The mysticism of Kashi inspired Jayathirtha to make Banaras 

Billed as a romance, Banaras is set in Varanasi, and deals with the concept of time travel.

Jayathirtha is known for his content-oriented films, which stay away from the usual hero glorification tropes. "Instead of celebrating the hero, my films always celebrate the script," says the filmmaker, who prefers keeping a low profile and letting his work speak for him. "I don't want to sell my product like a sales manager. My piece of art should introduce itself to the audience. Of course, I understand that there is a need for pomp and splendour in show biz, but I prefer to ingrain subtlety in my work, and wait for people to connect with it, says the Bell Bottom director.

Ahead of the release of his upcoming film, Banaras, which launches the career of Zaid Khan, and stars Sonal Monteiro opposite him, Jayathirtha explains the mantra that pushes him forward in his career. "I can give back the money to the audience, but I can't give back the valuable time they spent on watching a film. It is my respect for their time that ensures I deliver my best every single time," says Jayathirtha.

Billed as a romance, Banaras is set in Varanasi, and deals with the concept of time travel. "There is the Kala Bhairava Temple, which represents the past, present and future. Secondly, the geography and the atmosphere of the place prompted me to set Banaras in Varanasi. An interesting facet of the city is how the lanes of Kashi will always bring you back to the same point where you started. I consider it magical. There is divinity, love and faith in the city. People give up on everything to come live in this place. Peace and sacrifice play a big role here. Nobody runs behind time here because they have reached a dead end. The overall mysticism of the city was best suited for my story," explains Jayathirtha.

Zaid Khan and Sonal Monteiro in <em>Banaras </em>
Zaid Khan and Sonal Monteiro in Banaras 

Talking about Banaras and the time travel theme that elevates a template romance into something different, Jayathirtha says, "There is nothing like an untold story. There is only a new way of telling a story. Banaras will be relatable for all kinds of audiences. While the younger generation will enjoy the time travel, the older section of the audience might be attracted to the divinity of Kashi. Children would love to go on this musical journey with Banaras. Every frame is structured like a painting to export you to a different world altogether."

Meanwhile, Jayathirtha is almost through with the shooting of Kaiva, and will next move on to Bell Bottom 2. "I'm left with 5 days of the shoot to wrap up Kaiva starring Dhanveerrah. Also, once Rishab completes all his commitments for Kantara, we would sit together, and talk about the further development of the much-awaited sequel," signs off Jayathirtha.

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