Director Jeevitha Rajasekhar has wielded the megaphone for 'Shekar', starring Dr. Rajasekhar in the lead. To be released in theatres on May 20, the film also co-stars Muskaan Khubchandani, Sameer and others.
In this interview, Jeevitha talks about turning a director, directing her husband, the strengths of 'Shekar', the so-called differences with Chiranjeevi, and more.
The Telugu remake of the Tamil film 'Sethu' was my maiden attempt as a filmmaker. I had to become a director because none was ready to remake 'Sethu' the way I and Rajasekhar garu wanted. I took up 'Seshu' (2002) and have since learned the ropes to making a film without falling back on my technicians too much.
Coming to 'Shekar', I wouldn't have directed it had either Karuna Kumar of 'Palasa 1978' or some other director whom we approached accepted our offer. They were busy with their respective project. So, I took up the baton.
'Joseph', the Malayalam movie, is rich in content. I made a few changes to it in remaking it as 'Shekar'. The underlying emotion surrounding a lonesome fellow has been dealt with sensitively. Shekar is a strong-willed person who can handle any situation in life with grit and determination. The co-operation extended by the cast and crew was great. Especially, Prakash Raj garu agreed to do the film without charging a rupee. He is a kind-hearted person who is always there to help others.
Having worked with my husband in the capacity of a director, I can say that he is a director's actor. Since the days of Kodi Ramakrishna garu, he has submitted to his director's vision.
It is true that 'Shekar' is being released amid competition from 'Sarkaru Vaari Paata' and 'F3' (to be released on May 27). But we are confident in what we have made. The film's tickets will be sold at the minimum government rates.
It is bad that YouTube channels write juicy thumbnails about us and Chiranjeevi garu. There are no issues between us. We have cordial relations with everyone in the film industry.
I am glad that Shivani, my daughter, has played the protagonist's daughter in 'Shekar'. The father-daughter scenes are crucial to the film. Casting the real-life daughter helps in building an emotional connection with greater ease.
The trailer of 'Shekar' has been a massive hit. We have been touring different towns. The response from college-goers has been great.
The phase when Rajasekhar garu caught Covid-19 just a week before 'Shekar' was to go on the floors was really worrisome. His infection turned critical.
My husband is not disinclined to play negative roles. If the role is well-written, he is game. He loves the way the antagonist was written in Ram Charan's 'Dhruva'.