Past perfect, RETRO present!

Recreating past on silver screen, is one of the most toughest ask for a filmmaker. However, revisiting the glorious past, especially the early 1980s and 90s has been one of most loved period for Kannada film industry in the recent times. Films like Aa Dinagalu, Chakravarthy were based on real incidents set in the 80s,  whereas films like Chowka, Noorondu Nenapu and Raaga which were also set in the same timeline were based on imaginary stories webbed in the past. The latest one to return to past is K Krishna Raj directorial Lambodhara, a romantic-comedy which kicks off in 1980s. Bengaluru Chronicle reports on the recent trend going back to the 80s.

“As the story demanded, we had to showcase the oldest areas in Bengaluru for our film, as it opens with the 1980s dateline. The two old places in Bengaluru are Malleswaram and Basavanagudi. We chose Basavanagudi for a reason and hence the tagline of the film Basavanagudi,” says Krishna Raj.

About challenges he faced while re-creating the starting scenes set in 80s, the director says that the hero portrayed by Yogish in the film is born in the 80s, and so they had to capture everything which felt and looked 80s.

A still from Noorondu Nenapu.A still from Noorondu Nenapu.

“We did a lot of preparation from costumes to locations and every minute detail to make it look real. For costumes, we took a lot of pain in finding the right ones. We also did some research by going through the Kannada films in 80s. Things like television sets were so difficult to find. We somehow got it arranged and it has finally come out well,” says  the director Raj.

For Aa Dinagalu, director K M Chaitanya shot in most of the locations in Bengaluru which existed in 80s like around Vidhana Alisha, High Court, Cubbon Park with great care to give it a real ‘reel’ look.

Film historian Subramanya says that unless a film story demands for such exercise, not many filmmakers take up such take as it takes a lot of time and investment too. “For Chakravarthy film starring Darshan, which was similar to the Aa Dinagalu subject, the team had to create special costumes and erect sets for the shooting purpose. In fact, the team had to put up a set of an entire street for the shoot.”

A still from Raaga.A still from Raaga.

Also, director P C Shekar who directed Raaga, had do a similar exercise. “It was even more challenging, as it involved two visually challenged people in the lead roles. From properties like car, telephones, and every other minute details had to be taken care of,” he said.

Before returning to 2018, Santosh, another director, sums up saying that it is not just about costumes and recreating the ambience but the performance also makes a huge difference.


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