Jayathirtha Jayanna talks to OTTplay about the 'action' treatment he chose for his latest venture 'Kaiva', which is out in theatres on December 8th
For Jayathirtha Jayanna, the story or the 'soul' of 'Kaiva' fell into his lap because of a serendipitous meeting. The filmmaker recently revealed that during the making of 'Bell Bottom', the crime-comedy caper starring Rishab Shetty, he was required to collect maggots from the mortuary of a well-known medical college in Bengaluru. There, he would be drawn to a person performing the post-mortem procedure in an utterly pragmatic and unsentimental manner and the task of picking up maggots for the shoot would soon make way for an engaging conversation.
Upon enquiry, the said person would recount a "brutal murder" that occurred way back in 1983 and also narrate a love story that was behind the crime - as much as the incident enticed Jayathirtha, it was the love story that captured his imagination and thus began his foray into 'Kaiva'.
"The intensity or the fervour with which the 'lovers' fought for their love is what attracted me. And also the fact that despite all those extreme hardships they faced about 40 years ago, they are still together. There is something about the commitment between those two individuals - we see today that relationships or marriages are broken off for frivolous reasons. Sometimes, the reasons for divorce are as silly as snoring or body odour, or even someone not being properly responsive in a relationship. But in the case of the story we follow in 'Kaiva', the commitment to be together regardless of all the strife and struggles caught my attention," says Jayathirtha.
Set in 1983, 'Kaiva' is centred around the romance between a Hindu boy and a Muslim girl and the film also brings Bengaluru's famed Karaga festival to the fore. Alongside, Jayathirtha Jayanna has used several of the real incidents that occurred during the '80s to build his narrative, meaning that one will get to see several prominent figures, especially from the underbelly of the city, (with names changed) in the film. What's striking though is the strong dose of action, which isn't necessarily a usual facet of Jayathirtha's work, but the filmmaker believes that the slightly "massy" tone works best for what he is set out to say.
"I wrote about 7-8 drafts of the script but the final version seemed more vibrant than the rest. Since the film is based on many real-life events, my research revealed that the world this story belongs to comprises a lot of intensity and friction among people. So, a "soft" treatment did not work for me and neither did I believe that it would satisfy the viewer. More than "mass", I would like to say that there's palpable brutality in the film - that said, you will find my aesthetic sense, the detailing, the way I would normally explore a particular culture and all other aspects of my craft will be visible in 'Kaiva'," he adds.
'Kaiva' stars Dhanveerah in the titular role with Megha Shetty playing the female lead. The film's cast also includes Dinakar Thoogudeepa, Jayaram Karthik, Ramesh Indira, BM Giriraj, Raghu Shivamogga and others - the film is out in theatres on December 8th.