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'Sasanasabha' will make the audience think about their decisions: Writer Raghavendra Reddy


'Sasanasabha', directed by Venu Madikanti and starring Indra Sena, hits the cinemas this December 16. Also starring Aishwarya Raj Bhakuni, Sonia Agarwal, and Rajendra Prasad, the film's story has been written by K Raghavendra Reddy. In this interview, writer Raghavendra Reddy talks about his background, the message that the pan-India political action film seeks to deliver, and more.

I started my career as a political journalist with an English-language daily in 1996 in Vizag. I became a film journalist later for livelihood in Hyderabad. At that time, I was already making trials as a wannabe film writer. Later, I ran a bulletin in a local channel for three years. During that phase, I was not focusing on film trials. In 2004, I received an offer from Zee Telugu, where I played a pivotal role in its nascent stage. Those were the days when web film media had not taken root yet.

My stint with TV helped me find a footing in the film industry. Many became familiar with me. By 2010, a sense of dissatisfaction grew in me. I started a satellite consultancy with Balakrishna's 'Simha'. There, I used to help producers clinch satellite rights deals with TV channels. I worked with big banners and got associated with many movies made by Geetha Arts and a few other banners.

For many years, I watched movies before they were released. My job was to point out issues or lags if any in films. That experience helped me a great deal in writing 'Sasanasabha'. I watched the final copy last night and I am very happy!

I hold a Masters degree in Political Science. I also studied Sociology, History and Political Science during graduation. My interest in politics made me write 'Sasanasabha'. Indra Sena, its male lead, is my friend. He loved the story so much that he wanted to do it come what may. He got in touch with the producers (read Thulasi Ram Sappani and Shanmugam Sappani), who had been on the lookout for a nice script for a few years.

Ravi Basrur was in full form after the release of 'KGF: Chapter 1'. The producers felt that someone like him should compose music for a film like this. They were not constrained by budget. So, they didn't mind roping him in. After listening to the story, the music director said that it was fresh. He knew that I will ask for build-up shots.

The Assembly is a holy place where laws are made. It's like a temple. In today's times, the dignity of law-making bodies has come down. 'Sasanasabha' is not preachy. It's a commercial one. It's not a straightforward movie. It attempts to raise relevant points.

We have pointed out the flaws that afflict the political system. In the recent Telangana bypoll, voters were bribed with thousands of rupees. How can voters sell themselves for a few thousands? Why don't they worry about their kids' future, for jobs? 'Sasanasabha' reflects my agony. The system has to change. The system is in a rut everywhere. There are issues across India.

Aishwarya Raj is the heroine and this is her second film. Sonia Aggarwal is the leader of the opposition. Anish Kuruvilla is a caretaker chief minister. There is a political supari killer played by Amit. Rajendra Prasad garu has got a powerful character; he is an honest MLA who uses a bicycle.

Films like 'Prathighatana' delivered a useful message to society. Such films may not lead to revolutionary changes but they make us think. In 'Sasanasabha', too, the lead man raises hard-hitting questions that will make the audience think. Change has to begin somewhere so that there is at least some positive change in the next generation.

The first half is fast-paced and passes just like that. The second half is where the serious part of the story is established.

I have received an offer from a US-based production house set up by an NRI. The film revolves around a tense incident involving an Indian student in the US. A US-based Telugu person is its lead actor. I want to write stories for at least 10 movies before wearing the hat of a director.

Updated on December 15, 2022