Sye Raa Narasimha Reddy, the period drama based on the life and times of slain patriot Uyyalawada Narasimha Reddy, will be a rare treat for the fans of Chiranjeevi, say the film’s writer duo Paruchuri brothers. In a conversation with Silverscreen, the writers said that the film has an ‘extensive’ canvas. “And, it is a period drama as well. So, bringing alive real-life characters required detailed research. We have perused many texts from the period that Narasimha Reddy lived in. To bring all of that into the medium of cinema is certainly a great task. But, it’s not impossible. It just requires a lot of time as well as talent,” says Paruchuri Venkateswara Rao, the elder of the siblings.
The brothers have previously worked on Rudrama Devi, and one could say they have the necessary experience for a project of this magnitude. But, Paruchuri Gopala Krishna says that it had no bearing when they set out to write Sye Raa. “For one, Rudrama Devi was from a different era altogether. So, what we lacked in historical facts, we compensated with creative license. That is not the case here. We have definitely given the story a flourish, but the core is untouched,” he said.
While writing the movie, they could not imagine anybody other than Chiranjeevi in the lead role. Says Gopala Krishna: “Narasimha Reddy’s story is one of valour and great courage. It required an actor who holds the same principles dear in order to bring some accuracy and life to the movie. There was no one else who could pull this off except Chirajeevi garu. He has gravitas. He has the moral fibre. And, most important of all, his fans and the Telugu audience will believe it when he appears as the man who faced a colonial power.”
The teaser, which was released recently, seeks to establish Narasimha Reddy as a man who stood up for his people, the land and their rights, at a time when everybody else cowered under British rule. This sentiment resonates even now, years after Telangana was formed, and South India continues to grapple with issues stemming from the benign neglect of the Central Government. Gopala Krishna says that they did not consciously intend to evoke current goings-on in their movie. “It happened on its own. Everybody interprets a particular artwork differently. And, if the audience happens to relate a century-old event to what is happening now, that is definitely food for thought.”
That said, Gopala Krishna agrees that films made in a particular time frame represent the need of the hour. “Movies such as Baahubali and even Rudrama Devi speak that idea. You might call them fantasy films; however, movies itself are a fantasy-based medium. But, there is always a central conceit that is necessarily grounded in reality. So, to dismiss this idea that movies don’t have any bearing on society, and vice-versa is silly,” he says.
The brothers say they have been discussing the story of Uyyalawada Narasimha Reddy for the longest time with the family of actor Chiranjeevi. “Every time we used to visit them, we would talk about this story. I guess it has been going on for more than 10 years now. There was always something that delayed this film. It is a magnum opus in the truest sense of the word. And, at the end of the day, may be Narasimha Reddy’s story needed this time, this cast and this crew so that the legend of his bravery would reach far and wide.”
Here’s the teaser:
Image Courtesy: Ragalahari