Mangalore, July 15: The Journalists’ Study Centre screened the movie Bettada Jeeva and organized an interactive session with P. Sheshadri, the national award winning director, and actor Dattatreya at MSW Auditorium in Roshni Nilaya School of Social Work on July 15, Friday.
Speaking to reporters and students before the movie screening, Mr. Sheshadri said that his first film Munnudi received a favourable response in Mangalore and was shown in Prabhath Theatre for 5 weeks in 2001. Since it was movie that dealt with the culture and lifestyle of Mangalore, he had broken the unwritten rule of releasing it in Bangalore and had released it in Mangalore instead. He then used the profits to release the film in Bangalore and Mysore theatres.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Dattatreya said that P. Sheshadri has done what many other directors failed to do—direct the movie Bettada Jeeva based on B. V. Shivaram Karanth’s novel.
Suchendra Prasad had played the lead role of Shivaramayya in this two-hour movie. The art director is Dinesh Mangalore and the music was provided by V. Manohar.
During the interactive session, Mr. Sheshadri said that the movie lacks the climax provided in the novel, adding that the movie does not end in pleasant memories. He added that his intention was to leave the audience with disturbing questions.
Stating that he had been creative while adapting Bettada Jeeva in the form of a film, he said that he wanted to illustrate the effects of modernization and the changes in values in the form of a character who wants to go to a dream village, but returns to a commercialized place.
Admitting that he did not stick to the novel strictly, he said that this is because the Western Ghats of Karnath’s times have now changed and so have the values. The film adaptation of a novel is always influenced by the director’s perception of it; moreover, the director always has the creative freedom to modify the work, he said and added that a director will not bother about adapting a novel to a film form if he has nothing of his own to say.
Admitting that the success of Bettada Jeeva was a pleasant surprise, he said that Karanth’s novel had haunted him for nearly 30 years. He said that the book hardly bothered him when he read it for the first time in his high school days; however, he kept reading the book again and again and felt that he had to do a film on it. He said that he would have directed the film in a better way if only he had the time.
Speaking about the difficulties he faced in finding a suitable location for his film, he said that he finally decided on a place 40kms from Subrahmanya, a place that Karanth visits in the novel.
Speaking about the role played by him in the movies, Mr. Dattatreya said that the character of Gopalaiah satisfied him immensely. The character was part of the forest and exhibited rare leadership qualities without seeming dominating, he said.
Shobana, the HOD of the English Department of Roshni Nilaya; Ivan D’Silva of Sahamatha Film Society; and actor Nandaraj also participated in the interactive session.
Govind Belgaumkar of The Hindu welcomed the gathering and Tharanath Kapikad of Janasri Channel proposed the vote of thanks.