The filmmaker says that he's converted The Gottman Method into scenes in his film with Darling Krishna and Milana Nagaraj, which will be in theatres on February 17.
Last Updated: 12.47 PM, Feb 16, 2023
PC Shekar is about 10 films old in the film industry, but by his own admission, romantic dramas, like Romeo, have worked better with audiences and his next, Love Birds is in a similar mould. In the run-up to the release of the film, though, the buzz surrounding Love Birds has been dull, with netizens stating that the Darling Krishna-Milana Nagaraj combination is getting repetitive.
The fact that Krishna’s characters in most of his films look and feel the same was also an issue and the little that has been out in the public domain about Love Birds has not given them reason to believe that it will be any different. Why did Shekar decide to cast this duo? “When I decided to cast Krishna and Milana, they were fresh off Love Mocktail 2. There is no denying that they have good onscreen chemistry, which I wanted to build on. But more importantly, Love Birds is about conveying emotions and performance, which I knew both could pull off. At the time, I did not know that they were working together in other films too and that any of them would release before Love Birds, prompting audiences to feel an overdose of this combination. I was only looking at Love Mocktail 2 and presenting that couple in an entirely different set up,” says the filmmaker, adding that he was not bothered about the outcome of Krishna’s recent movies. “There is a certain pressure that comes with the release of any movie. If you look at any actor, the performance of his previous release is an issue for the director of the next, because there are expectations. In my case, I am banking on the strength of the story and screenplay. The thumb rule of filmmaking is that if the content is good, people will watch it and I am confident about my film,” says Shekar.
And that is exactly what audiences are hoping for – that Shekar delivers in the content department. For this, word of mouth after the first show has to be good. But then, getting people to theatres is a challenge, so how does one get positive word of mouth to spread? “In the last one year or so, audiences have been returning to the theatres for films in different genres, although most of them were either big-budget projects or backed by major production houses and were promoted well. For instance, with Kantara, I saw that a bulk of the audience flocking theatres was families. Amid this, I felt that there was a dearth of films in one particular genre in Kannada – family entertainers – which will draw this same crowd back and that is how I envisioned Love Birds. I agree that word of mouth is crucial and even if footfalls are low in the beginning, the hope is that it will pick up soon enough, once audiences know that there is a film for the whole family in the theatre,” he says.
The film, according to Shekar’s earlier media interactions, revolves around the ups and downs faced by a newly-married couple. “This movie isn’t only about the ups and downs faced by this couple played by Krishna and Milana. That’s only a minor portion of the narrative; the crux of it is the psychology. When you talk about marriage, it is not easy for two humans, who have had vastly different upbringings, education, ideologies, when they are then brought together in matrimony. Initially, both are likely to be in a fantasy world, where everything looks rosy and both are at their best behaviour. But as time goes on, this will fade and they begin to be themselves, like they were earlier and that is where differences crop up and the story begins. Love Birds, in that sense, is about a lot of couple therapy; the highest rated among this is The Gottman Method, which I have researched thoroughly and converted into scenes of the film,” he explains.
But then, wouldn’t that make the film too urban and hip for regular audiences? “The emotions at the core of a marriage are the same across socio-economic classes. The frictions between a husband and a wife are almost always the same; perhaps the situations may differ. Let’s say, I present 25 scenarios of fights between a husband and a wife, I can guarantee that people across cross-sections will relate to at least 5-10 of them,” adds Shekar.