clear as to what he wanted. Even when it came to a few scenes, he would tell us when to underplay and overplay with the scenes, how it would align with our respective characters. If the director is clear, things get easier with artistes as well,” says Diganth.
Yogi adding about the challenges in portraying their respective characters, says, “There were not many challenges or preparations for the role, as this role is straightforward for me because the character I play did not have boundaries, nor would it damage the scenes with others around. I was left free, and that helped me to pull off my role with ease,” he says.
Coming to comedy genres, Diganth mentions one such role he last played in Gaalipata 2, while Yogi adds that he was playing such a role after Hudugaru..., and a film Naanu Adhu Mathu Saroja had some humour with a thriller twist. According to the two actors, a director who is writing a comedy should have a good sense of humour, which helps him keep the atmosphere light, and that was the case with Abhijit Mahesh too.
“Though I have known Yogi for around 17 years, this is the first time I am working with him, and we would often pull each other’s legs. It was super convenient to share screen space with him. Even a dialogue delivery with him or a fight sequence, we made it comfortable, and this was possible because of the friendship. The first set of audience from Paramvah Studios, who have watched the film, have said the bromance has worked out well,” says Diganth. Yogi adds, “Diganth is not as serious as he looks in the film, but he made sure to be in line with the character. Achyuth anna was a big prankster, but sometimes it was difficult to understand his lines.”
With 60 per cent of the film canned abroad, in a place like Thailand, it was just work for the actors and crew. So shooting overseas keeps the crew more focused, and Yogi agrees and says, there is a drastic change. “While shooting abroad, we don’t get to stick to a call sheet, and we have to work continuously. We can’t take a break because they would have set a target to complete the shoot in a stipulated time frame. It is hectic.” Diganth adds,
“ We were there for 17 days, and every day there was work. Whatever break we got, was only after we completed the entire schedule. The only time we experienced the unique locations of Thailand was while shooting.” While Abhijit has brought in love and life after marriage, there is a sad story behind every character, which is relatable and brought out through humour, reveals Diganth, as he gives a brief about his role. “Santhosh, the character I play, would be relatable to most people in marriages. A lot of people are in bad marriages, and how his situation is brought in through humour is relatable.
According to Yogi, his character is carefree, and is someone who hates everything about girls because he had a bad breakup, who would have left him because of another handsome guy. “But whatever situation he is in, he will not stop making fun.” Diganth adds, “About Achyuth anna, he is a surprise package, and being on a wheelchair, his role comes with a lot of fun.”
About comparisons to the Hollywood film, Hangover... “Just because a part of Hangover has been shot in Bangkok, people are trying to draw similarities, which is not the case,” Yogi says. Have directors lost creativity when it comes to comedy subjects? “No, I don’t think so, Hostel hudugaru is a recent example,” says Diganth. Yogi adds, “We have directors who are good in comedy, but somewhere gangster cinema is overpowering the screens. Business-wise, action cinema is the best bet, so most of the makers shift that way. When a string of comedy films beginning with Bachelor Party become a hit, then they will return to make such films,” says Yogi.
Do they think comedy genres require more attention than serious subjects? “There might be retakes to get the right shots and funny gags right?” asks Diganth. According to Yogi, “Action is easy as it is composed, and we know a particular style and mannerism to it. But comedy requires timing. We need to work on body language and expressions; everything needs to be put together. Production values become very important, and Rakshit Shetty as a producer under Paramvah Studios has made it possible to show this comedy drama in a grand manner,” admits Diganth.
“There are contributions coming from cinematographer Aravind Kashyap too. The production house got us the latest camera ARRI, and the first time considered using it for our film. It is important to understand the subject as a producer and Rakshit knows best,” says Diganth. Yogi adds, “The first narration goes to the producer and nothing like it when he has the best understanding of the subject.”
Rakshit at the recent press conference of Bachelor Party mentioned that Diganth and Yogi are unique actors, and they deserve to be explored by more Kannada directors. “We have to ask other directors,” says Diganth, who is happy in the current space he is in. “I have a good lineup.” As for Yogi, he accepts that he has been choosy and very particular about what films he has been accepting. “At this moment, I have a good lineup of projects.” Have directors lost creativity when it comes to today directors lack that creativity with comedy subjects?
“No, I don’t think so, Hostel Hudugaru... is a recent example,” says Diganth. Yogi adds, “We have directors who are good in comedy, but somewhere. To end up, we ask the two, who is the most eligible bachelor in Kannada industry, they mention, none other than.. Rakshit Shetty and Dhananjay. Any tips to Rakshit, who is the producer of the film, and Diganth rightly states. “Rakshit is married to cinema, as he sits, eats, talks and breathes about the big screen.
Yogi says, “We have told Rakshit, if he decides to get married, to please consult us, and then they will explain. While Diganth has worked under Rakshit Shetty’s production in Katheyondu Shuruvaagide, however for Yogi, Bachelor Party is the first collaboration with the producer. While Rakshit had mentioned about his instant connect, Yogi further states “There is an opinion that I am very short-tempered, and I don’t speak much. As Rakshit said, the moment people spend 30 to 40 minutes with me, they will get to know I am easy to gel with; otherwise, I don’t speak much, and have no room for gossip, and that’s one of the reasons he could connect with me instantly,” the two conclude.