In an interview with Anupama Chopra, Rishab Shetty, the writer, director, and lead actor of Kantara spoke in detail about the difference and changes in the shrieks of Daiva in the opening and the closing act of the film.
The terrifying shrieks of Daiva
“From the opening Kola to the closing Kola, there is a change in the voice and dance – the emotions, intonations, and variations”, he said. To an ordinary viewer, especially one who isn’t familiar with the cultural and religious significance of Panjuruli Daiva, the shrieks might seem scary – almost terrifying.
In between the film, the sudden loud shrieks combined with jump scares only induce more fear, particularly in the non-Dakshina Kannadigas and those from the Hindi belt who have probably never seen a live Kola performance.
The pre-climax and the climax act of Kantara, featuring a brilliant @shetty_rishab are a collection of spine-chilling sequences that gives one goosebumps.. Hats off 👍.. #KantaraHindi #Kantara .. pic.twitter.com/eVLzanFspi
— SONI (@MamthaSoni) October 14, 2022
Also, in the last 20 minutes of the film, when Guliga Daiva (Kshetrapala) appears and possesses the protagonist of the film, Shiva. In the scene, one cannot help but be in awe of the spirit that after all these years, continues to watch over and protect the villagers and the forest against those attacking their freedom and liberty. Soon, the apparently terrifying spirit that killed those who came in its way becomes a guardian and a protector, defeating those that dare to question its rightfulness and the privileges of the natives it promised to protect.
— Dhruv dungrani (@DungraniDhruv) October 14, 2022
“This is passed down by our generations. God had taught us that ‘Nudi’ (word) and we have continued doing so. When the Daiva laughs, when he asks for food, and when he is grabbed by the antagonist, the voices are totally different.” Rishab explains while speaking to Film Companion’s Anupama.
The shrieks which appeared painful and horrifying in the opening Kola, leave the viewers – spellbound and shocked. However, the shrieks which seemed fearsome in the opening act of the film seem calming and on the opposite, seeded a feeling of safety in the viewer. The effect is supernatural and magical.
Here’s the video: