The actor-director's film will release on October 14, in a direct clash with Sudeep's Kotigobba 3.
Salaga was supposed to be the big Ugadi release in 2020, but that was not to be owing to the pandemic. A year and a half later, the film, which marks actor Duniya Vijay’s directorial debut, is set to open in movie halls on October 14. In Chennai to ensure to ensure the uplink of his film for screening on Thursday, the actor-director took time out to speak to us about all things Salaga. Excerpts:
Now that the film is set to release, what’s the feeling like?
I am happy that the film is releasing, especially since theatres are back with 100% occupancy allowed. There’s a sense of confidence, as the content of the film is good. I believe that my hard work will be appreciated. I am in a very positive frame of mind. My only request is that audiences should watch Salaga from start to finish, because the last shot has something special that I have set out to say with this film.
Why was Salaga the chosen subject for a directorial debut?
I see direction as a career growth for me; I have come a long way from the days of struggling to get into films, to becoming hero, producer and now director. I am very happy that I am at this juncture in my career. I have been in the industry for almost 25 years, and as hero for about 15. Despite the years of struggle to become a hero and the subsequent ups and downs I have had; I am happy about my personal growth in the industry. When I set out to get into the industry, I wanted to do something in cinema and that is still an ongoing process, direction being one facet of it. Direction would have been a natural progression for me at some point.
When I began writing scripts, after a few of my films didn’t do too well at the box office, this was a subject that I felt I was best suited to bring it to the screen because the sequence of events in the narrative are a lot like my personal experiences. In fact, some of it has been inspired by dark phases from my life.
What is the film about?
Salaga is a modern-day Duniya; while I was a small-town guy who gets entangled in the underworld in Duniya, this time around, the character is that of an innocent urban guy, the son of a school teacher, who inadvertently gets involved with people from that world. While it is, no doubt, an underworld story with a lot of violence and gore to present the grey shade of Bengaluru, there is also a cute love story at its crux. In a nutshell, it is a good entertainer with a socially-relevant message.
So, what’s next?
I had announced another directorial earlier, but that’s been delayed because of the pandemic. As for acting commitments, I am not in the best shape for it right now. I had, in fact, given up on my diet and workouts for the look I wanted to sport in Salaga. I need to get back to my earlier routine and reduce my weight. For now, the release of Salaga is the focus.