'Family Drama', starring Suhas, Shruti Meher, Teja Kakamanu and others, is streaming on SonyLIV. In this interview, actor Suhas and director Meher Tej talk about the experience of shooting the movie, the response from the audience, and more.
I was excited listening to the script. I wanted to give it a try regardless of the fact that Rama (name of Suhas' character) is a negative character. Every five minutes, there is something exciting in the story. I felt that there are many exciting moments at regular intervals in the script.
I began my journey with short films. The stint is helping me even today. I worked with many directors during those days. Luckily, they have been offering me good scripts for feature films.
'Family Drama' is a challenging script for sure. It's good that it has clicked with the audience. Even the family audience are finding it interesting. Even those above the age of 60 are appreciating the story.
Since I have played a negative role in 'Family Drama', I was a bit apprehensive thinking about how the viewers might react. Even audience from other languages are appreciating my performance and I am glad about it.
Before 'Family Drama' was taken to the floors, we rehearsed every single scene during a workshop. At first, I was clueless about how to approach the character. It was not straightforward. Without rehearsals, we would have been clueless.
'Writer Padmabhushan' and 'Sriranga Neethulu' are my next movies. 'Ambajipeta Marriage Band', which is a revenge drama, will go on the floors soon. It is set in the backdrop of a village.
When I was writing this script, I was in the zone of Anurag Kashyap and the like. It has been very long since we have seen a dark family film with a dark ending. So, I felt I should do something dark and if it is honest, I felt, the audience would accept the content.
I wanted to cast only Suhas for the lead role. When 'Family Drama' went on the floors, he was busy with other films. I waited for him to become available. Once he listened to the script, he loved it and came on board.
The subtext of parenting in 'Family Drama' is clicking with aged audiences. Not just youngsters, aged people, too, are liking our movie. I have written dark characters inspired by fictional characters. But it's true that worse people exist in real life. I have listened to several such incidents from my acquaintances.
My previous collaboration with Suhas was a short film. I saw first-hand that he has got so much ease.
There is no scope for music in the story. Thrillers are usually not watched on repeat. If drama is there, a thriller can be watched on repeat. That's why the Indian classical touch was added to Suhas' character.
We have introduced a new sub-genre in Telugu with this film. We knew that the audience will either like it or dislike it totally. Luckily, the response has been favourable. My world has changed after the release of the movie on OTT. Several aspiring filmmakers are congratulating me.
'Family Drama' was supposed to be an OTT release first. During the making of the movie, we felt it has got potential for a theatrical release. The second wave changed our plans.
Since the entire film is set in a house, it becomes risky that the audience might feel it's a TV serial. To avoid it, the scenes had to be designed smartly.
Barring Suhas, the rest of them are all theatre artists. Their performance had to be good. Teja, who has played Lakshman, has been living in Australia. Pooja, Lakshman's wife, is a model and an actress. Sanjay Ratha is a Gujarathi theatre artist. Shruti Meher is a Hindi theatre artist.