EXCLUSIVE: I’m A Cinemaniac: Bhinna Director Adarsh Eshwarappa Describes Himself In 1 Word

Here’s Part 3 of the EXCLUSIVE interview with Adarsh Eshwarappa, the maker of the ZEE5 Originals Bhinna, the first-ever Kannada direct-to-web film!

Parinika Uchil

October 12, 2019

Original Series

8 min


After my third watch of the ZEE5 Original Kannada Bhinna, I started to understand that the director, writer and editor, Adarsh Eshwarappa has a knack, nailing a ‘women-oriented’ story, to the bone. He has done this with not only his debut Shuddhi (2017), but also his second film Bhinna, and praises are pouring out from everywhere.

Why Bhinna is better because it is the first-ever Kannada film to get a direct release on an OTT platform and namma ZEE5 at that! Apart from this, the filmmaker has also ensured not to throw the emotion of women-empowerment on your face, which is what many films lack these days. The story revolves around Kaveri, an actor, whose next film involves method acting on a more deeper level.

To understand her role in this film, Kaveri takes a solo-road trip to a cabin in the woods and begins reading the script. However, she soon realises that the other characters in the script are people from her real life. While she struggles to understand what extent of it is a reality, the film gives us a very good message in the end.

There is also a backstory of how Kaveri, her husband Sathish and their friends, also a married couple, Mohan and Vimala, end up getting involved with each other’s spouses and have an affair. To get a better understanding of how the director, Adarsh, came up with this exquisite concept, I got the opportunity to get an EXCLUSIVE interview with him. While the first two parts are available for you to read, find below, the final excerpts from this interview.

Q. What would a fresh talent like you give, as advice, to other budding directors in the industry?
A. I keep telling it everywhere, watch a lot of world cinema, as simple as that. Watch a looot of world cinema because we are in our own shell and we just watch the films that are released here in South India or India, but there is a lot of great content and you also have such easy access to anything around anywhere in the world now, thanks to OTT platforms.

You can watch anything you want from any country and I think that’s where you have to start as a filmmaker, that’s how I started, I spent at least three-four years watching thousands of films online (chuckles). So, whatever learning happened, happened because of the films I watched and that’s what I tell every aspiring filmmaker to please watch a lot of really good films.

And have patience till things work out because things will not work out overnight, we have to just, you know, grind out way through and take it to the breakthrough.

Q. Any upcoming projects that you have going on, apart from concentrating on Bhinna’s release at the moment?
A. Absolutely! I already have an idea in mind of what I am doing next. But, this will slightly be on a larger scale for sure. It will something that is definitely rare for the Indian Cinema I would say, the thing I am trying to do. You will not see that many films of that kind of content that I have in mind right now (laughs). I mean the style and all that.

I have it in mind, I know exactly what I am doing, but it’s just that I have to like finish all the programs that have arranged for Bhinna and it’s release. Then I will sit on it as I am a slow writer and take at least 8-10 months to finish my script. So one film is definitely on my mind which I want to make and it will be next film I take up.

Q. How and when did you get the idea for Bhinna?
A. The idea for Bhinna, well let me retrace. There is a short film, it’s called ‘A Film by Vera Vaughn’ (2015), which was on Vimeo. I was just in the process of finding the story for my next film after Shuddhi when I stumbled upon that short film. So, it’s just the mood of the film you know that actually gave me the motivation to think on these lines.

Then, of course, Puttanna Kanagal’s film ‘Sharapanjara’, which is a cult film from the ’70s, it has a character called Kaveri, who was my other big inspiration. So these two things were my inspiration behind this film Bhinna.

Q. Do unconventional topics call out to you? If so why?
A. More than unconventional, I remember this saying by Christopher Nolan when he said, “You have to make movies that complement the intelligence of the audience.” What this means is that you cannot dumb down the audience, saying that ‘no they will not understand this, so let’s make it simple‘ kind of a thing. That’s not my attitude when I am making a film, so for me, more than the unconventional-conventional thing, it is more about making films that can be simple as well but tell the story in a way that you respect your audience.

You should trust that they are clever and they will decode whatever you have or are trying to say through the film. So that’s my approach. That way even Shuddhi was a very simple story, even Bhinna is a simple story but the way it has been told, that is the respect I have towards my audience.

Q. If you have to describe yourself in a few words, what words would you choose and why?
A. I think there is one word, that is in my Insta bio as well (chuckles), is something that Steven Spielberg had said when he got the American Lifetime Achievement Award. He says, “I am a Cinemaniac.” So that’s exactly what I would say about me. Just one word; Cinemaniac (laughs).

Give this amazing director a thumbs up if you are a fan, in the comments box given below.

Watch the ZEE5 Original Series Kaafir, available now in Kannada.

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