The producers of Maasti Gudi spent a whopping Rs 1.2 crore on the climax scene of the film during the shooting of which two budding Kannada actors lost their lives in a tragic incident while performing a stunt.
The Times of Indiareports that the climax included the use of a chopper from which the two actors, along with the lead actor Duniya Vijay, jumped into the Tippagondanahalli lake. It comes as a shock that the producers could not even afford life jackets for the two deceased actors.
According to the same report, a life jacket would have cost them a meager amount of Rs 500 to Rs 1500 but sheer negligence on part of the makers and the stunt director Ravi Verma cost the two actors Anil and Raghav Uday their lives.
It was reported that the two actors admitted to being scared before the jump. They confessed that they were not good swimmers and were informed about the stunt at a short notice.
However, the film industry have questioned whether such a stunt was even necessary. Not only the South Indian cinema industry but even Bollywood celebrities lashed out at the filmmakers for their negligence.
Veteran actor Rishi Kapoor pointed out that with the advanced technology of VFX at the disposal of the filmmakers, such stunts are not even required to be carried out and that such stunts only put the lives of the stuntmen and actors at risk.
RIP.Two stuntmen drown whilst filming a stunt from a chopper in a Kannada film. When VFX facilities available,then why endanger human lives? pic.twitter.com/HvPjlrLr8f
— Rishi Kapoor (@chintskap) November 7, 2016
Down south, senior Kannada actor Jaggesh strongly condemned Verma for his “stupidity.”
“I will be appealing officially to Karnataka film chamber of commerce and producers association to ban stunt director Ravi Verma from the industry for his negligence and unprofessional working pattern. I hope this will save many more from the industry and also bring professional discipline to other technicians in creative area,” said Jaggesh, according to a report by The Indian Express.
During the shooting of the climax of the film, Vijay, Raghav and Anil jumped into the Tippagondanahalli lake on Magadi Road, 35 km west of Bengaluru. Since Vijay was provided with a safety harness, he managed to swim his way to the shore. However, owing to lack of safety standards being met, Anil and Raghav drowned.
Ravi Verma has been booked by the police along with Mastigudi director Nagashekar and producer Sundar Gowda for culpable homicide under Section 304 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC), which carries the punishment up to 10 years in jail, if found guilty.
While this incident has put safety concerns on set on the radar, it is appalling that the filmmakers are willing to shell crores of rupees on getting that shot right but are negligent enough to ensure safety of their actors and stuntmen.