Rajesh learns Kathakali to play Unnayi Warrier

The television star hopes to make an impact in moviedom with this challenging role
Rajesh K. Hebbar, who made a name for himself on the mini screen, is excited about his big screen venture, Priyamanasam, that is expected to hit the screens by November. The actor, who bid adieu to TV so that he can concentrate on movies, will play Unnayi Warrier, the author of Nalacharitam attakadha, in the Sanskrit movie. It will be the first Sanskrit movie to be made in India after 22 years. The earlier ones, Adi Sankaracharya(1993) and Bhagawad Gita(1993), were made by the legendary director G.V. Iyer.
The movie, directed by Vinod Mankara, intends to visualise the agonies and ecstasies the writer may have undergone while penning the great epic. The movie will speak ‘the God’s language’ from the beginning to end, aiming at a revival of what is thought to be a ‘dead language’.
The actor, who has been looking for challenging and unique roles, had previously worked with the director for a short film titled Sandhyam. It was during those days that Vinod came up with the idea of directing a Sanskrit movie, and asked if Rajesh would like to do the role of Unnayi Warrier. Rajesh did not think twice before accepting the project.
But one problem was that there are virtually no historical evidences on Unnayi Warrier. Apart from the original Nalacharitam text written on palm leaves, there is hardly anything left that throws light on his life. Vinod pored over the 11 manuscripts sentence by sentence, word by word before arriving at a conclusion about the author.
Rajesh, who is a renowned dancer, trained in Kathakali under Kalamandalam Narayanan Kutty for his role. He learnt the portion he had to perform in the movie and did its arangetram before the shoot. The actors were trained in Sanskrit by Vijayan, a Sanskrit teacher from Thrissur.
Kannada actress and Kuchipidi dancer Pratheeksha Kashi plays the female lead. Noted Bharatanatyam dancer Meera Sreenarayanan, Devan, Rachana Narayanankutty and Kochupreman also appear in key roles.
“It is my dream come true,” says Rajesh. “The cast and crew worked together single mindedly. The film will be a true audio-visual treat to the film buffs.’’ “The movie comes at a time when the government, too, is trying to restore the glory of Sanskrit. The movie is subtitled in English, Malayalam, Hindi, French, Spanish and German. We are planning to release the movie all over the world,’’ adds Rajesh.
( Source : deccan chronicle )
Next Story