Shiva has hit headlines not only because action film director Om Prakash Rao and Superstar Shivarajkumar (Shivanna) have joined hands after a long gap of 11 years; it will also be the Superstar’s 101st movie!
Naturally, Shiva had to be different, and the director has ensured it will be a visual treat. “I am very eager to see this movie hit the screens. The shot composition is amazing. It is easily one of the most stylish movies ever made in the Kannada film industry. I thoroughly enjoyed working on this project. This is my first film with Shivanna, and I am thrilled,” says co-star Ragini Dwivedi.
Shivanna plays the role of a jockey for the first time in his career. Though the title appears to be mythological, Shiva is about the good Samaritan who helps the downtrodden. However, the route he takes is conventional, the details of which the director is not ready to reveal. “This is a dream-come-true. I have always wanted to direct Shivarajkumar in this particular role. The project has been in the pipeline for the last two years. I have tried to portray Shivanna in a new style,” says Om Prakash Rao, whose two previous ventures with the Superstar were blockbusters.
Incidentally, the movie is behind schedule, and Shiva could lose the tag of being Shivarajkumar’s 101st film if director Rao does not complete the pending work quickly. But Ragini is confident that the movie will hit the screens shortly, “Because Shiva is Shivanna’s 101st film, the response we got at the shooting locations all over the state was amazing. We had a tough time controlling the crowds; everyone wanted to get close to him!” At the Bangalore Turf Club, Shivanna’s fans turned up in huge numbers to see their hero play the role of a jockey, forcing Rao to suspend the shoot for some time.
Fortunately, there were no ‘unsavoury’ incidents on the sets, while the otherwise-strict Rao maintained his cool throughout the shooting of the movie. At 50, the actor is one of the most fit and health-conscious actors in the Kannada film industry, and his horseriding skills are laudable. But, according to Shivanna, performing the role of a jockey was challenging. In the movie, the actor got to choose his favourite horse. “Yeah, this is one project which has been delayed unnecessarily. Eventually, everything has fallen into place, and I am satisfied with the outcome. Believe me, it is going to be different,” summarises Shivarajkumar.
- Aravind G Shivakamal