Trivikram Srinivas: I am back to my comfort zone
The writer-director talks about his new film Ala Vaikunthapurramuloo
Trivikram Srinivas has managed to hold his place in the industry all these years by delivering consecutive hits. About the serious tone of his last film Aravindha Sametha Veera Raghava, he says, "All these years, I have built a comfort zone for myself. But the miserable failure of Agnyaathavaasi (2018) has compelled me to think beyond that zone and make a serious film like Aravindha Sametha Veera Raghava. The reason is simple — I wanted to overcome my fears and thought it can't get any worse than that. As a writer-director, it was a conscious decision to narrate a story without playing to my strengths. Aravindha Sametha didn't have a comedy track and regular commercial trappings. Even then, it fared really well and I succeeded as a writer and a director."
With his upcoming film Ala Vaikunthapurramuloo, Trivikram is back to his comfort zone once again. "I wanted to deviate from the serious zone and find a way out of the image trap. So I came up with a story that can be told entertainingly and made Ala Vaikunthapurramuloo."
The director asserts Ala Vaikunthapurramuloo is an original story and that the film's title was inspired by Bammera Pothana's Srimad Bhagavatam. "One way or the other, we can't deny the fact that all our stories will have their roots either in Ramayana or Mahabharatam. But aside from that, this story is neither inspired nor based on real incidents."
He is happy to have developed a great bond with actor Allu Arjun. "AlaVaikunthapurramuloo is my third film with him. When we worked together for Julayi, he was a bachelor. During S/O Sathyamurthy, he was the father of a baby boy. Now, he has two kids and has been showing remarkable maturity in all aspects. He is passionate about films and his focus only lies there. I admire that quality of his," says Trivikram.
Very few directors in mainstream cinema write strong women characters in their films, but Trivikram has always made it a point to do so. Is that because of the women in his life? Nodding his head, the director says, "From 1950-70s, we followed the matriarchal system. Knowingly or unknowingly, we moved away from it due to the enormous influence of other cultures and today, we completely forgot our roots. I feel embarrassed when our directors/writers conceived characters of Atha/Pinni in a negative way. I wanted to change this trend and I did succeed after people appreciated my female characters in films like Atharintiki Dharedi and A...Aa."
The director, who has carved a niche for himself with his distinctive style of filmmaking, prefers to speak with his pen. So what does he think of others trying to emulate his work? "I have never come across any writer emulating my style of writing. Even I have drawn inspirations from several writers. Also, I would like to make a point that films don't run on dialogues. It's the story and the characters that drive a narration," he concludes.