'Seetimaarr' will be released in theatres on September 10. In this interview, actor Gopichand talks about the movie, why it is unique, working with director Sampath Nandi and more.
When Sampath Nandi narrated the story, I instantly loved it because I have not done a sports-based movie before. 'Okkadu' was not a Kabaddi movie. 'Bheemli Kabaddi' and 'Kabaddi Kabaddi' are the only Kabaddi-based Telugu movies. 'Seetimaarr', with its commercial elements, is one of its kind. Moreover, this is the first sports-based commercial movie in my career. That's what I liked about it.
I have played a coach in 'Seetimaarr'. Four of the women in my team are national players for real. It was great working with them and knowing about their struggles. Even though they have achieved so much, they haven't been rewarded by the system. The Kabaddi team in the film had to work really really hard for weeks on end. I would often pity that they had to work so so hard.
The issue of discrimination against women is a crucial element in the movie. Kabaddi players have to wear short clothes because the sport demands it. As a result, aspirants face a lot of discrimination. Our movie raises this point.
Bhumika Chawla garu's character is involved in sister-brother sentiment scenes. 'Chak De' and 'Dangal' have been defining moments in the history of sports-based movies. 'Seetimaarr' is different from them and other sports-oriented movies made so far.
'Gautham Nanda' didn't do well at the box office. I realized its flaws after its release. This time, I and Sampath Nandi have made a flawless product. Kabaddi is a massy sport and basing a movie on it can be awesome.
I have long waited to team up with Tamannaah Bhatia. She is a strong woman in the movie and her scenes are going to be a key highlight. There is a love story but that's not essential to the story.
This is my seventh movie with music director Mani Sharma. Most of them worked at the BO. His BGM needs no special introduction.
'Seetimaarr' has a male protagonist who has a clear-cut purpose in life. How he achieves it and fights the obstacles on his path is the most interesting aspect of the story.
It was in December 2019 that 'Seetimaarr' went on the floors. The pandemic has resulted in endless delays. We were planning to release the movie finally this Summer. But the second wave made it impossible.
Audiences are visiting theatres these days to watch movies. The situation is improving. I personally prefer to watch a movie in a theatre but OTT becomes an inevitable option for some producers. The future of OTT is looking up. Theatres are not going to go anywhere. OTT will be an additional avenue.
I have plans to revive my father's banner, Ee Tharam. But I can't say when it will be done. Maruthi's 'Pakka Commercial' is on. My film with director Teja hasn't materialized. A film with Sriwass will follow Maruthi's movie.