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'Republic' is about conscience, solutions: Deva Katta

Tuesday, September 28, 2021 • Tamil Comments

Director Deva Katta calls 'Republic' his first political film. In this interview, the filmmaker talks about why the October 1st release is unique, roping in Sai Dharam Tej, Tej's health, Power Star Pawan Kalyan's speech, the stalling of 'Baahubali-Before The Beginning', and more.

Excerpts:

Recently, a colleague called me up after the trailer for 'Republic' was out. He said that the trailer was interacting with him directly. The feature-length is going to be even more interactive. 'Republic' is not about individuals, parties, etc. It is about our conscience. The film is surely going to stay with the audience.

The film tries to give a definition of government. Usually, films talk only about the problems. 'Republic' talks about solutions. It is not about individuals or political parties. It's about our conscience.

Since caste is integral to our culture, the element of caste is a part of 'Republic'. The film industry is a melting pot. Big stars have gone for inter-caste marriages. What is the caste of their children? Caste hinders growth. Economic liberation can end casteism.

An elected government has to work for the good of all people, irrespective of caste and religion. The political system is nothing but the people. We have a lot of complaints against the political parties, leaders, etc. But they too are victims in a way.

Visakha Vani (Ramya Krishna) was first a male character. I wanted to rope in a veteran actor for the character. But since 'Republic' is dominated by male characters with the exception of Myra (Aishwarya Rajesh as an NRI), it was turned into a female character. The first name that we could think of was Vijayashanthi garu. I was not too inclined to cast her. After all, she is a politician and there might be certain constraints. Ramya Krishna garu, someone who has played powerful roles in 'Narasimha' and 'Baahubali', was the next obvious choice.

When I did 'Vennela' and 'Prasthanam', I had full creative freedom. Films like 'Autonagar Surya' happened in a different scenario. 'Republic' is, again, 100% my film.

Until I wrote 'Prasthanam', I didn't know what I am capable of in terms of writing dialogues. Dialogues are not about gimmicks. They have to articulate an ideology unambiguously, reflect the underlying situation sharply. A dialogue is a thought. I write dialogues in my movies with that awareness.

ZEE Studios have also bought the IP rights (remake rights) of 'Republic'. Whether the film will have a remake will depend on the performance of our movie on October 1.

'Prasthanam' was not a political subject. It was about what an otherwise good man does out of self-interest. Even though he is compassionate otherwise, his one sin comes to haunt him for the rest of his life. 'Republic' has no similarities with that film.

I have caste Aishwarya Rajesh as an NRI in 'Republic' after watching 'Kakamuttai' in Tamil. Her eyes are evocative. Her character is quite unlike what she has done so far.

Policy-makers design policies to solve problems. Sometimes, a lack of proper communication between two arms of the government might lead to unforeseen problems.

Sai Dharam Tej is recovering in the hospital. He watched the pre-release event of 'Republic'. He is taking food regularly in small ways. Tej will continue to be in the hospital until he is completely alright.

Pawan Kalyan garu speaks from his heart. This is something both his critics and followers know. It's encouraging that he was there at the event to support Tej's movie. The trailer was released by Chiranjeevi garu. If YCP leaders watch 'Republic', they will love its message.

'Baahubali-Before The Beginning' had to be stalled because we were rushing through. Netflix wanted it to be taken on the floors before we were ready. It's envisioned to be another 'Game Of Thrones'. Now, if your project is that ambitious, you have to give it years. I and Praveen Sattaru dropped out of the project because we didn't want to be in a hurry.

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