Indian actor Kichcha Sudeepa sets his sights on Burj Khalifa
Kannada superstar brings his magnum opus Vikrant Rona to Dubai
For Kannada superstar Kichcha Sudeepa if there is one seminal lesson 25 years in the Indian film industry has ingrained in him it is this: “If you want to do something, do it right.” It is this simple philosophy that has brought him to the UAE, to launch the logo and a short trailer of his ambitious forthcoming action-adventure film Vikrant Rona on Burj Khalifa.
Watch: Kichcha Sudeepa on Vikrant Rona
The Kannada actor, familiar to Indian audiences with appearances in Baahubali and Dabangg 3 among others, says he is privileged to showcase a glimpse of his magnum opus to his UAE fans. ”I’m the only one who has been in the industry for 25 years; my whole team is full of newcomers who are overwhelmed with all that’s happening. I should really appreciate my team, producer Manju, and everybody who has gone to this extent to make this possible,” says the actor when City Times caught up with him on Friday. Excerpts from our conversation with the actor:
How do you feel about bringing the first look of Vikrant Rona to Dubai during a pandemic?
We were the first film to go on the floor when the whole world was shut. We were not aware of anything called a bubble then. We did one and a half months of homework as to how the shoot will operate and how people should be hired to take precautions.
It was very scary then but I took the decision that we will go ahead because our sets were erected.
Back then we had zero clarity on the repercussions of Covid. We used to see some fake videos and people falling on the streets and stuff. So this journey (coming to Dubai) has been very easy.
We have travelled a long way and amidst Covid we have completed the shoot with almost 300-400 crewmembers every day. So we battled it out. We just need to realise that till we face it, we can’t fight it.
With the OTT platforms thriving in 2020 during the onset of Covid, there is general perception that the age of blockbuster movies are over; what are your thoughts on this?
Cinema everyday has the making of our hopes; every day there is the possibility that things may go wrong. Nothing has been definite to this profession ever. Everybody wakes up with certain uncertainties because the entertainment world is like that. We just survive; we wait, we hope, we fight.
Yeah, there are different questions that arise everyday.But nothing has stopped us from entertaining and nothing ever will. We will come out of this.
OTT has been happening but theatres are theatres. We worship theatres. It is like a temple to us. We love to see people who want to narrate a story in the dark.
OTT is beautiful, but it can never replace a theatre feel… I’m not speaking as a viewer but as a maker. Everyone wants to see a story. When films fall into the OTT department, everything is at your disposal. You can pause it whenever you want, and you can watch it a week later. That’s not how a story teller wants to tell a story. When you are on stage, imagine you start talking and someone says, ‘Just hang on, I just need to go to the loo.’ You are put on pause, and you don’t even know if that person is coming back today or tomorrow. And you need to continue once he does.
What Covid did is not a threat. It definitely opened up the eyes of many. We all have our new lessons every day and Covid has taught us a lot. People need to get smarter in the entertainment field and we will come out well.
You are celebrating 25 years of your career as well in Dubai. To what do you attribute your success?
I have never looked into this department in 25 years. The fact that people still like to watch me on the screens only makes me wake up and tell myself, ‘Yes man, I have a little more work today.’
Maybe when I started I was unsure of one hit, then I went on to give several more. Now every year it is like, ‘what is it that I’m going to tell this year’. I guess this goes on.
I wouldn’t say this is a celebration of 25 successful years; I would say it is a celebration of survival!
Entertainment field today is very difficult; there are new faces, new talents from across states, bombarding each television screen ... It is not even that a language is there and you are the king of it, anybody comes in, anybody entertains. People need value for their money. It is not like the loyalty goes on for years.
I’m grateful that people have supported me and people have loved me for so long.
I have never tried to analyse this situation as to why they love me so much. They do and I will keep doing my work as best as I can.
What can audiences expect from Vikrant Rona?
Visually it is something new to Indian cinema. It was very easy for us to sit in one corner of the room and visualise and dream and pin down an idea on a piece of paper. But to get it to life required a lot of research and technicalities and conceiving it on celluloid is another achievement. The team has done a wonderful job as far as the visuals are concerned. And the content per se is beautiful.
Just because you asked me this question I’m going to name a few films but that does not mean we fall into the story line of these movies. You can see a Jumanji here. You can probably have an Indian Jones in it; this movie is like a Once Upon a Time...
This is an adventure thriller; Vikrant Rona the way we have cracked it, the world gets a new hero. So we have conceived it as an adventure with lots of emotions. It’s not like it is just a visual treat and content is neglected.
How did you conceive of the logo launch at Burj Khalifa?
If at all we are trying to do something big, let’s hit the biggest, na? And there is nothing taller than Burj Khalifa. The only challenge here is that we always shoot a film horizontally. It is a difficult thing for us to even get it on a mobile phone vertically. To get our film into Insta stories vertically is difficult because it chops off the maximum portion of the screen.
Now your Burj Khalifa is half your mobile phone and to get something into that was hard! Making Vikrant Rona was not difficult!
Imagine I’m trying to tell a story on a mobile phone vertically which I have shot on 70mm; it is a difficult task. I have to centre it on Burj Khalifa. This is a beautiful challenge we accepted.
Let’s do something nobody has done. So if you are trying to reach out to the world, the world has to see from the right place and what better building than the Burj Khalifa!
Covid has brought out the best in everybody, especially how to reach out with minimal facilities. If you want to do something, do it right, this is what it is now.
What message would you like to give out to your fans out here?
Enjoy your day when you have it!
Catch the logo launch of Kichcha Sudeepa’s Vikrant Rona on the Burj Khalifa from 8:15pm on January 31. It will also be streamed on YouTube channel, Kichcha Creations.