Republic director Deva Katta: My ignorance is the inspiration for Republic
Director Deva Katta talks about what went into the making of his Friday release, starring Sai Dharam Tej and Aishwarya Rajesh
Director Deva Katta is back in the race with a political entertainer titled Republic. Starring Sai Dharam Tej and Aishwarya Rajesh, the film is poised for a theatrical release on October 1. The director says that the idea of Republic stems from his imagination of a corruption-free democracy. "Republic is a commentary on the political pressures on bureaucracy. The story revolves around an IAS officer, who exposes years of abuse of political power by a political leader. My ignorance is the inspiration for Republic. We talk about democracy, dictatorship, and various economic systems, but we hardly know anything about them and are living in an illusion. Our society influences our thoughts and behaviour as well. I believe it's our responsibility to know what kind of system we are part of. If an educated person doesn't understand this society, how can we expect a layman to deal with it? Absolute power leads to corruption and which is why, I think, there should always be a balance of power. Judiciary, legislative, and executive should be independent of each other and there should be transparency among them. Republic addresses these issues and also depicts the conflict between powerfulness and powerlessness," says Deva.
The Prasthanam director makes it clear that Republic does not target political parties or politicians. "The film shows no inclination towards any party or individual. It talks about how a bureaucrat reacts when a political leader abuses the power. The film tries to give a definition of government and it's about conscience. Usually, films talk about problems. Republic talks about solutions. Irrespective of the party lines, I can confidently say that the film and its message will be liked by everyone," he adds.
The film has Ramya Krishnan playing the role of a Chief Minister. Deva says that casting her for the part was a happy coincidence. "Initially, we wanted to rope in someone like Bharathiraja or another veteran male filmmaker. After completing the second draft, Sai Dharam Tej was apprehensive of casting all male characters in the film, barring Aishwarya Rajesh. It was then I altered the script and decided to get a female actor on board for this role. We considered Vijayashanti, but she was already active in politics. But I didn't want to compromise on the script, and having watched Ramya Krishnan garu in Narasimha and Baahubali, I thought she would fit in perfectly," says Deva.
The pre-release event of Republic triggered a storm in the political circles after actor-politician Pawan Kalyan expressed displeasure over the Andhra Pradesh government's decision to sell movie tickets online among various other issues. Deva Katta says it is Pawan Kalyan's way of saying his opinion. "Pawan Kalyan garu is all heart. He never shies away from expressing his opinion and this is something both his admirers and critics are well aware of. Whether you support him or not, you have to agree with the fact that he speaks his mind, albeit fearlessly. I'm happy that someone like him attended the pre-release event of our film," avers Deva Katta.
The director stated that Sai Dharam Tej, who was hospitalised after falling off from his sports bike recently, is excited about the film's release. "We met Tej in the hospital. He watched the pre-release event as well. Considering the pandemic situation, we want him to be safe. It was no small accident but he is recovering well. It's really fortunate that he escaped the mishap without any major injuries," shares Deva.
Asked why the making of Netflix's Baahubali: Before the Beginning was stalled midway, Deva explains, "Netflix wanted to take the project on floors before we were ready with the proceedings. It was envisioned to be another Game of Thrones. If you aspire to make an ambitious project of that magnitude, you have to give it some time and it needs a far greater effort. Praveen Sattaru and I shot a few portions, but we were not satisfied with the output. Hence, we walked out of the project because we don't want to work in a hurry."