Mumbai, Oct 31 (IANS) Director Karthik Saragur has shared some insights on how he arrived at the title of his new Kannada film, Bheemasena Nalamaharaja.
“‘Bheemasena Nalamaharaja’ is a beautiful analogy of love, mythology and food. I come from a family of cooks and hoteliers. Even today, whenever there are huge functions like marriage or thread ceremony, in my family it is the men who cook the traditional meal. Recipes have been passed on from centuries and generations. I have grown up in that environment and in the beginning of my filmmaker journey I used to work at a restaurant for almost two years,” Saragur recalled.
The film is said to be based on six rasas — sweet, sour, salty, bitter, pungent and astringent — and six characters represent these rasas.
The director added: “Cooking has a lot of activity involved — scraping, chopping, washing, frying. I wanted the characters to be cooked in a way so that the real flavour of the story can come out. In this film, I wanted the characters to retain their originality but at the same time blend well with the others, just like ingredients do in a dish.”
The film stars Aravinnd Iyer, Aarohi Narayan, Priyanka, Aadya and Achyut Kumar in pivotal roles.
“For me, it comes from history. In one of Dr. Rajakumar’s movies, the protagonist’s wife suffers from a terminal illness and he volunteers to go and cook. His wife is taken abacki. The protagonist puts out the argument that both Bheema and Nala were men and great cooks too,” he said.
He added: “That was a frame of reference for me and most Kannadigas know about this anecdote. When you come to Bheema and Nala’s life, Bheema, during the period of his exile (agyatvas), served as a cook, while Nala happens to be the first food scientist in India.”
Another subtext that was important is the fact that among the five husbands of Draupati, Bheema was the only one who would to any extent to make her happy, he claimed.