Fidaa will haunt the audience, says Kammula

Tuesday, July 18, 2017 - 15:15

Sekhar Kammula, ahead of the release of 'Fidaa' on July 21st, says in this interview that the film will definitely be seen very refreshing.  He also talks about his style of filmmaking, working with Sai Pallavi & Varun Teja, and more.

The Telangana backdrop in which 'Fidaa' is set has been seen as a main feature.  What was the original intent?

The hero plays an NRI from the US.  Since I have a strong US connection in the past, I have for long wanted to partly set the film there.  Most of the times, a village-based film is invariably set in Kona Seema.  'SVSC' and 'Shatamanam Bhavati', among others, have done that.  I wanted to break that stereotype.  I went to towns in Nizamabad, etc and found many reasons to explore the backdrop.  

Even in the US, we are not showing any of those iconic locations of which people are anyways too bored.  How our people live there, etc is shown to reflect the reality.  Part of the story is set in Houston.

In what other ways does the film break stereotypes?

The interactions between father and daughter, etc.  You don't find a 'vadinamma' who would wait for everyone to be at home before she can eat. People nowadays are not interested in watching high drama.  They will scream in the theatre if a character cries for a minute.  

What is the story's subtext?

If you asked me what is the story of 'Anand', I wouldn't have been able to narrate back then.  My style is different.  I keep on writing and writing and then some ideas are born.  I wanted to do a love story with music as an essential ingredient.  Thus was born 'Fidaa'.

How was it working with Sai Pallavi and Varun Tej?

Both the male and female leads are equally integral to my story.  Sai Pallavi is very talented and no matter how much 'Fidaa' has explored her talent, there is so much talent  in her.  Her dubbing is impeccable.  

Varun Tej has shades of Pawan Kalyan and Chiranjeevi garu.  His is a very lively face.  

What are your expectations from 'Fidaa'?

Dummu duluputundi.  Let me make it clear, all that I am saying is that it will haunt the audience.  I am not talking about anything else by saying this.  

Since my film is getting released after a gap of 3 years, there is some sense of nervousness about changes in trends that might have happened.  When 'Happy Days' happened, my children were too young.  Today, they are grown enough to sense that not many know about me.  'Fidaa' is coming at this juncture.  

Your films always have a strong female character.

Every love story needs that.  Just as boys have an attitude, girls too have theirs.  In 'Fidaa', the heroine is progressive, rebellious.  I would like my daughter to be that way. 

It's said that there were different versions of the climax.  Is it true?

If it's a 'Race Gurram', two or three versions would be there regarding Brahmanandam's character, etc.  My films are not of that sort.  There would be only one version of the climax.  

Do you regret having done 'Anamika'?

It was made when I was outraged by atrocities on women happening in the country, for example, the Nirbhaya case.  I visited many colleges to interact with students, etc.  Many wondered what I was doing.  I felt 'Kahaani' is the right story that is subtle.  I always knew it would have only limited audience.  Nayanthara is not pregnant in the movie, unlike in the original.  I don't know whether the decision was correct or wrong.  

I felt 'Leader' should have done much better.  People started finding it great later, but not when it was paying in theatres.

Can we say that 'Fidaa' is your biggest film as yet?

I never see my films as small ones.  Was 'Happy Days', which was so vibrant and colorful, a small film?  Who made a film on the boat ('Godavari')?  All my films are big.  They take a lot of time to make.  

As for 'Fidaa', it should have got released last December itself but for Varun Tej's injury.