A Governing system, big or small, is meant for service to people and developmental activities. But degradation of moral values, lack of commitment and the overall apathy of the public to the commissions and omissions of the system can lead to dangerous situations. The system may degenerate into self-seeking and self-protecting power centers instead of being proactive service center. When that happens, the system becomes breeding ground of corruption and scandals, manipulations and cover-ups. That leaves little time for bureaucracy for looking into the basic objectives of ‘service’ and ‘Development’. Even honest individuals who want to do good get sucked into this stinking system. In course of time, the whole system becomes insensitive and indifferent to the nagging problems of common man resulting in mounting miseries. This is the kind of situation in which the zone of tolerance of the common man starts shrinking. One untoward incident is enough to kindle the spark of rejection of the entire system.
This film `BERU’ (The Root) is an attempt to give a wake-up call to raise the consciousness of society about many such issues.
The story goes like this. A taluk level office has been functioning without a regular head for sometime. A junior level official is in charge of the office. It has stuck to mandatory minimal ‘routine’ work.
Goravayya is a poor old folk artiste. Though living on a small income, he has been magnanimous in his own small way to provide shelter to an orphan girl. He is stuck with a problem. The roots of a tree are affecting the stability of his small shelter. He has been repeatedly requesting the office for permission to fell the tree to save his shelter. ‘Come later’ has been the standard reply.
Meanwhile the minister’s visit is cancelled. But by then the officer is deeply involved in this cover-up story created by himself. He is about to face the consequences. But his influential father-in-law comes to his rescue. He is now asked to provide some cooked-up reasons for the IB’s ‘present’ condition so that the matter can be hushed up and he is saved. Goravayya is proposed to be implicated as the ‘servant looking after IB’ responsible for its present condition. On seeing the reluctance of the officer to go ahead with this proposal, the junior official takes the responsibility for coaxing Goravayya for his being implicated. Both of them go to see Goravayya only to find that his shelter has collapsed.
A Note from the Director:
In the year 2000, a team of actors and technicians got together with the intention of producing meaningful films as a cooperative venture. The very first production ‘Munnudi’ directed by me in May 2000 dealt with the clash between true religious tenets and demeaning customs. The overwhelming appreciation, two National Awards, Six Karnataka State Awards and entry into five International festivals gave us confidence about the viability of such ventures and the experiment continued resulting in two more films as of now. My second film ‘Atithi’ (2002) examined the issue of terrorism. This won a National Award and entry into two International festivals. Hence is my third film BERU (The Root-2004) dealing with corruption/scandals/cover-ups. I have adopted an allegoric approach to the narrative to stress the effects from the point of view of the common man with the fond hope that it will reach both heads & hearts of people with positive outcome.
Producer – M/S MITRACHIRA
Director – P.SHESHADRI
Story – J.M.PRAHLAD
Cinematographer – S.RAMACHANDRA
Editor – B.S.KEMPARAJ
Music – PRAVEEN-KIRAN
Art – DINESH MANGLOOR
Screenplay – P.SHESHADRI
Dialogues – J.M.PRAHLAD
Costumes – ANUPAMA SHESHADRI, VINOD V. DHODALE
Venkateshaiah – H.G.DATTATREYA
Raghunandan – SUCHENDRAPRASAD
Goravayya – M.P.VENKATRAO
Purushotham – T.N.SEETHARAM
Suma – NEETA
Kamalamma – VIDYAMURTHY
Mad woman – LAKSHMI CHANDRASHEKAR
Gowri – BABY SOWMYA