Filmmaker Deva Katta’s forthcoming film Republic, starring Sai Dharam Tej, has been hitting all the right notes. While the trailer suggests that the social drama is about the life of an IAS officer, Deva states that there’s more to the film. Apparently, it also chronicles the overall scenario of our present governance and
“My lack of knowledge over how a democracy fundamentally functions embarrassed me and I realised it’s essential in our lives,” the director remarks. “So in this film, I chronicled all the existential questions over democracy and where we as a society and a country were heading.”
Treading new grounds
The director adds that Republic speaks of what traps people in terms of governance and administration. He penned the story with a burning desire to understand society’s current socioeconomic scenario. “It’s a human-relations-driven story that touches upon aspects like why civil servants are essential and their significance,” he shares, adding that the film gives an unbiased perspective of politics and administration.
Explaining why he chose Sai Dharam Tej as his protagonist, an IAS officer, Deva says, “Sai liked the strength and depth of the story. I was looking for an intense and deep-rooted story and I believe Sai is the perfect choice given his attitude and approach to filmmaking.”
Stories inspired by reality
The director also reveals that the film, which had a lot of research while it was being written, has several real-life incidents as references.“All the scenes are written from what I read in the newspapers and television. In fact, my thirst to understand how a matured system functions in a democratic set up prompted me to do extensive research,” says the director.
“I am attentive to politics so I can understand how they affect the spirit and freedom of the people.” The film apparently touches upon sensitive topics like the Kolleru issue; however, the director clarifies that he was only inspired by those and took references from them, giving them passing mentions in the film.
We can’t help but point out that all of Deva Katta’s films have socially relevant themes. That’s because he always wants his characters to reflect the current socio-economic and political scenario, he shares. “All great directors have narrated stories that reflected the times [they lived in]. Somewhere along the way, we lost that pattern of storytelling. That being said, I strongly believe every story I narrate should reflect the cultural and socioeconomic behaviour of my times,” Deva elaborates.
The director, who made his debut with Vennela (2005), has yet made only 6 films in these 16 years. “Half of them flopped,” he quips with a laugh. “Moreover, I love to take my own sweet time to write my stories. Also, I shuttle between India and the US where my wife and kids stay. So I write my stories in the US and come back to India for shooting.”
Another reason for his seemingly slow progress through the film world is that he’s learnt not to take decisions during his highs and lows. “My journey in the industry has taught me a lot about people management. I’ve also been constantly fighting to come up with touching stories. Hopefully, Republic will give me that breakthrough,” he says.