The filmmaker speaks to OTTplay about the call he took to release the much-awaited Sapta Sagaradaache Ello in two parts
Filmmaker Hemanth M. Rao sprung a big surprise on everyone when he announced that his upcoming film Sapta Sagaradaache Ello will release in two parts. The film, which is among the most-awaited releases of the year, is now set to come out in the form of Side A (part 1) and Side B (part 2) so as to accommodate a sprawling emotional story that spans multiple decades.
Rakshit Shetty, the male lead, has famously undergone a stark physical transformation to fit into a role that is evidently one of the toughest he has taken on so far, and his fans are ardently looking forward to seeing what he has in store for them. On Rakshit's birthday (June 6), his close friend and the film's director Hemanth Rao shared an endearing post to wish the actor a happy birthday and also divulge the two-part strategy for the film's release. The focus now shifts to June 15 when the team plans to reveal the release dates of both parts.
"Always part of the plan"
While the decision to split Sapta Sagaradaache Ello into two parts may have initially caused some scepticism among the audiences, Hemanth M. Rao asserts that he had always envisioned things that way. For him, it was the narrative that guided him to conceive and later execute Sapta Sagardaache Ello as a two-part feature but he first wanted to go through the entire process before sharing it with the rest of the world.
"It just has been part of our plan right from the beginning. In fact, I had started writing the story in two parts but only the screenplay was developed along the way - the screenplay of Side B was written once Rakshit began to gain weight for the part. The two of us have been always on the same page about this but we wanted to take our time and then disclose it to the rest of the world. See, the risk of making such an announcement beforehand is that you attract a lot of questions and we felt that it was best we stayed away from all the scrutiny. Instead of people wondering why we opted to make a love story in two parts, we chose to be in control of the entire development - except for the core crew, no one else knew about this because that decision (of technically making two movies) would carry the risk of harming their organic experience," shares Hemanth with OTTplay.
Wanting to be prudent
Another important facet of Hemanth Rao's approach seems to be patience and the filmmaker has exuded a lot of it through the making of Sapta Sagardaache Ello. Aside from taking close to 140 days in shooting the film, Hemanth wanted to ensure that the film's essence and ethos were conveyed in the exact manner that it deserved. Perhaps that is why both he and Rakshit chose to bring the entire length of it to the edit table first, before making an announcement of any kind.
"We wanted to watch both films before making the announcement that we are bringing out Sapta Sagaradaache Ello as Side A and Side B. Though everything was designed that way from the start, it was a matter of how seamless the transition was from one side to another. And when we saw that happening, we were ready to share. In a way, whether you like it or not, the first part will promote or publicize the second part but it is important that your vision is retained throughout," he adds.
"Both Sides distinct from one another"
There is a strong sense of passion, and nostalgia, that Hemanth Rao has attempted to imbue his story with and this is quite apparent in the first teaser we saw a couple of months ago. There's the salient use of the tape recorder in the Side A portions involving Rakshit Shetty and Rukmini Vasanth to suggest a kind of bygone innocence, whereas Side B (Rakshit and Chaithra J. Achar) turns darker and more brooding when the narrative takes a 10-year leap. A lot seems to have transpired in between and though one cannot clearly establish the reason, it is certain that emotions run quite high in this film.
"Both parts, or Sides, are quite distinct from each other in terms of tone and we have made sure that they are executed the same way. For Side B, we have used an entirely different set of lenses and rendered a whole new colour palette to accentuate that contrast because it is set in a different time frame altogether," shares Hemanth Rao.