Devadas Kapikad is referred to by his son as the Sachin Tendulkar of Tulu cinema. The actor-director who began his theatre career at 21 is also known as a lyricist and singer. His drama troupe, called charpaka, is credited with 14,000 shows and is still counting.
Kapikad’s upcoming Tulu film titled ‘Jabardasth Shankara’ releases in the UAE on November 8. Touted as a comic entertainer, it features Kapikad’s son Arjun Kapikad in dual roles.
“My character [he does not wish to reveal his character’s name] is managing a business. His life is going good until he finds himself encountering issues for no fault of his,” said Arjun, who co-directed the film with his father besides assisting in the scripting of the story. “When we set out with the script we wanted to do an engaging story — one that will keep viewers wondering what’s next.”
An MBA graduate, Arjun grew up watching his father’s plays. Having written skits since he was young, he has been active on stage both in school and college, winning several prizes. Despite offers to work in the corporate world, his passion for acting drew him into cinema. Arjun’s first film was ‘Telikeda Bolli’ in Tulu, and in his 13-film career, he has also worked in two Kannada movies.
Playing dual roles that were like chalk and cheese in ‘Jabardasth Shankara’ was an interesting challenge for Arjun.
“The body language and mannerisms were different,” Arjun said. “For one role I had to carry an attitude and also lose weight. Inputs for the characterisation have been drawn from life around... people whom we met or interacted earlier.”
He considers his father his guru with respect to art and “learning under him was phenomenal.”