BY ROHAN RAI
Ace Canadian Director Brinda Muralidhar is bringing out her first feature film Knot Not! that will premiere for Canadian audiences on October 13.
A coming of age story of Mohan and his family, the film is about Mohan (Dilip Krishnamurthy) a young man from South India who arrives in Canada for higher studies. Soon he makes friends with Patricia Smith (Jessica Siegner) a pleasant, independent Canadian girl. All is well until Mohan’s parents Srinivas (Bala Ramanathan) and Padma (Brinda Muralidhar) arrive in Canada. Srinivas wants Mohan to marry Lakshmi (Suniti Santosh) daughter of his Indo-Canadian friend, the light-hearted Bhaskar (Nat Pennathur). Lakshmi is a delightful girl who cherishes great family values. Mohan likes her, but before he embarks on his new journey, he has a major task to complete. He is yet to figure out what he wants!
“The central subject of Knot Not! is something that has distressed me for a long time,” says Muralidhar. “I have witnessed similar stories in my own circles. While there are many families that are flourishing happily, in a myriad of ways many families are crumbling. Knot Not! has one such theme that has allowed me to explore two important aspects: ‘Why so’? And ‘now what?”
My film has a great concept, layered storyline, believable characters, and relatable situations,” she says.
“Knot Not! is filled with out-of-the box moments, memorable dialogues and pleasing visuals. It showcases our inherent Indian values blended with Canadian values in a balanced narrative.”
Coming from a family of theatre and cine-artists in India, Muralidhar’s father was a playwright and director and her uncle, a celebrated theatre and cinema artist and a film producer.
“I grew up listening to the stories my father would tell”, she says. “He would often take a guy from our neighbourhood, train and transform him to play a series of amazing characters on stage. He had a knack for narrative, which I seem to have inherited from him.”
Her tryst with a progressive theatre group was where she met her husband – Gunny Muralidhar. A brief stint in Dubai and then towards greener pastures to Canada.
“Gunny had promised me I could do more theatre in Canada”, laughs Muralidhar. “At that time, I thought the idea was preposterous.”
Over the years, the couple became actively involved in the Canadian theatre scene. Soon they established KalaaRanga Performing Arts, a not-for-profit theatre company, through which she has written and directed over 14 stage productions.
What prompted her foray into feature film making?
“It was Gunny. He told me our marriage was over if I didn’t work on a film”, she laughs. “But on a more serious note, Knot Not! was initially supposed to be a short film. We had a lot of first time actors, and we hoped to wrap it up in six weekends. “However, the more I interacted with the cast, the more we felt that this was a story that needed to be told, and told well.”
“And so it moved, from a short film, to a feature film, tripling the amount of work and budgets went skyrocketing. But we had to do it, there was no turning back.
What was her biggest challenge? “My biggest challenge was to make a complex story, entertaining to the audience. Knot Not! is filled with moments that are fun to watch, yet thought provoking, anger inducing, and at the same time laughter too.”
Knot Not! is a story that needs to be told over and over again as long as marriages happen. It is a story that can happen to anyone, if they LET IT happen to them, she says.
“It has a global resonance. Knot Not! is not just about happy endings, it is about stopping the bad beginnings.”
The film Knot Not! is heartwarming, fun inducing, thought provoking, she says.
“I want my audience to come to the auditorium anticipating to be entertained in a tasteful way, and when they leave, they should feel their time was well spent,” she says.
Knot Not! written, directed and edited by Brinda Muralidhar with cinematography by Gunny Muralidhar and original music composed by Vinayak Hegde and Deepak Sant is set to premiere October 13 at Cineplex Brampton. For more details, visit www.knotnotmovie.com.