Legendary filmmaker M.S. Sathyu makes a comeback after more than a decade with "Ijjodu", releasing all over Karnataka on July 23. He says the film takes a strong stand against the existent Devdasi pratha in the state and is very close to his heart.
Mysore Shrinivas Sathyu was born in Mysore on July 6, 1930. He is an extraordinary film director, art director, writer and stage designer. Some of his film are ‘Ek Tha Chotu Ek Tha Motu’, ‘Garam Hawa’, ‘Kanneshwara Rama’, ‘Bara’, while some short films are ‘Irshad’, ‘Black Mountain’, ‘Ghalib’, ‘Islam in India’.
M.S. Sathyu was in town this week in connection with the release of his latest film "Ijjodu". He spoke to Shreelatha Nayak Kodialbail. Excerpts:
Q. Can you tell us something about your first film?
A: My first film, “Garam Hawa,” speaks about the suffering of the people belonging to the Muslim community of Uttar Pradesh without actually touching upon the partition of India.
Q. How many art films have you directed so far?
A: I have directed nine films so far, but I cannot attach the label of “art film” to any of them. I have also directed 25 documentaries, a few telefilms, and other films.
Q. What makes your films unique?
A. The emotions depicted in modern films are not real. Since I prefer realistic acting, I attach great importance to my characters. I want them to look natural without the technology taking over the power of the film.
Q. What is the most special feature of your films?
A. The scenes and the close-ups of the actors in my films linger for a long time, enabling the actors to give their best facial expression so that the impact on the audience is great.
Q. Can you tell us something about your new film “Ijjodu”?
A. The Kannada film “Ijjodu,” which was produced under the banner of Reliance Big Picture, is based on the devadasi system as practiced a few centuries ago. The first Kannada film to be made on corporate funding, it is based on a cause and is therefore unique. Ijjodu was completed 12 years after it was begun. Two prints of the films will be released and one print will be retained for the state award.
The film entertains the audience by disseminating information for 90 minutes without the distraction of background music for songs and dances. It uses a number of languages such as Gujarathi, Hindi, and Bengali in addition to Kannada.
Mayuri Upadyay, the classical dancer of Mangalore, choreographed the dance sequences in the film with the help of ballads and contemporary music. The lyrics, which are written by Sudheer Attavar of Mangalore, contain more poetry than prose, quite unlike the songs in modern films.
Q. What is special about “Ijjodu”?
A: Ijjodu is special because the actors have not dubbed the film after shooting, instead spot recording was done. Moreover, Meera Jasmine has dubbed her own voice for the spot recording for the first time.
Q. What were your other achievements during these 12 years?
A. I directed 25 documentaries and several theatre plays and worked on telefilms and ad films.
Q. How do you like working with Mangaloreans in the film “Ijjodu”? Did Mangalore Kannada cause communication blocks?
A. Although Mangalore Kannada is difficult to understand, it did not create any communication blocks because we did not use it in the film. We used a mixture of Hassan, Bangalore, and Mysore Kannada in the film.
Q. What do you feel about Mangalore and Mangaloreans?
A: Mangalore has developed a lot and it is nice to see the development of this city. I hope it will continue to grow and develop. Of course, the people of Mangalore are very affectionate.