aha's Ardha Shathabdham promises to be an arresting take on caste-discrimination
It's heartening to notice that Telugu cinema is bustling with new talent and filmmakers are going the extra mile to explore unchartered territories by the day. The soaring popularity of the regional OTT platforms in the Telugu states is proof that audiences are hungry for pathbreaking content more than ever before. Ardha Shathabdham, a rural political drama set in the early 2000s of Telangana region's Sircilla district, to premiere on aha this June 11, promises to be just that and more.
Starring Karthik Rathnam, Krishna Priya, Naveen Chandra with a solid supporting cast comprising Subhalekha Sudhakar, Sai Kumar, Amani, Ardha Shathabdham is directed by Rawindra Pulle. "We have shot key portions of the film in Nirmal district, Telangana under challenging weather conditions. The film is an unconventional love story that dives deep into the rotten dimensions of our system, with several characters representing the pillars of democracy. Ardha Shathabdham looks at the constitution from the perspective of the marginalised and focuses on their struggle for equality in society," the filmmaker shared at a virtual press conference.
C/O Kancharapalem-fame Karthik Rathnam who is finding his feet in the industry with a flurry of promising performances shares, "It was indeed my dream come true to have shared screen space with my idols like Sai Kumar and Amani. I've overcome stage fear in my early years largely by delivering dialogues from Sai Kumar's films. I've been a fan of Naveen Chandra ever since Andala Rakshasi. I play an innocent youngster who's caught in an ugly game of politics, class and caste in the film."
Veteran actor Subhalekha Sudhakar, discussing his second direct-to-OTT release on aha, shared, "I got to essay the role of a politician who's committed to his position and genuinely believes in the power of constitution in ensuring a just society. However, the ground reality leaves him bitter. Ardha Shathabdham emphasises the importance of collective effort in bringing about a change and ushering in a better tomorrow. The film addresses several social issues with sincerity and I'm proud to be a part of a story that aims to bring about a difference."
Naveen Chandra plays a brief but key role in the film inspired the life of police officer Umesh Chandra. Interestingly, the female lead in the film Krishna Priya made it to the cast after the director noticed her Instagram profile. Despite being a Malayali, the actress was quick to grasp Telugu through the shoot and left everyone impressed. Another first for the film is the on-screen pairing of veteran actors Sai Kumar and Amani. The film opted for a direct-to-OTT release earlier this year, faced multiple delays and yet managed to sustain the buzz among audiences.