Rakshit Shetty: Avane Srimannarayana marks the birth of a new genre

Gabbeta Ranjith Kumar
ASN Telugu release

Rakshit Shetty starrer Avane Srimannarayana is helmed by Sachin Ravi.

An idea struck Rakshit Shetty about eight years ago when he was trying to learn the ropes of filmmaking by making short films. He has finally turned that idea into a nearly 3-hour-long feature film called Avane Srimannarayana.

The original Kannada film released on December 27 to positive reviews. The Telugu version of the film has hit screens in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. After a good response from his home crowd, Rakshit is confident that the film will even click with the Telugu audience.

Excerpts from the conversation:

Q. We understand that a scene from Dr Rajkumar's Bhakta Prahlada was the genesis of this film?

I got the idea for this film from a scene in Bhakta Prahlada back in the day when I was making short films. The title of the film occurred to me when I was working with a music director who had used a few dialogues of Bhakta Prahlada in a song for a different project. That song gave me an idea for a hero introduction scene, and I travelled with that scene for eight years.

Q. Avane Srimannarayana has released in Karnataka to a good response.

I expect the same result from the Telugu audience as the subject of the film is very universal. If the Kannada audience has liked it, then I am confident that the audiences of other states will also like it.

Q. Tell us more about Athade Srimannarayana.

Athade Srimannarayana is a very unique commercial movie. The narrative structure, plot and the film's entire setup, including the characters, will look unique (on screen). You would not have seen a movie like this before. I believe this film marks the birth of a new genre. It will be a very new thing for the audience. People (in Karnataka) are going gaga over the whole idea of the film.

Q. You have also co-written this film. How challenging was it to write this film?

I think we followed our intuition. We wanted to write a fantasy story set in a fictional town called Amatavati. We wanted everything to be different in the movie. And, while writing, we just went with the flow. After we finished writing the whole story, we were completely satisfied. (But) It took about 24 drafts before we finalised the script that we wanted to shoot.

Q. Do you think there will be a comparison between KGF: Chapter 1 and ASN?

No. ASN is a completely different movie. Our movie has not followed any regular story pattern. KGF was from a completely different genre. It was an action movie. ASN is humorous and adventurous. It also has a good amount of action but it is unlike anything you have seen before in Indian films.

Q. Tell us about the film's director Sachin Ravi and producer Pushkar Mallikharjun.

I have been working with Sachin Ravi for the past seven years. He was the editor, colourist and VFX artist for Simple Agi Ondh Love Story, which was my first hit film. And he has been part of all my films since then. Given that ASN had a lot of VFX work, I thought that he would be the right person to direct the film. He is the most dedicated technician that I have seen in the industry. I knew that if he were to come on board, he will give his 100 per cent. When it comes to the film's producer Pushkar Mallikharjun, he is the strongest pillar of this film. This movie couldn't have happened without him. He supported us in every aspect. This is not a regular format film. Yet he believed in the script and invested in it because he trusts (me). I am very grateful to him for being the backbone of this project.

Q. Can you give us five reasons to watch this movie?

The most unique aspect of the film is its humour. The character of Narayana is going to entertain you throughout. The other actors too have done a fabulous job and the audience will connect with each character. As I told you earlier, the film is very different in terms of visual and narration. And finally, the action.