Flip side of being super cop
Drawing from the experiences of real-life super cops, ‘Siddham’ tries to capture the agony of an encounter cop.
The emphasis is more on the agony and the mental trauma that Daya undergoes before and after each killing
Cop diaries Jagapathi Babu and Sindhu Menon in the film.
After Homam, J.D. Chakravarthy is coming up with Siddham, retaining Jagapathi Babu for the lead role. The film, we learn from Chakri, is about a task force officer Daya and his wife Gowri (played by Sindhu Menon). So who does this encounter specialist take on?
“I disagree with the word ‘encounter specialist’,” he nods in disapproval. “There cannot be a specialist in killing. There can only be an encounter cop. The protagonist Daya says, ‘similar to a doctor who cures with his treatment, I cleanse the evil forces’. Daya’s is a portrayal drawn from real life characters. My mentor Ramuji gave me the story based on the life of Daya Nayak, an encounter cop in Mumbai. We have added incidents from the experiences of AP’s super cop P. Seetharamanjaneyulu. The story is set against the backdrop of Hyderabad police force.”
He says that the film is character driven and has no conventional hero or heroine. “We chose new or up and coming actors for most of the other key roles to give a fresh feel to the film. Mukul Dev is the antagonist. He shares a unique relationship with the protagonist Daya making it all the more interesting. Kota Prasad (son of veteran actor Kota Srinivasa Rao) debuts as an encounter cop. I do not fit into any character in the film so I confined myself to the director’s role,” he guffaws.
He adds that the emphasis is not on showing the adventures of the super cop. “The emphasis is more on the agony and the mental trauma that Daya undergoes before and after each killing rather than on its brutality. He has done 51 such encounters! He feels it is a dirty job. But then that is his duty. That’s why he says – champadanikaina chavadanikaina siddham.”
“The story is about him and about his wife and what happened to them,” says Chakri, leaving a few silent moments to create the aura of suspense before he continues, “I wouldn’t say that such a story has not hit the screens. But I can say confidently that such a true-to-life portrayal has not been seen by the Telugu audience so far. We took care to make the film look and sound different. There are no songs in the film. I believe that while translating true life stories onto the celluloid, duets and songs mar its smooth progression.”
Chakri shares an anecdote, drawing from maestro Ilayaraja’s words. “During the postproduction of Siva, the maestro told me ‘Chakri, silence is a beautiful sound’. While working on the background score for Siddham, Amar Mohile (of Sarkar, Sarkar Raaj and Shoot out at Lokhandwala fame) said the same words. He has used ‘musical silence’ to enhance the quality of the film in some portions. When my mom (Kovela Shanta, a veteran musician and musicologist) said these words long back, I couldn’t understand it,” he smiles.
After Siddham, what next? “We have acquired the rights of A Wednesday to remake it in Telugu. I paid the money. But the producers later sold them to another party. The legalities are being worked out and I hope it turns favourable to us. More than the issue of having paid for the rights, I would love to bring such a good film to our audience,” informs Chakri. Siddham, which he describes as a ‘meaningful commercial film’, releases on February 12.
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