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Venkatesh: Seethamma Vakitlo... was a safe bet

Last updated on: February 8, 2013 10:04 IST

Venkatesh: Seethamma Vakitlo... was a safe bet

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Radhika Rajamani in Hyderabad

'Victory' Venkatesh is now basking in the success of Seethamma Vakitlo Sirimalle Chettu (SVSC). This multi-starrer with Mahesh Babu (the first multi-starrer after 25 years) has won critical acclaim besides going strong at the box office, close to a month after its release.

Venkatesh talks exclusively about this smash hit SVSC.

SVSC is a huge hit. What has worked in its favour?

It has a natural tone. I had done family films before and while those stressed on melodrama, SVSC didn't.

The film had a touch and go emotion which wasn't expressed clearly and that was fresh. Many from the coastal areas (of the State) could relate to it as that's how brothers are in reality there. The director was very clear about the emotions he wanted to portray.


Image: A scene from Seethamma Vakitlo Sirimalle Chettu


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'Two heroes were coming together after 25 years'

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When you signed the film, it was the first multi-starrer after many years. Do you think you were taking a risk in doing so?

It was a safe bet. People have to have a positive feel. Then, they prepare themselves to go and watch the film. Ever since this film was announced, there was a pleasant feel about it.

Two heroes were coming together after 25 years. A title like this will capture the imagination of the people. Also, the visuals given out were different – Mahesh and I walking out of the station, or both of us carrying the binda (water pot). It was thought that this will make families come out to watch the film.

Also, people in those areas will connect to those emotions. It was like going against the grain yet keeping them intact. This has helped.

The curiosity factor is also there, seeing two heroes work together. Fans have connected with the film the second time they saw it. The first time they said they found the character I played, soft. When they watched it for the second time, they watched the relationship, the bond, and they loved it.

It was not a risky subject. There is emotion in the film. We knew it would appeal to the family.

It was perhaps a risk for Mahesh after the huge success of Dookudu and Businessman. More than me, it was a huge change for him.

I kept telling him, the audiences will come. For him, after all the gun-shooting in earlier movies, there is freshness in this film. Twenty-twenty five per cent of the crowds that came to the theatres to see this film were new.

We knew it was a successful combination and financially it wouldn't be a loss. So, one was not worried. I'm glad Dil Raju made it under his banner.


Image: A scene from Seethamma Vakitlo Sirimalle Chettu


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'People identified with the emotion in the film'

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What was your contribution, if any, to the script?

When Srikkanth Addala first narrated the story to me, I felt we could work much more on the script. It was encouraging to see he was ready for the feedback.

Your character has very few dialogues...

The character was clean. Even the time I met Mahesh at the railway station, people got hooked on to that scene. The body language was very clear. Even the one-liners were enough!

Have you got positive comments for the film?

Yes. A number of brothers sent messages saying they wanted to patch up! It was nice to hear that. People identified with the emotion in the film.


Image: A scene from Seethamma Vakitlo Sirimalle Chettu


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'There were no mind games or ego clashes with Mahesh Babu'

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Did you receive any negative feedback?

There was nothing negative either in the comments or in the film. One set of fans felt it was serious but after watching for the second and third time, they felt good. Some felt it was too simple for two big heroes.

How was it acting with Mahesh Babu?

When we came onto the set to do the scene, it had nothing to do with our films or image. We got into the characters Peddodu and Chinnodu, and played them. Luckily, from day one, Mahesh was comfortable and we hit it off well.

We wanted this film to take off well. There were so many delays as well as the pressure of a two-hero film.

There were no mind games or ego clashes. We all worked for the betterment of the film.

Each character got his mileage. I'm glad Mahesh did the film. It's a different one for him and he has another super-duper hit in his kitty.

What do you have to say about director Srikkanth Addala?

He was clear in what he wanted. He sought inspiration from his life and village. He was innocent and honest. That simplicity and approach helped him.


Image: A scene from Seethamma Vakitlo Sirimalle Chettu


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'Shadow will release in early summer'

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You are now doing another multi-starrer, the Telugu remake of Bol Bachchan, with Ram...

Yes, this film will be a cute one with high-voltage entertainment. There's a young hero in it. Some simple changes will be made.

When will your next film Shadow release?

It's scheduled to release in early summer.



Image: Venkatesh in Shadow


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