'I don't like to carry the baggage of success and failure'
...says director Trivikram Srinivas, whose upcoming film Aravinda Sametha Veera Raghava, starring Jr NTR will hit the screens on Thursday
Trivikram Srinivas knows how to keep his emotions in control. He can impress anyone with his words, his spontaneous response, simplicity and sober demeanour. Ahead of the release of his much-awaited action drama, Aravinda Sametha Veera Raghava (ASVR), the writer-director recalls what went into its making and tells us how he deals with failure and success.
Excerpts from the conversation:
You delivered an unusually short speech at Aravinda Sametha Veera Raghava pre-release...
Everyone around me was emotionally charged. I was confused and didn’t want to talk about that tragic incident. I know that the audience are waiting to hear from NTR. So, I made him do the talking.
NTR got back to work on the fourth day after his father’s death. What was going through your mind then?
After learning about Harikrishna garu’s demise, I was with NTR on the first day. Neither producer Chinna Babu nor I had the mood to talk about the film. We thought of pushing the release to summer as the box office is packed with other releases in December and January. To our surprise, NTR called the very next day and said that he will resume the shoot on Saturday and ensured that the film will be released as planned. We were taken aback, but followed his words. He put his heart into the film.
The song Penimiti from the film has led many to conclude that ASVR is an action film replete with emotions.
True. The song has become a chartbuster and it can fill in the blanks in the story. After watching the visuals, I saw some backlash coming in from a section of the audience. What you have seen is one instance in the song. We have added 60 per cent montage effects to conflate the timeline of the past and the present events. We don’t want to reveal much about the other part before release.
What is ASVR about?
There have been many films set against the faction backdrop and each of it has offered a different solution to stop the violence. As for ASVR, the narrative is told from the perspective of a woman. The film symbolises the challenges women from the faction-ridden land go through and how they deal with it. What would happen if they were given equal standing like men and would they be able to stop faction fights has been shown in this film. We've tried to give an emotional spin to the story and have ensured that the narrative doesn’t get preachy and that there is no forced humour.
The story of ASVR has drawn comparisons with your long-delayed Kobali...
I would be lying if I say I’m oblivious to these comparisons. So many people have been asking me whether it's the same film which I wanted to make with Pawan Kalyan. ASVR is a different story and I can confidently say we haven’t dealt with this subject in our cinema for a while.
How did you take the failure of Agnyaathavaasi?
I’m someone who doesn’t like to carry the baggage of success and failure. Sometimes things are not in our hands. When I wrote Agnyaathavaasi, I thought it would work wonders at the box office, but it did not. I was disappointed with the result, but I don’t dwell on the past. Since Agnyaathavaasi wasn’t commercially viable, I returned my remuneration to my producer. It took me a week to move on. To me, success or failure is momentary. I’m still the same person as I was after Attarintiki Daredi's success. I’m always busy with my script work. The moment an exciting idea occurs to me, I pursue it and forget about the rest. I believe I have something exciting in store for you (the audience) with ASVR.
Do you feel the burden of high expectations?
I don’t know. During film events, when I walk onto the stage the anchor starts addressing me with sobriquets (Matala Mantrikudu) and showers praises. But I don’t believe in such stuff.
Writing or direction, what gives you more satisfaction?
That’s a tough question. I don’t like to categorise myself as one or the other. I’m not donning a dual role like the lead characters in Ramudu Bheemudu (1964).