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'Bahumukham' is an experiential psychological drama: Harshiv Karthik


New writer-director Harshiv Karthik (also the film's editor and one of the dialogue writers) will be seen in 'Bahumukham'. Starring Swarnima Singh and Maria Martynova as the heroines, the film is coming from Crystal Mountain Productions. Shot in locations across Atlanta, Macon, Canton, and the surroundings of Georgia, and the US, it is expected to feature heavy dialogues. Ahead of the movie's release in theatres on April 5, Harshiv talks about its merits. Having manned multiple departments, he has proven himself to be one of the most passionate new-generation filmmakers.

An actor must be able to do anything and rise above limitations/stereotypes. I made a short film to show variations in my acting within the space of a short duration. It was also meant to prove myself before filmmakers. Its story was about a mentally ill person and how bad things could go wrong in his life when he auditions for roles. When I attempted to enlarge that plot, new characters around him were conceived. A short film can be a portfolio project. However, a feature film has to appeal to a producer. It has to make sense to the person who you expect to invest his money. 'Bahumukham' is my debut feature film, which is unique in its attempt and story-telling.

The story of this film has been partially drawn from my life experiences. I had my struggles. I have always been mad about chasing my dream of becoming an actor. A lot of people are watching suspense thrillers these days. There is an audience pool for offbeat films that are not regular romantic comedies, etc. Unique attempts are being encouraged by the target audience. That's why analytics tell me.

I have done 'Bahumukham' while working as an employee. My previous attempts at becoming an actor didn't bear fruit. The projects would be called off, wasting my time. Years passed by. I decided to make my own investment come what may. I come from a middle-class family. I have a sister whose dreams I am responsible to support. Someone of my sort must be in a comfortable position before making risky attempts. I work as a senior software consultant for years in Atlanta. I learned many things online after work hours when I wanted to become a producer.

Before the film was taken to floors, pre-production works and workshops were done. I made my team of artists and technicians understand what I wanted. Payments to workers and others must be made upfront in the US. Since I handled the major departments on my own (to save on costs), I could work with a small-sized crew. About forty talents are being introduced through this film. I had to sleep as little as 3-4 hours during the making of the film. Looking at my passion, they too put in extra hours! They went over and above the 8-hour work schedule prevalent in the US. All this has been done to deliver a proper cinematic experience that will engage throughout its running time.

'Bahumukham' is the aptest title. The protagonist comes with many shades. The tagline 'Good, Bad, and The Actor' also has a rationale. This is a psychological suspense thriller. Everyone has their own set of experiences in life. Our childhood experiences, upbringings, the parenting we are exposed to and other aspects determine how strong or weak we are. I also interacted with psychology experts to know how coherent and logical my understanding of human psychology is.

Sricharan Pakala has done the background score. He spoke with me to understand how clear and committed I was. He believed that I was serious and that's when he came on board. He loved the teaser and couldn't believe that a newcomer like me had directed it. In the first place, I went to him only because I was confident. Luke Fletcher (cinematographer) and Phani Kalyan (songs composer) have worked on the movie. I chose the latter because he is so good at melodies.

As an audience member, I watch all movies, both good and bad. It helps me with learning. During the promotions of 'Bahumukham', I have got to observe the reactions and responses of the audience. This is a high-risk project for me. In terms of money and time, I have put in a lot.

When you are doing a role, the audience should see the character, not you. Just like art forms, acting is honed through practice. When you see the layers of the character in 'Bahumukham', you will understand why I am calling it complex.

I am planning to do an action drama next. I won't be handling too many responsibilities the next time. Handling fifteen departments while doing 'Bahumukham' resulted in me not being able to contribute my 100%. I hope others will trust my vision next and come on board.

Updated on April 2, 2024