Ikkat is the first Kannada film based on the Covid-19 lockdown. Actors Nagabhushana NS and Bhoomi Shetty talk to Silverscreen India about the comedy drama which, they say, reflects evolving familial relations during the pandemic.
The film is directed by Esham Khan and Haseen Khan and is set to premiere on Amazon Prime Video on July 21.
The story of Ikkat revolves around a middle-class married couple, Vaasu and Jaanvi, who are on the verge of a divorce but are forced to stay together during the 21-day lockdown in March 2020.
Debutante Bhoomi Shetty, who plays the wife Jaanvi, says, “The film is about how they entertain themselves during that 21-day lockdown period. It is the story of almost every marriage, or every family.”
“The first phase of the lockdown was accompanied by excitement because everyone thought that we would finally get some family time and some me-time. But by the second phase, we were all exhausted and frustrated. It is in this sense that the film becomes relatable. We took a situation, spiced it up, and turned it into humour,” she explains.
“It is difficult to stay together in a confined space for a long time, no matter how much you love someone. The pandemic taught us that. That is exactly what the film reflects,” adds Nagabhushana, who plays the role of the husband Vaasu.
The characters are poles apart, according to the actors. Nagabhushana describes his character as “that irritating man who finds fault with everything” and dominates his wife. Shetty’s character, on the other hand, is a “liberal-minded small-town girl” who looks at city life as an escape.
“They fight and every fight culminates in a conversation about divorce,” says Shetty.
While Nagabhushana has appeared in Kannada films like French Biriyani, Ikkat is Shetty’s first break in films and she says it happened at the least expected of times.
“It was during the first phase of unlock, in July 2020, that I was approached with Ikkat. I had just got back from spending four months at the Bigg Boss house when the Covid-19 lockdown was announced. So, I literally went from one lockdown to another. I had no plans or expectations and was as unemployed as anybody else when this offer came along. I was surprised because films weren’t resuming their shoots anytime before September or October,” says Shetty.
The film was shot in August, over 17 days. The actors agree that the experience was both exciting and nerve-wracking.
“We wanted to finish the shoot as early as possible because we were scared. There are hardly four or five actors. And to reduce the number of people on set, we also used minimal lighting,” says Nagabhushana, adding that they shot in a small 20 by 30 house with a crew of less than 15 people.
“We had a 6-to-6 call sheet and travelled back and forth. We would come in at around 6:30 am, sanitise, drink kashaya (a herbal drink used to build immunity), and then get to work. And we had to sanitise every time we touched somebody or some thing,” adds Shetty.
Shetty is excited about the film’s digital premiere. “The digital debut is one the best things to have happened to me. Several people are waiting for their films to release, so many are just waiting for a chance. I, on the other hand, have not only got the chance to work in a content-oriented film but it’s also releasing digitally on Amazon Prime, which means it will be viewed across the globe.”
Both actors have upcoming projects on their plates, which they plan to announce post the release of Ikkat.