Meet Bhavana super actor from the Southern film industry. She was in Delhi for the screening of her movie 'Bhageerathi' at the 7th Habitat Film Festival 2012, which is showcasing the best of Indian Cinema - 2011-2012, as well as a 'retro' on the films of Waheeda Rehman.
Looking lovely and radiant as the pics above would bear testimony, she sat through the entire screening of the movie. Present with her on the occasion was the film's Director Baraguru Ramchandrappa who also spoke out his mind prior to the screening of the film.
Bhavana in an exclusive chat with me revealed that she had acted in nearly 33 films so far, and the present film was a personal favorite with her.She has also acted in a Hindi film called 'Family'. What struck me about Bhavana, apart from her hazel limpid doe eyes, was her friendly and frank nature. She has no airs about her that she's a Super Star in her own right.
The present film Bhageerathi had been entered in the International Film Festival of India at Goa in 2011 and was also nominated for an award. Bhavana has acted in a lot of films which are more aptly referred to as 'commercial cinema' and they have done well at the box office.
The film 'Bhageerathi' is a simple yet sweet love story of a soldier chieftain falling in love with a girl of rustic charms when he visits his native village,on a break from his duties of protecting the King's kingdom. Bhageerathi played by Bhavana is the chief protagnist of the movie. She has this desire of a water tank being built in the village for the welfare of the people. Her wish is echoed by her lover to his father as well as the King, who grants permission for the water tank to be constructed.
The two fall in love during the construction of the water tank, and as the tank reaches its final stages, both decide to get married, after a lot of reluctance and finally, persuasion on part of both their families.
The film witnesses lovely and poignant scenes as the King decides to grace the marriage ceremony and gets a first hand account of how His people are spending their lives.
Now comes the 'twist in the tale'. The water tank is not filling up, and the village priest comes up with the bizarre solution that if a human sacrifice - one of the daughter in laws of the house - is offered to appease the Gods, the water in the tank will surely fill up. No amount of persuasion on the part of the family members can drive the priest away from his view point, and how Bhageerathi decides to 'sacrifice' herself at the altar of family and folklore tradition forms the rest of the story.
Her lover and husband when he comes to know of her 'sacrifice' kills himself too in the swirling waters of the same tank which had led them to come together for its construction, and eventually fall in love.
The film is based on the true story of a popular Kannada ballad 'Kerega Haara' which glorifies the sacrifice of a young woman for popular custom and belief. These customs which prevailed at a particular point of time in history, and are surely irrelevant in today's world. That is amply clear in the last shot of the movie when a small boy on hearing this tale narration by his teacher, hurls a stone in the 'water tank' as if condemning the practice which prevailed then.
The film deals with the social superstitions which prevailed in that village once upon a time and the prejudice and bias against women in general. Even the tank wants the sacrifice of a woman, laments one of the songs in the films.
All in all a good social message presented convincingly by the Director, with powerful yet beautiful portrayal by Bhageerathi played by Bhavana. The rest of the cast is played by Tara, Kishore and Srinath and others.
Wishing Bhavana all the best in times to come. I will be coming out with an exhaustive and exclusive interview with this lovely super star talking about her upcoming films in a later post. Will be posting some pics too. Cheers for now!