Sri Murali is a happy man. The actor with hits such as Ugramm, Rathavara and Mufti, started with a bang in Chandra Chakori. He then had a series of flops till Ugramm, directed by Prashanth Neel, happened. The film was a blockbuster and was followed by hits such as Rathavara and Mufti.
Now, he is waiting for the release of his next film, Bharaate. The film, directed by Chetan Kumar (Bharjari fame) is in post-production and Murali is excited. He talks about films, box office, and destiny.
What does Bharaate mean?
The word is used to describe noise or a loud sound. A boom, which can come from a bomb or anything powerful. It could be a noise from films, songs, and so on.
Is it true that you will be taking on nine villains in the film’s climax?
(Laughs) It is not about nine villains. It is about how these nine characters happen to face me or vice versa and what happens. It is part of the script and should not be the only focus.
Is there a special memory you take back from Bharaate?
Working with great actors such as Sai Kumar, Ravi Shankar, Aiyappa. All three of them come together in this film. That is special not just for me, but for the entire team. Also, those nine performers are deadly in their acting and very talented. I don’t like to categorise ourselves as ‘heroes’ or ‘villains’ — we are all characters in a story that plays out on the screen. In fact, I had to match up to their intensity. And nine powerful people also means that there will be a good number of fights too (laughs). I had use all my muscle power.
Tell us a bit about your character.
He is just a boy next door, who is loved by his large family — it has almost 100 members! The story also has a Rajasthan connect. To sum it up, I would say it questions if the just or the unjust wins.
You are called the ‘angry young man’ of our films…
In reality, I am soft-spoken. But, on screen, I have to believe in the character I play. I take it as a compliment as Big B was also called that (laughs) and I feel blessed in this regard.
What are your upcoming projects?
I will next be working with director Mahesh (of Ayogya fame) and producer Umapathy.
As the son of a producer and nephew of Dr Rajkumar, what do you think of the evolution of Kannada cinema?
We have watched the industry as children and been a part of it as actors and producers. I feel that every five to seven years, there is a visible change. People may not like to watch today’s films 10 years down the line. There will always be good and bad films. In the past, we had great films such as Babruvahana and Mayura, and today we have great films like KGF and Ugramm. Cinema and creativity is a never-ending process of learning. The more curious a scriptwriter, director or an actor is, the more new theories we get to explore. So, I would say don’t ever stop learning.
How did you take it when people called Ugram your comeback film?
My first film ran successfully for two years and Kanti got me the Best Actor award. And then, 14 consecutive films flopped. After that there was a series of hits with Ugram, Rathavara and Mufti. Bharaate is the next and one hopes the film clicks with the audience. We have all put in a lot of effort. Ugram brought me back, so it is okay if it is called my comeback film, because it did bring me back!
Does this kind of response affect you in any way?
One has to be practical. You can’t let success or failure affect you. But, it always feels good to have hits.
I feel every human is created with a purpose and we need to live out our destiny, whether it is good or bad.