Few rural comedies have come out since its boom in the late 90s and 2000s in Kannada cinema, and fewer have worked. The contrasting lifestyle of the cities and the villages is perhaps one of the main reasons for a possible disconnect among the audiences. However, this contrast is what seems to have worked for Tagaru Palya, the Nagabhushana-starrer which released recently. The film is directed by debutant Umesh K Krupa and has music by noted composer Vasuki Vaibhav. In an interview with Film Companion, Krupa, Nagabhushana and Vaibhav talk about the film, its unique title and more.
“My cousins saw the film with utmost interest,” says Vaibhav, “I feel the city folks are curious about the traditions and rituals of the rural areas, while the village audiences are connecting to the story. Hence, the film is working on both levels.” The film follows the story of a village patriarch (played by Rangayana Raghu) who wants to sacrifice a sheep to celebrate finding the right match for his daughter. But chaos ensues when the sheep refuses to be cooperative. The film deeply explores relationships, the rural lifestyle, man’s relationship with nature, and food.
“Before the release, I used to say to people that after watching the film they will want to go back to their hometown,” says lead actor Nagabhushana. “I was proved right. Many people told me that watching the film felt like a visit to their hometown. So, I believe we have succeeded in conveying our intent with the film.”
When the title of the film was announced, there was much confusion about its pronunciation. Palya (pronounced paa-lya) means an area while Palya (puh-lya) means a dish. The title Tagaru Palya, the right pronunciation being the latter, is a take on a Mutton dish. Krupa says, “When you go to a hotel and see the menu card, all the vegetarian dishes have Kannada names; be it Masala Dose or Idli Sambar. But when you look at the non-veg section, all you see is Mutton Fry, Mutton Chops, and Mutton Pepper. Take any of the dishes like fish, chicken, crab, etc., and all of them are in English. Why don't they put it in Kannada? That inspired the title Tagaru Palya.”
It was produced by noted actor Dhananjaya, who also contributed as a lyricist for the film. The actor has often spoken about his love for his hometown near Mysore. “I met him in a completely different context,” says Umesh K Krupa. “I just gave the one-liner of the story and he asked for a script. After reading it, he told me he would like to produce it and insisted that the script remained true to its nature. It is as if he felt an immediate connection with the story. As a producer, he has a passion for bringing such stories to the forefront and he is the reason for the film to reach this stage.”