Finding the ‘Deva’ within

Vinaya Patil
Wednesday, 20 December 2017

It’s not only the character Deva’s story but it is the quest of finding a Deva — the good - among each of us,” explains Ankush. It is a commercial yet a heart-touching movie, he says, adding, “It’s the perfect start for 2018

Actors Ankush Chaudhari and Tejaswini Pandit talk about their forthcoming Marathi release and their criteria for choosing a role

A colourful, musical, curiosity-inducing movie,” says Ankush Chaudhari of his upcoming movie, Deva. The actor visited Sakal Times office, along with co-actor Tejaswini Pandit, director Murli Nalappa and music director Amitraj, to promote the movie.

Deva is the journey of author Maya Deshmukh (played by Tejaswini), a new age writer, who escapes to the Konkan region to write her next novel, and finds herself being drawn to the colourful story of Deva (Ankush). As she sets out to explore his story, her initial intrigue soon turns into an obsession. “It’s not only the character Deva’s story but it is the quest of finding a Deva — the good - among each of us,” explains Ankush. It is a commercial yet a heart-touching movie, he says, adding, “It’s the perfect start for 2018.”

Speaking of her character, Tejaswini says that Maya is the closest she has gotten to play herself. “Maya and I share similar traits, so the challenge was to portray Maya and not Tejaswini. Before this, none of my characters has been like me,” she says.

On being asked what her criterion for choosing a role is, Tejaswini says, “One, the story shouldn’t move ahead without my character and two, the subject and makers must be strong.”

While everyone wants to do a good big movie, the box office game is quite different, she admits. “Trends keep changing every few days and you got to evolve with them, walk with the times. I do the same. I choose my work depending on my interests and the times,” she adds.

Given his non-Maharashtrian background, we ask the director why he chose to direct a Marathi movie, and his quick reply is, “There is so much scope for experimenting in Marathi cinema. Actors are open to try new things and the audience too is receptive.”

Talking about the experiences during shooting, Ankush says that most of the movie’s shooting happened in the Konkan region of Maharashtra. “Konkan is one place that gives you a new experience every time you visit it,” he says, to which Tejaswini adds, “The time when we shot — November — was one of the best times to be there. The post-monsoon Konkan is a sight to behold. Also, our makers were so passionate, they ensured we got the best possible shots there, despite some major rescheduling.”

Coming to the music of the movie, Amitraj tells us that Deva has four full-fledged songs apart from the background score. “Deva is the kind of movie, every music director needs to do at least once. I got to experiment so much. Also, it was a dream come true for me as Ajay Gogavle (of Ajay-Atul fame) sang for me. He loved the composition. Apart from him, Sonu Nigam and Shreya Ghoshal too have sung,” he elaborates.

Speaking of the future of Marathi cinema, Ankush says that there is no dearth of content here. “Our audience is intelligent and expects good content. We must continue to give them that,” he concludes.

Deva, which also stars actor Spruha Joshi, releases on Dec 22.

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