Web series Movies

Siva Sai Vardhan: ‘Geetha Subramanyam 2020’ is a family-friendly live-in relationship drama

Nakshatra and Karthikk in a still from ‘Geetha Subramanyam 2020’   | Photo Credit: By arrangement

In 2017, the YouTube Telugu series Geetha Subramanyam (GS) exploring the relationship dynamics of a live-in couple had quite a loyal following. Three years later, the concept got a reboot through a web series titled Geetha Subramanyam 2020 (GS2020), now streaming on Aha OTT platform. The series is helmed by the same director of the YouTube series, Siva Sai Vardhan, who has co-written the content with Srinivas Bathini. GS2020 has a new cast, Nakshatra and Karthikk.

“We were overjoyed when Aha offered us the scope to explore GS once again, possibly for a new audience,” says writer-director Siva Sai, who considers the earlier YouTube mini videos his training ground for filmmaking. A software engineer for the last 13 years who divides time between his IT job and filmmaking, he feels he’s now ready to take the plunge into making feature films and web series full time.

The original GS was born out of the idea of exploring relationship travails of a couple who live-in in a city. Live-in relationships have been explored in mainstream cinema — Wake Up Sid (2009), Shudh Desi Romance (2013), Ok Kanmani (2015) and several other films. Siva Sai says the scenario of live-in is no longer a taboo but still draws curious looks and is a tougher path to tread in a city like Hyderabad.

“I wanted to show the bond and conflict points between a live-in couple. The dynamics change vastly in a married couple; responsibility is a given. Here the couple has more freedom, is not pinned down with expectations,” says Siva Sai.

Season 1 has eight episodes, four of which were added recently. “We had completed most of the work but there was some patchwork left for episode 7, which got delayed due to COVID-19 lockdown,” reasons Siva Sai.

Director Siva Sai Vardhan

Director Siva Sai Vardhan   | Photo Credit: By arrangement

On why he chose a new pair of lead actors for the web series, the director says, “We didn’t want viewers to think that this web series is a continuation of what might have been seen on YouTube. We needed fresh faces. In fact, the original cast was very good and I had a tough time auditioning and finding new actors. Both Karthikk and Nakshatra were chosen after auditioning many aspiring actors,” he says.

He was particular on choosing a Telugu-speaking girl to play the lead but ultimately had to opt for a dubbing artiste to get the perfect voice. “I wanted someone new even for dubbing and considered a few people, but we were running out of time. Since a few of my crew members suggested popular dubbing artiste Haritha, we chose her and she did a good job,” says Siva Sai.

The series doesn’t negotiate the tough corners of a live-in relationship and maintains a feel-good approach. Siva Sai says he was particular to make a happy series that also makes for family-friendly viewing. “Some of my friends’ children were watching the YouTube videos and that made me think I shouldn’t have anything awkward for family viewers,” he says, signing off.

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Printable version | Oct 26, 2020 5:05:18 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/movies/siva-sai-vardhan-geetha-subramanyam-2020-is-a-family-friendly-live-in-relationship-drama/article31840622.ece

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