Pannaga Bharana is on cloud-nine thanks to the response to his second directorial French Biriyani. “I am overwhelmed. I have been getting calls from veteran directors and writers, who I thought will not like the film because of the profanity. They are really enjoying the film,” Pannaga said.
French Biriyani has a lot of cuss words, which may have irked the censor board. However, an OTT release allowed the young director to play out the colourful street language of Bengaluru in all its glory. “I wanted to keep it as real as possible,” Pannaga told indianexpress.com. “If two friends from Shivaji Nagar are talking to each other, then they won’t be using polished language. I wanted the language to be true to the characters.”
However, he also had a plan B. “I had alternative words to replace them (expletives). My father is the head of the revising committee and mother is in the censor committee. So I am well aware of the rules and regulations,” he added.
French Biriyani follows the ordeal of a French tourist, who gets mixed up in the murky business of local gangsters. And an autorickshaw driver becomes a saviour as he shepherds the tourist through the uncompromising streets of Bengaluru. “I had the script for almost eight years. I wrote it based on a personal experience I had with an autorickshaw driver in Chennai,” revealed the director.
Pannaga Bharana was not sure how to turn his script into a movie as he was looking for the right actor to lead the film. “When I met Danish Sait, I felt that he was the right choice for the movie,” he noted. So the director borrowed Asgar from Danish and reworked the film with his co-writer Avinash Balekkala.
The next challenge was finding a producer. “French Biriyani would not have been possible without the support of Puneeth Rajkumar. He really stood by the film like a rock,” Pannaga said.
In the run-up to the release, the filmmakers repeatedly claimed that French Biriyani was only meant for laughs and there is no message for society. However, in the movie, Pannaga still makes a statement, which is valid both socially and politically, by creating a secular ambience. Every character in the movie, including Asgar, is very confident of their religious and linguistic identity. “We kept it (the message) very subtle. We didn’t want to stress it,” remarked the director.
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