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Home»Interview»Vikrant Rona: Writer, Director, and Lyrcist - for Anup Bhandari, donning myriad hats is part of one single exploration»

Vikrant Rona: Writer, Director, and Lyrcist - for Anup Bhandari, donning myriad hats is part of one single exploration

The filmmaker speak to OTTplay about his process a lyric-writer and how it's all part of one large process

  • Swaroop Kodur

Last Updated: 01.47 PM, Jul 25, 2022

Vikrant Rona: Writer, Director, and Lyrcist - for Anup Bhandari, donning myriad hats is part of one single exploration
Anup Bhandari

In an era that finds filmmakers conceive the most distinct story worlds and spend years together bringing them to life, the idea of being a multi-hyphenate artist is slowly diminishing. One saw the likes of Shankar Nag, Kashinath, V. Ravichandran, and others dabble with the writer-director-actor combination to a great effect and inspire subsequent generations to think beyond their confines, asserting that if one had to realize their dreams, the best approach is to lead from the front. Soon after, artists like Upendra, Thriller Manju, Sadhu Kokila, and many others broke through the scene and created a specific niche for themselves: despite the critical or artistic merit of their work, one can't ignore the fact that their films carry a unique perspective.

And cut to the present, perhaps one of the very first names that crop up in this regard is Anup Bhandari. Making strong impressions through his debut RangiTaranga, Anup made significant strides in the world of cinema in one single shot, enunciating that he is here to leave a prominent mark as a filmmaker. And it wasn't just filmmaking of the conventional sense that he was keen on - aside from being the writer and director of RangiTaranga, Anup Bhandari also composed the songs of his debut film and wrote the lyrics to each of them. Add to that the quirky nature of the worlds his films are set in and one can deduce that he has some really interesting ideas on his mind.

One such is Vikrant Rona, a new sample of his explorations which is all set to release worldwide on July 28, and be it the striking blend of genres like fantasy, mystery, and adventure or the use of music and lyrics, this has Anup Bhandari written all over. Anup has written the lyrics of the songs of the film (with Ajaneesh B. Loknath scoring the music), many of which are already chartbusters, but interestingly, the process of donning all the various hats is part of the seamless process for the filmmaker.

"I think writing lyrics is part of my job as a director. I work hands-on with every department so even in the case of lyrics, I wish to be on top of things - I haven't worked with other lyricists in Kannada so far but have worked closely with the ones who have written in other languages. I like to understand the context, the metaphors, and what the song speaks about in that language," he says. 

Quiz on how lyric-writing bolsters his process, he says that it's an organic way of approaching a script for him. The idea of knowing your own story world inside-out is the key here, he adds.

"But writing lyrics in Kannada is an integral part of my writing approach. The biggest reason is that I am personally attached to my story, the world and the setting, and so on, and when I include a song in the narrative, I would prefer to write the lyrics because I am aware of the entire context: you know, the background, the subtexts, etc. And the song is a story in itself."

"In RangiTaranga, the Kareyole song encapsulates the entire narrative of the film through Indu or Harini's perspective (Radhika Narayan's character in the film). Now, in this case alone, I could have gone the conventional way where we get a lyricist on board, explain the situation in the film to them, and get a song out of it. However, since I could write on my own, the song is lent a new dimension because it now carries the entire depth of the story. I love to have traces of the story or my characters in the songs - be it the Ee Sanje song in RangiTaranga or Hele Meghave in Rajaratha, the songs brim with subtle references".

Anup Bhandari has also composed the songs in RangiTaranga and Rajaratha.

Ajaneesh Loknath: Vikrant Rona is my first film with Sudeep sir, so the music had to be extra special 

And yet, the songs in his films, he adds, don't have isolated value but are meant to only take the narrative forward. Sure, they are entertaining with catchy lyrics and hook lines but the essence of each song has to be true to the story it is part of.

"The scene following a song shouldn't feel redundant in terms of information. The song has to keep the story moving," he says while explaining how his attempts to work with another lyricist for the Ra Ra Rakkamma song did not yield the exact desired results.

"We did give that a shot (of hiring another lyricist) but something didn't click and the whole team felt that we can do a better job. I had anyway gone ahead with the thought that if it works, then why not but definitely not at the cost of the song. Although I enjoy writing songs with a lot of inner meaning and subtext, like Ee Sanje or Hele Meghave, or even the Lullaby Song from Vikrant Rona, Ra Ra Rakkamma proved to be a fun experiment. Ultimately, when you are creating a unique world for your film, you will have to offer a strong, punchy dose of entertainment to the fans and this would be that," he adds.