Samantha’s Shaakuntalam is all geared up for a grand release this Friday in theatres. Directed by Gunasekhar, the film has an ensemble cast of Prakash Raj, Mohan Babu, Sachin Khedekar, Aditi Balan, Ananya Nagalla, and Gautami in vital roles. Allu Arjun’s daughter Allu Arha will be seen as Prince Bharatha. Gunasekhar’s daughter Neelima Guna produced the film. Ahead of the release, we had a brief discussion with the director, and here is the transcript.
Samantha said the film is relatable to current-day people. Can you elaborate on this?
Shaakuntala’s character stands for her values and self-esteem. Shaakuntala does something which was considered a crime in society back then. If we look at modern-day women, they are very strong, and that is how Shaakuntala’s character is relevant to the present-day scenario.
What was your biggest fear while filming Shaakuntalam?
The animals part is the most challenging aspect of the whole film. We need to spend much on the CGI, and also it would take a lot of time to get the output. Before we used to make films with animals but now it is not possible.
At a time when audiences’ tastes are changing and are preferring action films, do you think they will like a story like Shaakuntalam?
Kantara just doesn’t have only action part. So if we consider ROI, Kantara is a bigger success than KGF. It all depends on the content. Hence I believe Shaakuntalam will be very much successful as it is high on content.
Why did you call off the special premieres plan?
Our intention is to show the audiences the 3D version that is devoid of any technical glitches. But, unfortunately, we lack theatres that test 3D. I need to see the film in a theatre before showing it to the audience. I have identified a few technical glitches after seeing the film in Prasads multiplex. We have not canceled the premieres. We received outstanding reports from premiers for the film’s content.
Why did you opt for Dev Mohan for King Dusyant’s role?
Telugu heroes will not accept such roles which have shades. If we take Bollywood stars like Aamir Khan and Salman Khan, they will do guest roles too. Tollywood heroes need to get better in this aspect. I need someone who has a charm, and I hence went ahead with Dev Mohan. He allotted bulk dates for the movie.
What will be the screen time of Mohan Babu Garu in the film?
It’s not about the screen time, but it’s the impact of his character that makes a difference. I approached Mohan Babu Garu for a role in Rudramadevi, but it didn’t work out. I felt like dropping the project had Mohan Babu Garu not agreed to be part of Shaakuntalam.
Can you talk about the film’s music?
Mani Sharma has been waiting for a long time to work on a period film. He gives epic music to normal films, and it has been proven with Chudalani Undhi and Okkadu. As Shaakuntalam is a period film, Mani Sharma Garu has given his best. Musicophiles have been saying that all the songs are stunning.
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