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Nikhil Siddhartha is enthused by the reception to ‘Arjun Suravaram’

Nikhil, a still from ‘Arjun Suravaram’

Nikhil, a still from ‘Arjun Suravaram’   | Photo Credit: by arrangement

Despite the delayed release of the film, the actor is glad that the audience accepted the story revolving around fake certificates

With the success of his recent film Arjun Suravaram co-starring Lavanya Tripathi, actor Nikhil Siddhartha is back in the reckoning. The debacle of his earlier film Kiraak Party at the box office taught him that people are not willing to watch mediocre films in theatres any more; it’s mandatory to deliver something worthwhile, he says. The success of Arjun Suravaram has made the actor enthusiastic and responsible.

As the Tamil film Kanithan (2016) was not on the digital platform, its Telugu remake Arjun Suravaram was lapped up by Telugu audience. Nikhil shares the journey with the film: He recalls, “It had a good point and the concept is relevant. There are people who use fake certificates for education, visa and jobs. Many unqualified people are getting jobs due to fake certificates.We have seen [films on] corruption in general but not the modus operandi and how high-level corruption works [in the domain of fake certificates]. I believed that if such a story is narrated well, people will watch it.”

The release of the film kept getting postponed from early 2019, before it finally arrived in theatres at the end of November. The postponements gave rise to speculations. The actor says, “I felt ravaged. A middleman not related to the film at all sold it to different people. Usually a film is stalled because of nil business, here the business was done for a profit and we were kept waiting. The middle man, who gave an advance of one crore, sold it to three others for a profit and was absconding. Three people had the rights. We made a film on fraud and it got involved in a fraud. A legal process was initiated and they were disqualified. The court cancelled the contract. Only after paying the complete money the producer should sell it but here things work differently, it works on trust. Fresh business was done and the process took six months.”

Arjun Suravaram was then screened to distributors since the delay led to doubts in the content. Chiranjeevi saw the film and felt the concept should reach more people and help create awareness about the issue of fake certificates.

The film also opened to favourable reviews. Chiranjeevi’s presence helped the film and Nikhil says he is ever grateful to him and also those who watched the film. He adds, “The teaser was well accepted, the song was a hit but till the night before the film’s release we were tensed. The same thing happened with Karthikeya, a broker sold the film multiple times to different people. I understand now that the producer should do background check on those investing or buying the film.”

Nikhil danced at the pre release event, it was a tribute to his favourite star — Chiranjeevi. He reveals that he took days to practise.

Though the film released and saw good numbers, Nikhil was still restless. He calls it a tense 14 days. The movie finally sold for ₹6 crore and got more than ₹11 crore. He says it is very important to sell the film to distributors for at least a nominal profit so that everyone stays happy and safe.

Nikhil quips, “There was a time when actors believed they should do three films a year, so that even if two flopped, the third would be a hit. Now the scenario has changed. You are good as your last film. Despite streaming platforms, people still come to watch a film in the theatre, so there is a responsibility on us to do a good job.”

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Printable version | Feb 19, 2020 3:13:57 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/movies/nikhil-siddhartha-is-enthused-by-the-reception-to-arjun-suravaram/article30491217.ece

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