Swaroop Kanchi on “Bengaloored”
"I wanted to work with Indian stories, Indian people and in a culture I am comfortable with," says Swaroop Kanchi, a city based film maker about, "Bengaloored"
For someone who has worked in Hollywood and had his movie premiered in New York Film Festival, Swaroop Kanchi has none of the airs of a successful film maker. The thick beard and long hair belie his youthful smile and there are no pretensions as he speaks about his movies, his love for Bangalore and his passions.
The term "Bengaloored", is a derivative of the term "Bangalored", a US slang which refers to workers laid off because their jobs have moved to India. The movie, shot in English, deals with the story of a young author who returns to Bangalore after 10 years to find an end to his book, to rediscover the city of his childhood and to seek the comforts of home, Instead he finds that his ancestral house is in disarray and on the verge of being demolished, his father has remarried after his mother’s death, his best friend is now a monk. The only respite is that he meets the love of his life from school and they get along like a house on fire, but will she heal his wounds? He struggles nevertheless to recreate a new life, taking bits & pieces, whatever he can get his hands on to create a life worth living.
The movie stars Harish Raj (of Kalaakar fame) who plays the lead role of Babruvahana and Meghna portraying the role of Radha. The music has been composed by Vasu Dixit.
Swaroop Kanchi says he was never creatively inclined and had wanted to become a tennis player but became a student of designing hoping it will give him time to concentrate on tennis but he realized that creativity soon came naturally to him and he taught himself to make films, starting at the age of 16. "I never really learnt film making professionally and everything was just instinctual learning for me," says Swaroop. He then started making short films which were highly appreciated and then set out to make "Black Sugar" an english film set in Bangalore. What set out as his first feature film quickly turned his life upside down taking over two years to make and was a catastrophic adventure in itself but not in vain as the film premiered at the New York Film Festival. Kanchi then moved to Los Angeles and went on to working on more Independent projects. He worked with talent from the Hollywood industry on films like “Sleeping with the enemy’s son” and followed it with “Acid” and began working on “Taxiwallah”, both independent films made in LA.
Having worked in Hollywood, Swaroop returned to India. "I wanted to work with Indian stories, Indian people and in a culture in which I am comfortable with," he says.. He made a documentary on the Kumbh Mela and in 2007 ”Hong Kong Dreaming” happened. An English feature film shot in Hong Kong and made with Hong Kong based actors of different nationalities.
Swaroop's next project titled "Buddha" deals with the story of the Enlghtened One and is set to be a big budgeted affair.
Bangalore has changed immenselfy, some say, mostly for the bad. The director too feels the same but adds that change is inevitable. "Sitting in my chair, as I watched some people cut a huge tree in front of my house, it broke my heart. It's sad to see the way Bangalore is chaning but change is a way of life," he says with a sigh.