'Adbhutham' will stream from November 19 on Hotstar. Starring Teja Sajja and Shivani Rajasekhar in lead roles, it is directed by Mallik Ram. In this interview, the director talks about the movie, his future plans, and more.
I did the Telugu remake of 'Vicky Donor' in 2016 with Sumanth garu. Due to the effect of demonetization, the film didn't do that well. I have been associated with OTT platforms as well. 'Tharagathi Gadhi Daati' on Aha is one of my OTT projects.
Coming to 'Adbhutham', its story is by Prasanth Varma, who is a good friend of mine. The lead pair have the same phone number and the reason behind it is revealed only in the climax. There is a fantasy element in the story. It's more a sci-fi and not related to any divine element.
The first half is dominated by comedy and romance. A morose character is introduced. He is depressed. Shivani plays a playful character who is ambitious in life. What changes her entry into the former's life is interesting. Satya's comedy will be fun. The second half is rich in emotions and thrills. Because of the nature of the story, the writing task took a lot of time. Lakshmi Bhupala garu has written the dialogues and screenplay. We have seen concept-based movies since the 1990s. The audience have become intelligent.
The last 15 minutes are the best part of the movie.
I have done a couple of remakes. The thing is, remakes have become a part and parcel of the film industries. 'Adbhutham' is an original movie. My next project, too, is going to be totally original.
I chose Shivani Rajasekhar for 'Adbhutham' after considering some other names. Our plans didn't work out for various reasons. We had seen Shivani garu somewhere and, moreover, the producer has known Rajasekhar garu for several years. Shivani was excited listening to the story.
Coming to Teja Sajja, he was on the lookout for offers to debut in movies. 'Adbhutham' was supposed to be his first movie. He was a newcomer and I was not sure whether I should cast a debutant. But he has delivered a superb performance. Due to the lockdown, 'Adbhutham' release got delayed. He then worked on 'Zombie Reddy' and it became his debut release.
Since the story is great, I spent a lot of energy on writing it. More than anything, 'Adbhutham' is a beautiful, timeless love story. Sci-fi and fantasy elements have been built around the core idea. By the time the climax is over, you would have experienced a range of emotions.
When 'Adbhutham' was made, we wanted it to be a theatrical release. The pandemic changed our plans radically. The second wave of the pandemic was severe. People were too scared to visit theatres. 'Adbhutham' is a family entertainer too, with a clean 'U' rating. While theatrical collections started picking up since September, by then we had completed the deal with Hotstar.