Rishab Shetty was worried depiction of some beliefs in Kantara may offend people: 'I didn't want to hurt anyone'

Published on Oct 13, 2022 10:00 PM IST

Rishab Shetty, the director and star of Kannada hit Kantara, says he did painstaking research because he was unsure if people would get offended with his depiction of the regional rituals shown in the film.

A still from Rishab Shetty's Kannada film Kantara.
A still from Rishab Shetty's Kannada film Kantara.

Rishab Shetty’s latest Kannada film Kantara has created waves across India. The film has been critically acclaimed and making good money at the box office as well. The portrayal of regional rituals and cultural beliefs as part of the film’s plot has been appreciated by fans and critics alike. But the actor-director admits he was worried about offending people when he first conceptualized the story. In a recent interview, the filmmaker talked about how he went about solving this problem. Also read: Kannada hit Kantara to release in Hindi on October 14. Watch fresh trailer

Kantara, which released on September 30, deals with the beliefs around Daiva, Daivaradhane / Bhootakola and Kambala, which are part of the traditions around coastal Karnataka. These beliefs and the rituals around them have been woven into the film’s plot about the battle for a forest land.

In an interview with Film Companion, Rishab, who has directed and starred in the film, said, “I was looking at a story rooted in coastal Karnataka about agricultural land. But it isn’t just land. Bhootakola, Daivaradhane, our culture, our rituals and beliefs are all part of that. Once agricultural activities finish, it is marked with a celebration for 3-4 months because that is a ritual. People who have left the village also return for it. Such strong is the belief around all of it. It’s a rule. I wanted to bring all that but I did not have the complete idea and knowledge about it. I didn’t any problem. I didn’t want anybody to be hurt or offended.”

To solve this, Rishab went down to rural coastal Karnataka, home to these rituals and tales. “I talked to the people who perform these rituals. I asked them more about it and researched more about it to be sure about how to go about it.”

Kantara also stars Kishore and Sapthami Gowda. The film has earned over 80 crore globally in the two weeks since its release. The success of the Kannada version has prompted the makers to release the film’s Hindi, Tamil, Telugu, and Malayalam dubbed versions as well. These four versions hit the screens this Friday and Saturday.

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