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How Satyadev Kancharana approached ‘Uma Maheswara Ugra Roopasya’ as a fresh project than a remake

Satyadev Kancharana   | Photo Credit: By arrangement

In the last four or five years, actor Satyadev Kancharana had made intelligent choices and that paid off. Today he gets to do what he always wished for — acting in a range of roles including protagonist, antagonist and character roles — he couldn’t have asked for more. His new Telugu film Uma Maheswara Ugra Roopasya (UMUR), a remake of director Dileesh Pothan’s Malayalam movie Maheshinte Prathikaaram, was scheduled to hit the screens this summer. With theatres unlikely to reopen and win over the audiences soon, given the COVID-19 outbreak, UMUR directed by Venkatesh Maha will stream soon on a digital platform.

In late March as India was acclimatising to the nationwide lockdown, the medical thriller web series Locked, starring Satyadev as a neurosurgeon, began streaming on Aha, and elicited good response. In 2019, Satyadev won appreciation for the Zee5 web series G.O.D (Gods of Dharmapuri) directed by Anish Kuruvilla as well as director Vivek Athreya’s film Brochevarevarura.

When the Malayalam film Maheshinte Prathikaaram starring Fahadh Faasil released in 2016, filmmaker Pradeep Advaitam asked Satyadev to watch the film and he did. They agreed it would be a good story to remake and tried getting producers to bag the remake rights. The efforts didn’t bear fruit and they moved on.

Around the same time, Venkatesh Maha had narrated a story to Satyadev but that project didn’t take off. Maha thought he should do a concept film and gain the confidence of the industry folks and the audience, and worked on his debut film Care of Kancharapalem. Satyadev adds, “Once the film released, Maha was in a big league and I thought he won’t return to me. One fine day, he texted me randomly that we would be remaking Maheshinte Prathikaaram. It was a happy coincidence. I didn’t think of it as a remake but a wonderful story that has to be told to the Telugu audience. When we believe in such a thought sincerely, it will definitely help.”

Satyadev in a still from UMUR

Satyadev in a still from UMUR   | Photo Credit: By arrangement

The initial promos of the film have raised expectations, and Satyadev is confident that viewers will like the film.

In the film, a photographer from Araku valley called Umamaheswara Rao, gets embroiled in a situation that he isn’t connected to. He is thrashed, his clothes torn, slippers lost and as the village watches his fury, his friend tells him enough is enough and he must put on his slippers and move from that place. Impulsively, he swears he will never wear his slippers till he takes revenge on the man who beat him. How that creates a change in him is the story. Satyadev explains how the story got its title, “Umamaheshwara is a symbol of peace, to pacify the ugra roopam of Siva, Parvati unites with Siva. It is a tale of an angry Umamaheswara Rao. A girl called Hari Chandana (newcomer) enters his life and she will act as a catalyst in he becoming a complete man. I did not put on any make up for this project. The film has all newcomers except three familiar faces.”

Venkatesh Maha had advised Satyadev to not talk much during the shoot for days, and come straight to the sets to perform. He tried to grab that non-corrupted emotion from every actor and Satyadev claims if he could get the best from newcomers/non actors in Care of Kancharapalem, he would have given it all in this case. He quips, “People on the sets said I look totally different, the credit goes to him (Venkatesh Maha). I watched Maheshinte... in 2016 just once. Maha is a sensible man, sometimes he asks certain things and we don’t know why, but later we understand.”

The film has been shot in sync sound and to execute it in Araku in October and November, when it was a peak period for tourists, was a tough task.

So far, Satyadev has fortunately not been typecast, going by diverse characters he got to play in Telugu cinema and web series. In Ragala 24 Gantallo which revolved around Esha Rebba, he played negative role. Once the film was out he got similar roles but he put his foot down and said he will not repeat the act for sometime at least. Ditto with the Mahesh Babu starrer Sarileru Neekevvaru, where he got to do a cameo. He was given four big ticket films but politely turned them down as it didn’t excite him. He shares, “I am okay doing negative role provided it is out of the box. I prefer being the protagonist. In Sarileru…my role duration was 15 minutes. Since I knew the scope I didn’t mind it. I wouldn’t repeat such a role immediately though.”

Satyadev is doing four other films, including Skylab with Nitya Menen and Rahul Ramakrishna, being directed by newcomer Vishwak. Another project produced by the writer of Oh Baby, Lakshmi Bhupala, will be directed by Sanjeev Reddy who earlier made ABCD.

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Printable version | Oct 26, 2020 6:46:45 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/movies/how-satyadev-kancharana-approached-uma-maheswara-ugra-roopasya-as-a-fresh-project-than-a-remake/article31840945.ece

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