Garadi, directed by Yogaraj Bhat, releases in theatres on November 10 and has the social media shy Sonal in the role of a social media influencer.
Garadi, which releases in theatres on November 10, is Sonal Monteiro’s second collaboration with filmmaker Yogaraj Bhat. Unlike the youthful Panchatantra, this time around, he’s taken the actress to rural north Karnataka and made her a village belle who’s claim to fame is being a Tik Toker who pretends to be a city girl. She’s called Kabbali, but goes by the handle Puppy Sukanya to her followers, and has a loud, rather garish sense of style, quite unlike Sonal, which is also why the actress wasn’t at first sure if she could pull it off. But more than how Kabbali looks and behaves, what is also totally unlike Sonal is the social media presence.
The actress has a very limited digital presence, which she acknowledges, and hopes to remedy soon. “I may not be like Puppy Sukanya overnight, but I am trying to be more active on social media,” Sonal says and adds, “I have been blessed with so much work that whatever little free time I have, I rush home to spend with my family. But then in the next few weeks people will see a lot of me because I have three releases in quick succession. There’s Garadi that’s out tomorrow, followed by Sugar Factory on November 24 and then, Mr Natwarlal in early December. After that, there’s Maadeva with Vinod Prabhakar, which is in post-production, but I am not sure when it will be in theatres.”
Sonal was last seen in the Jayathirtha directed sci-fi romance Banaras, which, unfortunately, did not set the box office register ringing. “Banaras was a content-based cinema, which did not appeal to audiences here who prefer mass masalas. It was like an Ayushmann Khurrana script – if it works it is a superhit, else it’s a massive flop. People here did not accept Banaras. I think it will have a wider reach when it comes on OTT, which, I hear, will happen in December,” she says. Garadi comes to theatres a year after Banaras and was not even meant to be Sonal’s film initially.
“Rachita Ram was onboard initially, but she had to excuse herself and then Yogaraj sir thought that I could pull it off. I wasn’t convinced and told him as much. I really didn’t think I could do justice to the role and didn’t want to spoil the film or have people say that I have not done a decent job. Yogaraj was gung-ho, though and utterly convinced that I would be just right for the role and that’s when I decided to give it a shot. I am eagerly waiting to see what people think of the film and my role when it releases tomorrow. That will be my win or loss moment,” Sonal says.
Right now, though, Garadi is being talked about as this film that Darshan orchestrated for leading man Yashas Soorya to give his career a boost. In fact, the Challenging Star even has a cameo in the film. Is she not concerned about this one-sided narrative about the film? “I understand that people are talking about Garadi because of Darshan sir’s association with it. But that doesn’t mean that we have been ignored. As artistes, Sujay (Belur) and I, for instance, have our fair share of screen space and have done our job of promoting the film as well. Yes, the film has always been marketed as one that was given to Yashas because of Darshan sir; that’s the truth. But everyone on the cast has roles of importance and screen space,” she says.