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Turbo star Raj B Shetty – ‘I am not a part of Richard Anthony, all I know is…’ | Exclusive

Turbo star Raj B Shetty discusses his ambition to make more films and how the growth of the digital space has increased exposure to Kannada cinema in an interview with OTTplay.

Turbo star Raj B Shetty – ‘I am not a part of Richard Anthony, all I know is…’ | Exclusive

Raj B Shetty | Photo: Instagram

Last Updated: 11.50 AM, May 23, 2024


Raj B Shetty, a popular Kannada filmmaker and actor, gained widespread recognition for his film, Garuda Gamana Vrishabha Vahana, which transcended national boundaries and left a lasting impression on viewers. Many people admire his slice-of-life filmmaking approach, which involves giving his characters complex yet nuanced traits. With Mammootty's Turbo, the actor is set to make his Malayalam screen debut.

Raj discusses his ambition to make more films and how the growth of the digital space has increased exposure to Kannada cinema in an interview with OTTplay.

The Kannada industry was not well known among Malayalis until the arrival of Kantara, KGF, or Charlie 777. Do you think the industry is yet to receive more attention in Kerala?

In my opinion, the Kannada film industry still lacks a significant presence outside of Karnataka, not just in Kerala. Because there must be frequent releases that entice people to theatres, we need time for them. A successful movie puts the industry in the spotlight for a while. On the other hand, a winning streak that continues for a while would be advantageous because it would bring forth many actors, directors, technicians, and the industry's potential. Right now, Kannada needs this kind of success. I firmly think it will occur as more passionately directed films will be produced.

With the rise of OTT platforms, industries have begun to merge significantly, and viewers now have access to a large number of films in other languages. Do you think Kannada has enough room to grow in other states now that these digital platforms are in place?

Of course! Don't you think that the OTT space's potential gave me the opportunity to be in a Malayalam film? I think the introduction of digital platforms has altered the length of a movie's shelf life. Reels from Garuda Gamana Vrishabha Vahana are still being shared on social media, and the movie is still trending on an OTT platform. As a result, people are familiar with me and the other actors while also exploring our other films. This is the main advantage of OTT platforms.

In your most recent movie, Swathi Mutthina Male Haniye, a conversation between Prerana, the lead character, and her mother was one of the most talked-about scenes. What approach do you take as a writer to craft these kinds of scenes for your movie?

That scene touched me deeply, and every woman I spoke to felt the same way. I believe that all I am doing is experiencing emotions as a human. All the talks that Prerana has with her mother in this movie are exactly like the ones my mother and I used to have. We are very close. As would be expected of a mother and her daughter, my mother and I are still able to discuss the most feminine topics. I think my mother deserves a daughter, but sadly, she does not have one. Thus, I imagined scenarios in which I would witness my mother conversing with her daughter in an understanding manner.

Like all women, my mother has encountered difficulties and searched for love at different points in her life. Consequently, the entire movie is a tribute to my mother and all the women who helped me become a little more sensitive. The conversation will typically be more candid and in-depth if you speak as two women and take off all the titles. Another scene in the movie that I really love is when Aniketh tells the story of why he plants the Nandi Battalu plant.

Most people know you from your directorial work. Do you think your roles in several films, such as Mahira and Thurthu Nirgamana, deserve more recognition?

I believe that the script we choose or the final product we produce bears some of the blame if we are not acknowledged as good performers in some of our films. You cannot experiment with film and then blame the audience for not getting the desired results. For instance, I would have received far more recognition if I had started work on the Garuda Gamana Vrishabha Vahana sequel as soon as the movie became successful. However, I decided to make a Swathi Mutthina Male Haniye instead because I wanted to make a piece of art that I really loved.

Everyone wants me to do a more gangster-oriented film after Garuda Gamana Vrishabha Vahana. However, I took my time making Swathi Mutthina Male Haniye for myself and had no expectations. I made the deliberate choice to do that. I am personally close to these films, so I chose to work on them. Even with Turbo, I was really eager to work on this character because I had never done anything like it before. If it helps me get recognition, that's fantastic; if not, I am content to be doing something that matters to me.

You had talked about writing more and concentrating on your production company in earlier interviews. What plan do you currently have in place?

The same! I want to devote more of my attention to making and producing films. However, after Turbo, a lot might change, and I am getting offers that I can't currently accept. I am currently working on a project with a number of new actors. I would like to take things one step at a time because it requires patience and time.

At the moment, Kannada needs to release films with high-quality content and widespread distribution. It must transcend borders in order for us to effectively expand our market. In the upcoming years, we plan to gradually fulfil each of these requirements. We cannot rush, that much is true.

There have been rumours that you will be a part of Richard Anthony, the spin-off of Ulidavaru Kandanthe. Is that true?

No, even though Rakshit Shetty plays a significant role in my life, I am not involved in the project! I am just aware that he is currently working on the movie.

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