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Kartikeya: Bedurulanka 2012 is a funny, thought-provoking film which could trigger a change | Exclusive

The film, directed by newcomer Clax, has the RX 100 actor paired opposite Neha Sshetty

Kartikeya: Bedurulanka 2012 is a funny, thought-provoking film which could trigger a change | Exclusive

Last Updated: 09.15 PM, Aug 22, 2023


Bedurulanka 2012, a doomsday comedy set in a fictitious village (Bedurulanks), is set to hit screens this Friday. After a string of failures, the film’s lead actor and the RX 100 find, Kartikeya Gummakonda appears more aware of himself, learning from mistakes, keener on bettering himself with every project. In a chat with, he offers us a peek into the world of his latest film, says how it’ll entertain and inform without being preachy.

What comes to your mind when you think of 2012?

2012 reminds me of the rumours around doomsday on December 21, the Hollywood film by the same name. I was a college student in 2012 and those memories seem fresh even today. We had semester exams then and I thought doomsday was a better alternative to escape studying for them. I wasn’t worried about the apocalypse and I thought some scientist would have a solution for it.

Even if the reports about apocalypse were true, the entire world would have faced it and I sensed we would somehow get past it. When I look back at myself in 2012 now, some of the decisions I took seem immature. I thought of myself very highly but behaved childishly. I thought I had decoded everything about life. Now, I have realised I know nothing.

Clax, Bedurulanka 2012 poster
Clax, Bedurulanka 2012 poster

Hearing Bedurulanka 2012’s script for the first time…

I was very excited about the script in the first narration; I heard it during COVID-19 and it was even more relevant then. It was exciting and it was also a time where the audience’s tastes were changing. Ajay Bhupathi introduced me to Clax, they worked together under Ram Gopal Varma. Clax has his unique style but has learnt from RGV that filmmaking is more an art form than a science.


On playing Shiva in Bedurulanka 2012

I play Shiva in the film. He’s a free-spirited soul, won’t worry about what the world thinks of him, gives back when necessary and will do something only if he’s fully convinced. He lives life on his own terms and the body language had to be consistent throughout the film. How does such a person deal with challenges?

The reference to Chiranjeevi - Shiva Shankara Vara Prasad - (seen in the trailer) was spontaneous. I needed it for a scene where I had to utter something on the lines of ‘Shiva’s game begins’. I felt the name ‘Shiva’ was too short and needed something more to register a stronger impact.

The love story of Shiva in the film

Shiva is a guy who worked previously as a graphic designer in Hyderabad and returns to the village after quitting his job. The girl is an innocent village belle who doesn’t know of life beyond the village. The guy is brave and flamboyant but she’s a scarecrow - there’s a cute chemistry between us. We could sense the vibe between me and Neha was working out well during the shoot.

Apprehensions about casting Neha Sshetty

We were slightly unsure about her ability to play a rural character after DJ Tillu - it was the same thing I experienced from the industry after RX 100. Everyone thought I was only apt for intense action roles but I proved them otherwise. Neha took extreme care with her look, expressions, rehearsals and put in a lot of effort with the dialogue delivery. I feel people will look beyond her DJ Tillu image in Bedurulanka 2012.

Other characters in the film and the conflicts

Ajay Ghosh, Srikanth Iyengar and Ram Prasad play equally vital roles in the film. They live in a small village where the locals don’t have much exposure and trust everything blindly. The characters misuse doomsday and God to instil fear among villagers. The lead character is definitely not one among them - the film will deal with the conflicts between these characters, there will be verbal banter and it will be fresh. I don’t play a quintessential hero but the heroism comes through his characterisation, mindset.

On how how the film touches upon a sensitive topic like religion

The film deals with fake godmen but doesn’t attack any religion in particular. We have discussed how we’ve misunderstood the Bhagavadgita, the idea of God and why we can not use it to invoke fear. We’ve only condemned how some people misuse it; there’s no commentary or religion/religious practices.

His understanding of human behaviour during a doomsday scenario

When people know that the world is ending, I guess they’ll forget each other’s differences, barriers and stand up for the other. Our true identity will emerge in such a situation and we’ll look beyond jealousies, social stature, recognising people for what they are.

Mani Sharma’s BGM - an asset to Bedurulanka 2012

The biggest strength of the film is Mani Sharma’s background score. The songs have come out well but the BGM had to deal with the worlds of many characters who find themselves in tricky situations. We had to discuss many themes and bring in variety musically - only Mani Sharma has the experience and capacity to interpret it through sound. We were very lucky to have him. He worked as if it were his first film, said he got to learn a lot from it and felt it was one of his career-best works. Though he’s media shy, he took extra effort to promote it.

Understanding Bedurulanka 2012 ‘visually’

When I heard Bedurulanka 2012, I struggled to imagine it visually. Consciously or subconsciously, we have a visual reference (of another film in mind) when we hear a story. When I discussed this with Clax and I began shooting, I got a better idea of it. It helped that we shot the film in a true village setting. I am glad that the producer trusted a unique script with me when he could’ve made an action entertainer and played safe. The Godavari backdrop added to its visual appeal. Bedurulanka 2012 is one film that I’ll always be proud of.

On pre-release pressure and nervousness

Of course, there’s pressure but there’s enthusiasm too. I relished the opportunity to play a lead in a rooted story, I always had positive vibes during the shoot. We do every film hoping it would be successful but I grew in confidence about Bedurulanka 2012 right during the filming and the post-production.

What’s the USP of Bedurulanka 2012?

It’s an out and out fun film with a message, will be relatable, thought provoking and we’re confident it’ll trigger a change on some level. The first takeaway from Bedurulanka 2012 would be its comedy. It’s not a staple entertainer and will have meaningful dialogues with situational humour.

Being wary of script selection, future projects

I am being more careful with script selection and not in a rush. In the past, when a film had failed, it was already too late before I could take any corrective measures for other projects. With Bedurulanka 2012, I felt I needed to give it that time and focus for it to shape up well. I am waiting to see how Bedurulanka.. will fare and plan to take decisions accordingly. I have signed a film with UV Creations, RX 100’ sequel is on cards but its too early to discuss anything.

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