'Shivaji Surathkal' is both the title of the film as well as the name of the protagonist. Shivaji is the most able investigating officer of the Crime Branch of the state. With an exceptionally sharp mind and an uncanny ability to analyze a crime, Shivaji is the Crime Branch's first choice on any high profile case. His unorthodox methods of deduction coupled with his unique ability to 'imagine' the events leading up to and during the crime are legend.
Well known actor and director Ramesh Aravind is playing Shivaji Surathkal. As everyone already knows, the director of the film has designed a special look for Ramesh in this film. For the first time, he is seen sporting a beard. Nearly four months have elapsed since he had a shave. The director of the film Akash Srivatsa explains this special look. The film traverses two different timelines. Shivaji is the only character who appears in both the timelines and in order to avoid any confusion that might arise in the minds of the audience, the director decided to go with this rugged look for the present timeline in the film.
As regards the protagonist, Akash continues thus. "Shivaji Surthkal is a different kind of person. He isnt like everyone else. And yet, he is still like all of us. All the universal human emotions like anger, frustration, loneliness, vulnerability and fear apply to him too. That is what makes him such a relatable character. That is how the audience go where he takes them. And yet, one must not forget that he is a shrewd investigating officer. He could be smiling and speaking to someone, but unknown to the person, he could be eliciting deep and darks secrets and they might have no clue! He is such a conversational wizard! We met and spoke to many police officers to understand their ways of working. I wanted the film to be as authentic and close to reality as possible. Also, Shivaji has a unique way of conversing. He can imitate anyone under the sun. He is the most unpredictable man you could have ever seen. His mood swings are legend in the police department. "
The film has completed about 80% of the shoot, most of it in Madikeri and some of it in Bangalore too. The first level of editing is already in progress.
Speaking about the technical team, Akash and Abhijith have written the screenplay. Guruprasad handles the camera while Shachina Heggar is the costume designer. Judah Sandhy is scoring the music for the film while KGF fame Srikanth is the editor of the film.
As regards the cast, Radhika Narayan plays a lawyer and Ramesh Aravind's wife. Their combination, a police officer and a lawyer is a highlight of the film said Akash. Aarohi Narayan plays a psychiatrist essays a very prominent role in the film. Popular actor Raghavendra plays Govinda, Shivaji's man friday and faithful sidekick. The rest of the cast will be made public soon.
Technically, this film was a challenge of different proportions felt Akash. It is incredibly hard to narrate a complex story through a simple narrative to the audience. In that regard, we have worked really hard, said Akash. Right from the screenplay to the process of building the story through images, the film team has left no stone unturned in realizing this near impossible dream. The aim was to never let the curiosity of a thriller fade out. A conventional thriller has usually no room for emotions. But this film is an exception. There is a strong emotional narrative that has been treated with much sensitivity. Retaining all the aspects of a thriller, the director has tried to make the film more human by focussing on the emotions of the characters too. Akash feels that this is what sets his film apart.
Rekha K.N and Anup Gowda are producing the film under their banner 'Anjanadri Cine Creations'. The producers have been a pillar of support through every step of the process, said Akash. Further, he added that one particular location of the film, where most of the events unfold was incredibly hard to find. It took six months of scouting more than 100 locations throughout South India to find the perfect location. More than 30 locations were personally seen and judged by Anup and Guruprasad along with Akash. Reminiscing Guruprasad's contribution, Akash said that his contribution was akin to a writer. He built the film image by image just as a writer would string words. Guruprasad made sure he was present during the script writing, so that he could assimilate every scene well.
Editor Srikanth's contribution will be huge said Akash. With is experience and talent, he will be a major force in driving the story telling process further. Costume Designer Shachina faced a unique challenge which she managed in her own inimitable style. There are too many characters but the film spans a very short timeline. So, she had to manage diversity within all that, which she did so effortlessly. Judah Sandhy's has composed two beautiful songs for the film. Jayant Kaikini is writing the lyrics for one song which is yet to be recorded.
Thanking everyone, Akash extended warm regards to his entire team. He said that without the support of his direction team and every single member of the entire cast and crew, he could not have made this film. At every stage, every scene and every shot, every single member went out of their way to contribute which is possible only if you have a die hard passion for the art, he said.