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Gandharwa has a surprise element at every turn: Director Apsar

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'Gandharwa' is an upcoming movie starring 'George Reddy' fame Sandeep Madhav as the male lead. Gayatri R Suresh and Akshatha are the heroines. Dialogue King Sai Kumar and Suresh have played crucial roles. Debutant director Apsar, in this interview, talks about the film, the military backdrop, the exciting dimension of the protagonist's character, what he believes in as a creator, and more.

I started focusing on Telugu during my SSC days. Earlier, I only had a brief tryst with the language. I used to write poems in the Telugu language, some of which are published.

I come from a Defence background. I joined a direction course at the Pune film institute after retiring from defence. I decided to write a subject that is totally striking. 'Gandharwa' was borne of a strong desire to come up with something novel. I chanced upon the idea of the anti-aging research prevalent in medicine. In my film, a 75-year-old man looks young and what are the consequences of it for him and his family members is what the film is about. The world sees the protagonist as a strange phenomenon.

I researched for two years just to write the climax. I didn't want the idea of anti-aging to sound routine. If I inject a divine element, it would be similar to 'Oh! Baby' (the Samantha-starrer). Therefore, I had to do something different. I stumbled across articles related to anti-aging and even referred to an Israeli movie. I read a lot of articles on anti-aging. I collected information. 'Gandharwa' stays true to logic and science for the most part.

The protagonist is a soldier who participates in the 1971 Indo-Pak war. I have chosen the military backdrop because my protagonist goes to a specific place, something he could have done only if he is a military personnel. I have touched upon a captivating element that youngsters will surely love to watch. 'Gandharwa' is also a suspense thriller at one level. An incident that took place in the protagonist's life is uncovered only in the climax.

After I wrote the story, I approached a couple of actors. A few production houses even asked me to sell the story to them. I didn't want to do that because I want to direct 'Gandharwa' myself. This is when my music director Shakeel introduced me to Sandeep Madhav. He has previously done a couple of biopics ('George Reddy' and 'Vangaveeti'). He has got no specific image as such. That's why I felt he is the right person to be cast as Captain Avinash.

The Bangladesh liberation war is a mere element in the film. The space research element has got an integral role in why he looks ever-so-young. The protagonist's age goes up steadily but his looks remain stuck at 25. I have also made a Hollywoodian reference.

'Gandharwa' is coming out at a time when patriotic movies like 'Major' and 'Shershah' have done very well. My hero is a military personnel. There is a fascinating aspect. Every two minutes, there is some interesting turn. You will want to watch the climax ASAP. The film doesn't confuse the audience. The Telugu audience don't like to be bored or confused. Everything is straight.

Sandeep Madhav's acting, Gayatri R Suresh's character are going to stand out. The latter has delivered a superb performance. Sheetal Bhatt has got a key role.

I have got no prior experience in the direction department. So, many were sceptical about my skills when I took up this project. A lot of defence personnel are highly creative. People in the defence department come from various geographical and social backgrounds. There is strong bonding among soldiers, they do comedy skits, and all.

When I wanted to turn into a director, I knew that entertainment has to be novel and refreshing for the audience to give his attention. I have also readied two other subjects. Hopefully, after 'Gandharwa' is released, I will do one of them with a big banner.

Updated on June 21, 2022