The writer-actor-filmmaker opens up on the Telugu release of Sapta Sagaradaache Ello - Side A
“What is life after one goes past the seven seas? You’re back to the same position,” Rakshit Shetty, says on a philosophical note, offering a metaphorical elaboration of his next release, Sapta Sagaralu Dhaati, the Telugu version of his Kannada hit Sapta Sagaradaache Ello - Side A, that releases tomorrow. While two of his Kannada films - 777 Charlie, Avane Srimannarayana - released in Telugu simultaneously, Sapta Sagaralu Dhaati hits screens three weeks after the original.
“Much like Kantara, it’s a practical idea for a producer to notice the demand for a film and release it in other versions. However, it can’t be one-size-fits-all formula for every project. Sapta Sagaradaache Ello was made as a niche film in Kannada and had a very restricted release. Despite having limited shows in Hyderabad, all shows were full and the audiences gave rave reviews online. This prompted us to release the film in Telugu,” he adds.
In the case of 777 Charlie, Avane Srimannarayana, the simultaneous pan-Indian release was due to the universal appeal of the theme and that the storytelling didn’t have much of the location/language coming into play. Sapta Sagaralu Dhaati is his second film with director Hemanth Rao after Godhi Banna Sadharana Mykattu. “As a person, he has evolved and become mature now, but I think he’s always been a fine filmmaker - not much about it has changed with time.”
The actor-filmmaker shares how Hemanth had to work on Godhi Banna.. with a limited budget and that Sapta Sagaralu Dhaati gave him more creative freedom to express himself. “Hemanth wrote the story almost a decade ago; his films have realism but aren’t inspired by real incidents. He had a musical reference for almost every scene in the film and he would play music in the background during the narration.”
The Telugu release materialised due to Divya from People Media Factory, who had constantly been in touch about possible collaborations in the past. Rakshit feels Sapta Sagaralu Dhaati merits a big screen experience primarily for its music score, cinematography and the sound design. “There’s a raw appeal to the visuals and the soundscape one can only experience in theatres.”
Any ideas for a direct Telugu film in the future? “I’ve been occupied with writing and acting over a decade now but my true passion is to make films and I have so many stories waiting to get out of me. Only once I finish these films, can I think about anything else. Moreover, I adopt an organic approach to writing films in Kannada and the expression comes from my soul. I don’t know if I can recreate that magic in any other language.”
There’s a glint in his eye as he speaks about Richard Anthony, his next film after Sapta Sagaradaache Ello - Side B. “I get to play a massy, appealing gangster but the film approaches the gangster genre, unlike whatever we’ve seen in the past.” In terms of his script selection, he’s hopeful of widening his range as a performer with every project and strike a balance between niche and mainstream cinema.