‘Abhinetri’ hits the theatres: 7 must-know facts about this controversial biopic

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The biopic on yesteryear actress Kalpana – `Abhinetri – The Tragedy of a Legend’ – has hit the theatres in Karnataka. Actor turned politician Pooja Gandhi makes a comeback with ‘Abhinetri’. Directed by Satish Pradhan, the film stars Atul Kulkarni, Makarand Deshpande, Ravishankar, Srinagar Kitti and Neethu. Here are some facts you should know before you watch this film.

“Not really a biopic”, they initially claimed

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The film faced controversies from the outset, even in the early days of shooting. In the initial posters, the retro look of lead actress Pooja Gandhi closely resembled Kalpana’s appearance. However, both the actress and the director denied that the movie was based on Kalpana and insisted that it was a general portrayal of actresses in the ’70s and ’80s.

Allegations of plagiarism

But the controversy really erupted when novelist Bhagya Krishnamurthy alleged that the film was based on her serialized novel `Abhinetri Antaranga’. She moved the local courts in Bangalore and brought a stay order. However, the team won the legal battle when the High Court quashed the case and gave them the green signal for an August 2014 release.

Research and recreation of the 1980s

In light of this allegation, the director and the actress acknowledged that the movie was a biopic of `Minugu Taare’ Kalpana. Satish revealed how his team had researched the material, meeting with yesteryear actors Leelavathi, Jayanthi and BV Radha, and directors KSL Swamy, Bhagawan and others, and trying to grasp the subtleties of the industry in Kalpana’s time.

Pooja steps into Kalpana’s shoes

Pooja Gandhi says that in order to get Kalpana’s mannerisms, body language and dialogue delivery right, she watched many of the late actress’s films such as `Eradu Kanasu’, ‘Belli Moda’, ‘Gejje Pooje’, ‘Kappu Bilupu’ and ‘Sharapanjara’.

Shooting in drama companies

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In order to recreate the 1970s milieu, the team chose to shoot at AVM Studios and the beaches of Chennai. The theatre scenes were shot on the premises of the famous Gudigeri Basavaraj and Malathi Sudhir Drama companies, where vintage props such as old mirrors etc. were used.

Puttanna Kanagal portrayed in a bad light?

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The daughter of the late director Puttanna Kanagal has alleged that the film portrays her father in a poor light. At the peak of her career, Kalpana gave many hits with Puttanna, and it was rumoured that she was in a romantic relationship with the director. Responding to the allegation, Satish Pradhan says that he has always respected Puttanna’s works and never intended any disrespect towards his memory. The well-known actor Atul Kulkarni plays the role of Puttanna in the film.

Multi-language dubbing

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The film is currently being dubbed in several languages including Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam, Hindi, Bhojpuri, Bengali and Marathi.