Trivikram Srinivas’s action-drama film Aravinda Sametha comes out this Friday, and the filmmaker promises that it’s unlike any other we’ve seen before. “While there have been many films set in Rayalaseema, we have tried to explore an untouched side of the region,” he says, adding, “Usually, men are willing to listen to everyone but their wives. But what would happen if we took their advice — perhaps women would be able to stop wars and other conflicts. We have explored the possibility of women having their way while staying true to Rayalaseema’s culture and traditions.”
Just as the film was nearing completion, the film’s lead actor, Jr NTR, lost his father in a road accident. Talking about how Jr NTR insisted on wrapping the film up on time, the director says, “The producer (China Babu) and I decided to postpone the release to next summer, but Jr NTR called me up and said that he wanted to resume shooting. We told him that it wasn’t the right time to think about the film. But he showed tremendous character, kept his loss to himself and ensured that the film’s release wasn’t affected; kudos to him.”
It’s especially significant that Trivikram touts his upcoming film as unique, given that he faced a lot of flak earlier this year after being accused by a French filmmaker of plagiarising his film while making the Pawan Kalyan-starrer Agnathavaasi. Addressing the controversy, the director says, “I neither paid that filmmaker nor T-series (which was rumoured to have bought the Indian rights to his film). They said that they would launch legal proceedings, but nothing has happened yet. Neither of them has approached me. But since the film (Agnathavaasi) was a failure, I returned my remuneration to the producer. That’s all I could do.”
In the 16 years since his debut, Trivikram has only made 10 films. Ask him about his lack of releases, and he says, “I’m a bit lazy. But I am happy with the way I spend time writing. I want to make my scripts compact and slick, for which good writing is key.” He adds that over the years, he’s learnt to let things happen naturally. “For instance, you can’t insert a comedy track into a film just for the heck of it. The track should fit in naturally,” he says.