The dream merchant of Kannada cinema, V.Ravichandran is compared to what Rajkapoor was to the Hindi cinema. The technical excellence, high degree of quality, precise approach, apt selections of subjects whether it is straight or remakes and always vouching for a pleasant atmosphere in films - Ravichandran has been in the industry for 20 years with many firsts to his credit.
He also heads the prestigious empire of his father late N.Veeraswamy ‘Ishwari Pictures’ that is three decades old. He is this year’s box office `Badshah’ with three films –Malla, Ramakrishna and Sahukara having done well at the box office.
A tête-à-tête with this stylish film maker
Are you a happy man?
I have dedicated my life to cinema for the last 20 years as I have gained and lost money from it. I am still searching for the success formula and would continue to be in the industry as long as I last.
But Malla is a big hit?
Yes, it has made a few Crores. But in films you cannot predict a hit or flop and has to take everything in its own stride. But after the success of Malla I am trying to be cautious and take the right steps in future.
What are your next projects?
Right now I am all set to launch my brother Eshwar and Archana Chabria with Aham Premasmi. I am also playing an important role in this film and is doing Pandu Ranga Vittala and Adisesha.
The year has been good for you. Please comment?
Malla is a super hit, while Ramakrishna is above average and now Sahukara is turning out to be a blockbuster. I feel very contended.
How was it working with Vishnuvardhana in Sahukara?
Vishnuvardhana is like an elder brother to me. My father always used to say Vishnu is like his first son. This is because he was very close to our family right from the Nagarahavu days. The first film of Vishnuvardhana as an angry young man directed by ace director Puttanna Kanagal is a mega hit movie for us.
From that day Ishwari Pictures is lucky whenever we call him. Vishnuji played a guest role in Prema Loka, then in Yaare Neenu Cheluve and given background commentary for the beginning of my film Malla. Now he has played an important role in Sahukara. It is a pleasure to work with Vishnuvardhana.
What is your opinion on the ongoing tussle?
I feel that this policy is good for Kannada films. If we go on allowing non-Kannada films to flourish we will be wiped out. For us, Karnataka is the only market. For non Kannada films Karnataka market is like a bonus.
But exhibitors are unhappy?
I give scant respect to them as they are the ones who are killing the Kannada films. There are plenty of genuine charges against them. They do not function like a part of the film industry. What they want is collection. They do not promote the film. They do not even give share of the film properly. They mint money in the name of Kannada showing other languages films.
According to one estimate all the cinema halls are functioning well and the Karnataka government should get a tax collection of Rs.200 crores. But actually 20 percent is not coming to the government kitty.
What is the solution?
They should abide by certain rules. The high power committee that is formed would give solution to it. I am also in the committee of government appointments. Look at Satyam theatre in Chennai, people wait for weeks to see the film in that theatre. That theatre management gives that wonderful feel to the audience.
In Bangalore except the theatres `Santosh`, `Prasanna` and `Pramod` majority of the exhibitors showing Kannada films don’t care about Kannada films.
Coming back to your profession – you are more a technical expert than an actor?
I agree to this point. I am not a good actor like Dr.Rajkumar or Vishnuvardhana. The technical excellence I have been concentrating from early 80’s is what is important today.
Director like Ramgopal Varma speak about my Prema Loka of 1987 even today and appreciate the technical excellence. Ekangi done two years back is popular with all the assistant directors in Telugu and Tamil filmdom.