Actor-filmmaker Rakshit Shetty’s understanding of the Puranas and the importance of writing rooted cinema are among some of the learnings
Rakshit Shetty has often spoken about still being a student of cinema and how he watches a lot of movies by filmmakers across the world. His inspirations, though, are not only big names from international cinema. In fact, Rakshit says that there are several in the Kannada film industry who have had a direct impact on his work as a writer and filmmaker.
Asked about the Kannada films that have influenced his process, Rakshit said that it is people that have helped him along the way, starting with the late matinee idol, Dr Rajkumar. Annavru, says Rakshit, was a part of several mythological films that he grew up watching over the years. These films, gave the actor-filmmaker a basic understanding of the stories in the puranas, and helped him perceive them better as he got older and read more about them.
The late actor-filmmaker Shankar Nag was also a major influence. The fact that Shankar managed to act in 40-odd films, direct 10-15 films and the entire Malgudi Days show, all in a span of 11 years is a feat that Rakshit finds absolutely amazing, especially since all this creativity came at a time when besides the theatrical business, the only satellite revenue was Doordarshan. Rakshit also says that his biggest learning from the Malgudi Days is the importance of writing rooted stories. Even in a commercial film that has universal appeal, Rakshit makes sure to write a few scenes that are rooted to that place.
Last, but definitely not the least on Rakshit’s list of ‘influencers’ is Anant Nag, with whom the former has collaborated on multiple occasions. The veteran actor’s Ganesha series – Ganeshana Maduve, Gowri Ganesha , Ganesha Subramanya, Ganesha I Love You and Ganesha Matthe Bandha – as well as some of his others films, had a special way of presenting comedy. Even though these films were made decades ago, they remain relevant and relatable because of the content of the comedy. This, says Rakshit, is something he tries to emulate in his writing, as in, when there is humour, he attempts to present it in a way that it will seem funny even 10 years from now.