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'Hunt' will always be remembered in Sudheer Babu's career: Mahesh Surapaneni

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'Hunt', to be released in theatres on January 26, stars Sudheer Babu in the lead. The film is produced by V Ananda Prasad of Bhavya Creations. In this interview, debutant director Mahesh Surapaneni talks about the film, which is laced with slick action and emotions. He is confident that 'Hunt' will end up as one of the most memorable films in the career of the 'Sammohanam' actor.

It all began with me bagging the opportunity to wield the megaphone for a Bhavya Creations movie. I first pitched a love story but abandoned it after I started developing the script. I then started developing a spy thriller. While I was narrating it to different actors, I pitched the core idea of 'Hunt' to someone without any prior planning. Since I loved the idea, I started developing it into a story. Later, it was decided to narrate the story to Sudheer Babu, as he would be the aptest one.

Sudheer Babu played a memory-loss cop in the movie. We have seen many memory-loss characters before. What is crucial in such scripts is what happened before and what happens after the incident that caused the loss of memory. Both drama-wise and plot-wise, 'Hunt' is thrilling in that respect. The memory-loss element might remind most audience members of Hollywood movies like 'Bourne Identity'. But the element is not really limited to such movies.

'Hunt' is a serious film despite the memory-loss angle. I haven't milked the angle for fun. When a mystery stares in the face of the hero, his cracking has to be done through serious scenes, especially when he is in a do-or-die situation.

The script induces tension in the viewer. And the climax will pay off everything solidly.

Sudheer Babu is a very dedicated actor. He shares his ideas but leaves the final decision to the director. Although he is an actor known for doing commercial movies, he didn't mind that there is no heroine in 'Hunt'. He is also a fitness freak who worked out hard for a leak look. He didn't go for a bulky look. His body language is going to be very different. He sports short hair. His look before the accident that causes memory loss is different from the other look.

There is just one song in the movie. Unnecessary songs can be a diversion. A film like 'Kaithi' (Tamil) didn't have a single song. The entire story takes place in the night. And there is no female character as such. 'Vikram' was as long as 170 minutes. It didn't have a heroine. Those films gave me the confidence to write 'Hunt' without a heroine.

'Premisthe' Bharath has got a prominent role in the movie. Before his name was considered, we mulled over some Telugu artists. But we eventually felt he would be suited best. Srikanth garu played the role of a senior to the hero. He gives the hero moral support. In many ways, he is suited best to play the role.

The action choreography has been done by Renaud Favero and Bryan Viger of the Marvel universe and 'John Wick 4' fame. We could have brought them to India and canned the action scenes. But that would not have looked authentic, since they are used to working with stuntmen in their country. So, we went to Paris and shot action scenes. There is a parking basement action scene that could have been shot in Hyderabad. But we shot it in Paris for authenticity. No film works just because of good action. The fights have to have an undercurrent of emotions.

There are six fights and two chasing sequences in total. The feedback on action scenes after the release of the teaser and trailer is great.

I always wanted to team up with Ghibran because I love his work for 'Run Raja Run' and 'Jil'. After listening to the story, he came on board immediately.

Updated on January 22, 2023