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19.20.21: 'I was quite concerned at one point' - Manso Re on the Kantara comparison

In a recent conversation with a popular media outlet, the filmmaker spoke about an interesting event that occurred on the sets of 19.20.21

19.20.21: 'I was quite concerned at one point' - Manso Re on the Kantara comparison
Manso Re on Kantara

Last Updated: 08.59 PM, Mar 01, 2023


Filmmaker Manso Re had plunged into the making of his latest 19.20.21 with a lot of gusto. He had already evoked enough curiosity in his audience with the title and having disclosed almost nothing about the project, he managed to discretely put together an intriguing socio-political thriller. However, during the making of the film, the ACT-1978 maker encountered an interesting incident that almost jeopardized his entire project.

It was at the halfway stage of the shooting of 19.20.21 that Manso Re was led to believe that the film he was making could bear a strong resemblance to another Kannada film called Kantara. And at that point, he says, he was quite frightened.

"One of the crew members of Kantara and once he wrapped up that shoot, he joined our sets. On an odd day, having noticed all the nature, the setting and everything around, he came to me to say, "Anna, Kantara was exactly like this. Are both films based on the same story?". I was quite startled when he asked me that, and this was during the halfway mark of our shoot. I picked up the phone immediately and called someone I knew from the Kantara team to ask what their film's story was! But, the other person was unwilling to reveal the story of Kantara because of ethics and I agree with that stance. However, I was quite concerned so I asked them a simple question: "in your film, does the 'hero' attack the person in front? Or he doesn't?". And when the other person said "yes", I was convinced that my film isn't the same!" said Manso Re in a recent interview with the Film Companion.

In the same vein, he agreed that the two films in question do bear a few similarities, in that both films are set in the Karavali region, there's nature, forests, tribal communities, police officers, atrocities, etc. However, he says, the two films could not be different in the treatment of the same subject or ethos. Although a few have already pointed out the likeness in Kantara and 19.20.21, Manso Re believes that his film comes as a 'contrast' to the one made by Rishab Shetty.

"Since Kantara has already released, one may find the similarities but knowing both films, I can say that mine is a contrast to Kantara," he said in the same interview.

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