BANGALORE: Kan Kana Salige... a love song with Dharma Keerthiraj and Sharmila Mandre in the film Navagraha caught the attention of debut director Raghava Murali V and he chose them as the lead pair for his next film Mumtaz - Janma Lovealli Marna Feellali.
He says, “The song from the 2008 film is an evergreen hit. Though Sharmila is paired opposite Darshan, when you watch the song of Dharma and Sharmila together, they actually make a good pair. I heard Dharma has had a makeover and even the glamorous Sharmila has not done a Kannada film for a long time now. When I was working on the concept, which is based on a college love story, they both appeared in my imagination as college students.”
He adds, “It was producer Narasimhamurthy who suggested that I watch the song and then make a decision. Nobody had thought about bringing them together after the song. Initially, I chose Dharma and then everyone decided on Sharmila.”
Mumtaz is a universal love story set against a village backdrop. “As per the legend, Taj Mahal was created by Shah Jahan in the fond memory of Mumtaz. There is a thought that true lovers continue to come back in seven reincarnations. Whether Shah Jahan and Mumtaz were born as lovers again remains a mystery. My story will be about true love,” he says.
“Sharmila, who has always portrayed glamorous roles, will be seen as the next-door-girl in the film. Though Mumtaz is the title, we will not put her in any caste bracket. Taj Mahal represents love, which is universal and so will be our film,” says Murali.
The official launch of Mumtaz will be in the month of July. “I would want both Dharma and Sharmila to be back with a bang. A promotional teaser will be released before we go on floors. We will be shooting in and around Bangalore, Mysore and Bijapur. We will also be visiting Agra to shoot near the Taj Mahal,” he says.
Director: Raghava Murali
Casting: Dharma Keerthiraj, Sharmiela Mandre
Producer: Divya Narasimha Murthy, Narsimha Murthy