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Director Mahesh: Hunt will be a career-defining film for Sudheer Babu

The filmmaker offers a glimpse into the world of his upcoming cop thriller that releases on January 26

Director Mahesh: Hunt will be a career-defining film for Sudheer Babu
Director Mahesh on Hunt
  • Team OTTplay

Last Updated: 09.45 AM, Jan 22, 2023

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Director Mahesh’s cop thriller Hunt, bringing together three popular actors, Sudheer Babu, Bharath and Srikanth, is all set to hit screens on January 26. As the film, slated for a Republic Day release, makes it to theatres, the filmmaker discusses what went into the project, from its core idea to the casting and says why it’s certain to be a treat for action junkies.

Excerpts from the interaction:

The story behind Hunt went on floors:

I initially was to do a project for Bhavya Creations and narrated a few scripts to them. We thought of doing a love story initially, dropped the idea during the scripting stages, decided on a spy thriller next and finalised a cop thriller that I’d written much before. Given the script was ready with me, we brought Sudheer Babu on board immediately and the film went on floors in two days.

The core idea of Hunt:

I watched several films where the protagonist loses his memory and I wanted to tell a story that would trace the character’s past. What if he’s stuck in a do or die situation and needs to unlock a mystery? The drama in Hunt will be unique and refreshing, the climax will ensure a good high for the viewer and the conflict resolution will be satisfying. This isn’t a totally new story, in fact the genre is quite popular in Hollywood, say The Bourne Ultimatum.

On the casting of his leads - Sudheer Babu, Srikanth and Bharath:

Sudheer Babu is a very committed, disciplined actor and he’s honest to his craft. He gives enough freedom for a director to take decisions. He took a risk by doing a film without any female lead and never expressed any apprehensions with regard to the film’s commercial appeal. We considered several actors before Bharath for another crucial role, but his combo with Sudheer Babu sounded unique. Bharath said yes to the story immediately and he was keen on taking up a Telugu film.

With Srikanth’s character, I was looking to cast a senior actor who’s a mentor figure to Sudheer Babu and provides moral support to him. Srikanth was our first choice and he made a solid impact with his looks and screen presence. While many showcase him in an elderly avatar these days, we’ve given him a cop role who’s in his 40s and we’re confident, it’ll resonate with audiences.

The decision to opt for a near-songless film:

The only song in the film is a New Year party number and our intent behind going with a near songless film is to not interrupt the flow of the story. I don’t sense the need for songs in most films these days. A film like Kaithi unfolds over a night, didn’t have any female lead and revolves around the drug mafia and audiences still liked it and the same goes for Kamal Haasan’s Vikram too, which was a three-hour long film. This gives us the confidence to try something new.

The efforts that went into Hunt, on and off screen:

Sudheer has attempted a lean look for the film and wanted to suit the part to perfection. He looks prim and proper and his body language in the film will be contrasting before and after an accident. The character loses self belief after experiencing memory loss but how does he regain it by the end of the story? To make a realistic film, the action sequences need to be realistic and Sudheer coordinated with a team of stunt choreographers, helped us shoot with them in Paris.

There are six action sequences in Hunt, including two high-voltage chases. We’ve received good responses for the action segments in the promos. I hope crowds feel the same on January 26 too. It was a long-time dream to associate with composer Ghibran. He was my first choice for Hunt and I’ve been a big fan of his work since the days of Run Raja Run and Jil.

Hunt, in a nutshell:

The story is about a cop who loses his memory, fights his inner demons and solves a mystery from his past. How does a man, who has no clue about his past, solve such a case? There’s more to the film beyond the stunts and the fights. Action sequences can’t alone salvage a film. A film needs a strong emotional core and I’m sure audiences will experience a rollercoaster ride of emotions with my film. Audiences will come out of theatres with a heavy heart and it’ll be career-defining film for Sudheer Babu.

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