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Vijay: ‘Taledanda’ is close to my heart’

Award-winning actor Sanchari Vijay says he tries to choose films that tell a powerful story

Sanchari Vijay blends in effortlessly into every character he portrays on screen to the extent that he is unrecognisable in character. That, says the National Award-winning with a laugh is a good thing as it proves that it is the character that you see and not him. “During the shoot of Taledanda, people ignored me on set when I had my make up on.”

From Naanu Avvanalla Avalu and Nathicharami to Killing Veerappan and Gentleman, Vijay does not follow a set pattern in his choice of role or characterisation. Vijay is all praise for Taledanda, which is almost set for a release. He plays the protagonist, a man with special needs. “This film is as close to my heart as Naanu Avanalla Avalu. The story depicts what is happening not just in our State but the entire world.”

Vijay: ‘Taledanda’ is close to my heart’

Taledanda, which means beheading, is set in Chamarajnagar’s Hadialli village. The story captures the lives, rituals and beliefs of the Soligas tribe. “The dialect is unique. Bangaloreans will not understand the Kannada,” laughs Vijay.

In Taledanda, produced by Kripanidhi Kreations and directed by Praveen Krupakar, Vijay, plays Kunnegowda (Kunna), a boy obsessed with trees and plants. “The film captures his fight against the cutting of trees and the forces he encounters in his pursuit to save them. The film has a universal message as it talks about the present day scenario, environmental degradation, global warming, and conserving nature.”

Vijay shares the screen with Mangala, Suresh, Mandya Ramesh, Ramesh Pandit, Natana Prashant and Chaitra and the cinematography is by Ashok Kashyap.

“This film captures the horrors of what is happening and what will happen if we do not act now. I am confident that it will speak powerfully as the director has done a brilliant job. Even before I worked on the characterisation, I fell in love with the storyof Taledanda. I could relate to it as I love nature. I grew up in villages, climbing trees and jumping into lakes. The film talks about landslides, floods, heavy rains and more — all the result of indiscrimnate felling of trees.

As part of his research, Vijay visited a few schools for children with special needs. “I would sit and observe their mannerisms and behaviour. I was also helped by trainers and family. The boy is looked down upon, but he fights deforestation by planting medicinal plants and trees everywhere he goes.”

About choosing his roles, Vijay says he believes in reaching a larger audience. “Every story should to leave an impact on the audience. Now, people have also started approaching me with roles they believe I can portray.”

The end result however, Vijay says is in the viewers’ hand. “Not every film or character is powerful. There are roles, big and small, which you put your heart and soul into, but they do not fare well at all and the opposite is also true. Sometimes the story is powerful, but the execution bad. One can never pin point and say that this will work or this will not.”

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