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Exclusive | Garadi isn't your typical Yogaraj Bhat film, says Yashas Surya

Yashas Surya talks to OTTplay about what sets Yogaraj Bhat, the seasoned filmmaker, apart from the rest.

Exclusive | Garadi isn't your typical Yogaraj Bhat film, says Yashas Surya
Yashas Soorya in a still from the film

Last Updated: 09.59 AM, Nov 10, 2023


For Yashas Surya, the opportunity to work with Yogaraj Bhat is nothing less than a long-awaited dream coming true. "About ten years ago, I had approached him seeking work but I wasn't lucky enough for that. It wasn't for any particular film of his, but I just wanted to work with him. In fact, it was Yogaraj Bhat sir who carried out the first clap for my film Yuga Yugagale Sagali, which marked my debut as a lead. However, I wanted him to direct me at some point and it so happened that the opportunity would come around about 15 years later!" says Yashas Surya.

And Garadi, that very opportunity, wasn't any ordinary one because he was required to not only get in shape to play the part of a kushti wrestler but also embody the spirit of the athlete. He admits that at the time the film came to him, he was carrying that extra "lockdown" weight and had to cut down about 10 kilos to fit into the part. "If you notice pailwaans do not exactly carry chiselled bodies but are slightly on the heavier side, with even a paunch to show. But I chose to not be seen with one because the audience wouldn't want to see a leading man with a paunch so I worked extra hard on building the right physique," says Yashas Surya.

If that was one half of his preparation, the other half involved training with a professional pailwaan to get into the thick of the sport. "We began training inside a garadi mane (traditional gymnasium) where we were introduced to all the nitty-gritty of kushti - right from how to enter a garadi mane to learning about the sanctity of the mud and other tools that a wrestler uses. The training, which lasted about 2 months, also allowed me to just soak in the 'vibe' of the sport which in turn helped while we were shooting. At the end of the day, kushti is a waning art in our country and the film is an effort, in a way, to introduce our own people to it," he shares.

When asked what makes Yogaraj Bhat a cut above the rest, Yashas believes that its the director's storytelling style or 'quirks' that's so special. "What he is out to tell here isn't an ordinary story and nor is it part of a genre that he has attempted before. When you watch the trailer, you sense that it isn't the usual Yogaraj Bhat film and the full-length film will make you realize that he has tried something completely new. Audiences have loved his brand of films thus far and I would like to believe that they will like his new attempt as well," says Yashas Surya before signing off.

Garadi, at its heart, is the story of the underdog who rises through the ranks to become a pailwaan. The film also stars Sonal Monteiro, B.C. Patil, P. Ravishankar, Sujay Belur and others with Challenging Star Darshan playing a key role. The film's out in theatres on November 10th.

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