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Exclusive! "I have indulged in IPL betting in the past and am aware of how addictive and menacing it can be," says Critical Keerthanegalu director Kumaar

The director's second outing 'Critical Keethanegalu' will release in theatres on May 13

  • Swaroop Kodur

Last Updated: 03.37 PM, May 12, 2022

Exclusive! "I have indulged in IPL betting in the past and am aware of how addictive and menacing it can be," says Critical Keerthanegalu director Kumaar
Kumaar, writer-director of Critical Keerthanegalu

Filmmaker Kumaar is a nervous man at the moment. His second outing, Critical Keerthanegalu, is all set to come out in theatres on May 13, and with the current edition of the Indian Premier League being one of the most talked-about events at the moment, the timing couldn't have been better for the film to release. OTTplay caught up with Kumaar ahead of the release for an off-the-cuff chat about his film, the origin of the story, and more.

How did you conceive the story around IPL betting?

It was apparent that IPL betting or gambling was gaining a lot of traction with each passing year. A couple of years ago, I realized that close to 70% of the youth bet on games and about 100 of them resort to suicide each year because of debts. And most people involved in betting are lost in their own worlds and everything revolves around the games - that's when it occurred to me that there is enough scope for a script that is comical, entertaining, and poignant.

The story revolves around multiple narratives with Tabla Nani's character being the navigator. How did that come about?

Each character or narrative takes place in a different region of Karnataka. Belagavi, a dry land, Kundapura has the sea, Mandya is full of greenery and Bengaluru is a concrete jungle - visually and tonally, I wanted something different with each narrative and we have also tried to explore a different emotion. As seen in the trailer, Tabla Nani sir's character appeals to the judge to ban IPL, the judge responds by saying that the country didn't allow for a porn ban, so banning IPL is an impossible deed. That's when lawyer Kariyappa (Tabla Nani) begins to narrate all the different instances to support his case. The title Critical Keerthanegalu refers to the saga, or the Keerthana, of each of the four narratives.

Tabla Nani and Suchendra Prasad were also seen in your first film 'Chemistry of Kariyappa', playing the same roles. Wasn't it always your intention to reuse them in the new film?

Not really. The idea was first conceived with all the different narratives and it needed a voice of reason at one point. That's when I decided on bringing the Kariyappa character back to help the audience navigate the complex story, and the chemistry between the judge (played by Suchendra Prasad) and the lawyer is one of the highlights of the film.

Exclusive: 'Critical Keethanegalu' is supremely entertaining and comical tale about a serious issue like IPL betting - Tabla Nani 

What was the extent of the research for the story? Is it all based on true events?

I have no qualms in admitting that I have bet on IPL games myself in the past. In fact, you find people from all walks of life indulging in it - from cops to software engineers, they all play the game. And my research began with the people I personally knew and how they went about the betting game. Post that, I picked up many instances that one could find in newspapers and other media. Although I did gamble, I knew where to draw the line but not everyone is that lucky.