Anushka Shetty is a visionary actor: Bhaagamathie director Ashok on his film's leading lady

Surendhar MK

Nov 08, 2017 08:41:10 IST

The first look poster of Anushka Shetty's highly-anticipated film Bhaagamathie was unveiled on 6 November 2017, on the eve of her 36th birthday. The poster — featuring an intense-looking, badly-bruised Anushka (her left hand is nailed to a wall; in her right, she holds a hammer) — seemed to have piqued the curiosity of viewers.

"The shooting of Bhaagamathie was wrapped up in July, and the post-production is on in full swing since the film has a lot of visual effects. It's a contemporary thriller, and we are planning for a late December or early January release," said the film's director Ashok, in an exclusive chat with Firstpost.

Earlier, there were reports that the film is based on the story of Bhagmati, a famous Hindu queen and the wife of Muslim sultan Muhammad Quli Qutb Shah. "It's neither a biopic or nor a period drama with fantasy elements. It's a thriller, though I wouldn't confine it to just one genre. There are a lot of other exciting factors too in the screenplay. We will reveal more information in the teaser," said Ashok, quashing the reports as baseless rumours, without divulging any further details about the film.

Anushka Shetty is a visionary actor: Bhaagamathie director Ashok on his films leading lady

Anushka Shetty in the first look poster for Bhaagamathie

The movie has been made as a multilingual in Tamil, Telugu, and Malayalam by UV Creations. In Tamil Nadu, KE Gnanavel Raja of Studio Green will release the film. Sources say the team is in talks with Global United Media, who released the Baahubali series, for the Malayalam version.

Ashok had narrated the script of Bhaagamathie in 2012 to Anushka Shetty. Calling the five-year-long journey with the Baahubali actress emotional and memorable, Ashok recalled, "I had narrated Bhaagamathie's story before she started Baahubali. Then, she had to work on consecutive high-profile projects such as Baahubali: The Beginning, Lingaa, and Baahubali: The Conclusion. So I had to wait. But Anushka encouraged me and pushed me to refine the story. Later, she had to shoot for Size Zero, for which she gained a lot of weight. We sat tight for a few months for her to get back in shape. She underwent a rigorous diet, and exhausting workouts to drop nearly 20 kg for this role."

Ashok said Bhaagamathie would be a performance-oriented film for Anushka, adding that she plays a gutsy role. He also denied rumours that Anushka is playing a dual role in the movie.

Praising Anushka's work ethic, Ashok said, "I have never seen anyone as dedicated as her. Although she has a great deal of experience and is a seasoned artist, she would always be keen to learn new things. She's a wonderful human being, always punctual to the sets and very hard-working. Every time I give her a scene, she would visualise it, improvise and then finally deliver it without any hurry. She would always go back and forth for a sequence and would curiously ask for a lot of details before enacting it. She would always be very attentive about the graph of her character."

Ashok said he realised after interacting with Anushka through the course of this project that she is very choosy about her roles. "She signs a film only if she finds the story sensible. She is a thorough professional and a visionary actor."

DOP Madhie, known for his excellent cinematography in the submarine thriller The Ghazi Attack, has worked the camera for the film. "Madhie is one of the biggest strengths of the film. He has experimented a lot and put in great effort to set the tone and lighting of the movie correct,"said Ashok.

Composer SS Thaman is currently busy with the re-recording work of the film, which features Unni Mukundan, Jayaram, Aadi Pinisetty and Asha Shareth in pivotal roles.

Updated Date: Nov 08, 2017 12:40:01 IST