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Exclusive | PRK Productions & Aachar & Co. to take Bengalureans down memory lane to 1960s

Actor and debutant filmmaker Sindhu Sreenivasa Murthy talks about the essence of her film, the task of recreating Bengaluru of the 1960s and more

Exclusive | PRK Productions & Aachar & Co. to take Bengalureans down memory lane to 1960s
The cast of 'Aachar & Co.'

Last Updated: 11.20 PM, Jul 09, 2023

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We'll probably never know how many variants of Bengaluru exist under this ether but what's for certain is that the city just never stops giving. One finds the place to be perennially 'in the making', meaning that each generation that finds its bearings here lends a new dimension to its ethos, helping it evolve at its own leisurely pace. 

Perhaps that is why filmmaker Sindhu Sreenivasa Murthy has chosen a very crucial moment in the founding of Bengaluru as the subject of her debut feature, Aachar & Co. Through the film, Sindhu attempts to take us back in time to the 1960s when the city was on the cusp of a glorious change-to-come and was beginning to come of age, so to speak, and this fascinating phase is unravelled with the help of a trademark Bengaluru family. She has the support of PRK Productions and an enterprising ensemble cast in this pursuit and the first look of the film suggests that the film will be an endearing walk down the memory lane for many.

"It is the '60s and we follow this orthodox family that is trying to break the societal norms of the times. It's the siblings in the family that take up this task and so, in essence, Aachar & Co. is an out-and-out family entertainer. The backdrop of the 1960s is quite significant to the narrative because there was a new movement, of sorts, that was taking place in the city - it was the time of industrialization, banks were nationalized in 1969 and women, in Bengaluru, had begun taking education and work a lot more seriously. It was a quiet movement in that sense and I felt it was a rather interesting backdrop for our story," shares Sindhu Sreenivasa Murthy.

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So, was it that she first fancied the 1960s and then conceived an idea that was befitting of the era? Or did it fall into place the other way around?

"It was always the story first. I grew up on Anant Nag sir's films which were these hilarious family entertainers. As far as the germ of the idea is concerned, I suppose it originated through the conversations I would have with my family about their growing-up years in Bengaluru. You often feel that the people who grew up in that time period are a boring bunch of people but then turns out that so much was happening in the city in the '60s. It's just that we don't have a record of that like we do today. But their lives, the culture they grew up in - all of it is so fascinating. And without knowing, they were all defying norms back then. That's what attracted me to exploring this story," adds Sindhu.

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Another important highlight of the yesteryear Bengaluru is its unique cityscape and recreating this setting with a limited budget is a very tough ask. Sindhu says that although the budget was a constraint, the team still pulled it off through some inventiveness and ensuring that both production and costume design were paid proper attention to. Speaking about this, she adds:

"A lot of Bengaluru has changed and evolved and recreating that era here is a mighty challenge. You don't spot those kinds of old-world houses anymore because almost all of them are remodelled or reconstructed. So, we opted for Mysuru which still has that heritage and authenticity intact. And our production designer, Vishwas Kashyap sir, has done a fabulous job on the art and so has Inchara Suresh, our costume designer. They have paid a lot of attention to detail."

And if you were to take a closer look at the first-look poster of Aachar & Co., you are likely to be surprised to see the name of Kanan Gill in the midst. Gill, a well-established standup comic and writer has co-written the story and screenplay along with Sindhu Sreenivasa Murthy and one certainly wonders how he came to be involved in a Kannada film. 

"It's definitely an odd combination. Kanan (Gill) has been a friend for a while now, having met in Mumbai a few years ago. I had just finished my screenwriting course there and I would share a few anecdotes that I had heard from my family and was basically toying with the idea. And he suggested we wrote something on that and we just took a crack at it because we were bored. And since Kanan's best suit is his humour, we were able to make the film funny and relatable," she adds.

Aachar & Co. is produced by Ashwini Puneeth Rajkumar and Gurudath A Talwar. The cast includes many well-known and talented theatre artists including Vamsidhar Bhogaraju, Sindhu Sreenivasa Murthy, Harshal Kaushik, Jagadeesh Sukumar and Anirudh Acharya, with veteran actors Sudha Belawadi and Ashok playing important roles in the film. The film is out in theatres on July 28, 2023.

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