Distance sometime changes perspective, when you look back would you say Morning Raga was a film about guilt? Dattani reflects for a moment and replies, “I would say it was about trauma, something untoward happened in Swaralatha’s life and after that nothing was the same. She was unable to connect with her loved ones, herself and her music. Shabana absorbed Swaralatha to an extent that she owned her and her music. It is remarkable how she did that. She suffered during the process and all of us sensed her anxiety and her nervousness to get her music right…”
What is the best thing about Shabana as an actor I ask. “Azmi lent an intensity to her character that was admirable and more important, she mastered the swarams like a professional singer. She is a consummate actor with the discipline of both, theatre and cinema and uses it to her advantage. When she was shooting the singing scenes, she was anxious all day but, in the end, it was all more than worth it ”. Today, majority of the content on the OTT platform is in English, but a decade ago to make a film about a village in English was unheard of. Do you feel the film came a little before time? Dattani shakes his head, “It happened at the right time, it was unique because it was in English. Hindi is not my language and Telugu was never in consideration. I chose Andhra Pradesh because my characters belong to that village. Films are made out of conviction and Shankarabharnam proved many years ago that music connects souls. Morning Raga will connect with the audience in every decade and every platform”.