In an exclusive conversation with OTTplay, Dhananjaya talks about the ethos of Orchestra, Mysuru! and how its core emotions resonated with him.
Last Updated: 06.11 PM, Jan 09, 2023
Dhananjaya is beginning 2023 with Orchestra, Mysuru! but not in the capacity of an actor. Having already established credibility as a talented actor and an ambitious film producer, the Head Bush star is now tending to another creative inclination of his by turning a full-fledged lyricist in Orchestra, Mysuru! The Raghu Dixit musical includes as many as 8 tracks and Dhananjaya has penned the lyrics for each of them.
Aside from his involvement as a lyricist, the 36-year-old actor is also presenting the film in theatres along with KRG Studios. The film, its ethos and its vibrating setting are very dear to his heart, he says, and as someone who spent his most formative years in Mysuru, he feels incredibly proud and happy that he is associated with the project in a creative manner.
"We are all a mix of so many cultures and every place has its own tradition, its own culture. In Karnataka alone, you have Tulunadu, the North Karnataka culture and the western part have got their own set of idiosyncracies - there is so much to explore and so much to show on the screen. Similarly, there is a very prominent orchestra culture in Mysuru. If you were to look closely, you will find young boys and girls who want to make a name in the orchestra scene or maybe even perform on the grand Yuva Dasara stage. In fact, most of them wish to be just part of an orchestra group and in order to get to the front and become a singer, they all strive incredibly hard.
"All the boys involved in the Orchestra, Mysuru! are my juniors from college who have evolved as friends today. They would all refer to me as Dhananjaya "avre" and with a lot of respect in the beginning but they only use expletives with me now. But when the story of the film was narrated to me, I was overjoyed because it resonated so much with me"
And interestingly, the core emotion of desire and angst in the story of Orchestra, Mysuru! struck a chord with Dhananjaya, urging him to invest time and effort in the project in some form or the other. Despite being a successful actor at the time, he found himself relating to the film's subject on a level deeper than anticipated and that's how, he adds, he was able to imbue the lyrics with a sense of inspiration.
"The film explores this vibrant culture which resides mainly in the Gandhi Nagar area of Mysuru. But the main task here was to put it together as a story and the entire team, which I am very much part of, has done an excellent job. Be it at the script level or the way it's shot, Sunil (the director) has done an excellent job with the film. And though I was in love with the story already, things only got better once Raghu Dixit came on board and his music made me feel closer to the subject. The idea of an intense struggle, to either find opportunities or success, resonated with me deeply and I found myself in that phase while writing the lyrics of all the songs. I can say with all honesty and confidence that Orchestra, Mysuru! is a beautiful film which perfectly captures the soul of Mysuru," he adds.
Orchestra, Mysuru! stars one of Dhananjaya's closest mates Poornachandra Mysore who has also co-written the screenplay, along with Joesph K Raja and Mahadeva Prasad. The film also stars Rajalakshmi, Dileep Raj, and many other enterprising talents, including real-life orchestra artists from Mysuru. The film releases in theatres on January 12, on the special occasion of Sankranthi.