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Director Shree Karthick speaks on Oke Oka Jeevitham & script for Allu Arjun

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Debutant filmmaker Shree Karthick is happy that 'Oke Oka Jeevitham' has been accepted by the audience. In this interview, he talks about his journey, doing the sci-fi drama with Sharwanand and Amala Akkineni, his plans to pitch a story to Allu Arjun, and more.

I am relieved with the success of my debut movie. The audience are loving the film because its emotions are relatable. The scripting of 'OOJ' itself took 2 years, including the time I spent pitching the story to producers. Another 1.5 years went into getting the project into place. Sharwanand came on board. And then happened the covid pandemic. It took five years for the film to get released from the time it was conceived.

When my mother was on bed due to cancer, she didn't know that I was wanting to become a filmmaker. At that time, she was a little unconscious. I think now she knows I am a filmmaker! The idea of time travel came to me in this context. I am a big fan of science. Without science, 'OOJ' would have been way too melodramatic. The fun factor would have gone missing. There has to be a roller-coaster of emotions. The emotional edge has to be there. Ups and downs on the emotional front have to be there in a script. All these thoughts resulted in 'OOJ'.

There is no specific Hollywood inspiration as such behind my film. Our textbook reference is always Hollywood when it comes to concepts like VFX, time machine, etc. Our directors are usually scared of the high-budget sci-fi films entail and the apprehensions about the audiences' reception in B and C centers. How science can be communicated to the average audience is a big challenge for the filmmaker. In 10 years, sci-fi is going to be more common. We have Rajamouli sir, who is taking Indian cinema to world cinema.

'OOJ' is a bigger hit compared to its Tamil version 'Kanam'. The film became a big hit despite the lack of usual commercial elements. This film was never meant to be a Rs 100-Cr biggie!

Sharwanand went into an emotional churn during the film. He loves his mother so much and got connected with the content on a personal level. We had to overcome the personal to be able to do the film.

Roping in Sharwa was the producer's call. Choosing Amala Akkineni ma'am was my call. I didn't want to rope in those who have already been familiar (like Nadhiya). That's why I chose someone who hasn't been seen much for the mother's role. The three kids are from Kollywood.

I am passionate about dancing. Many years ago, I participated in a dance reality show for which Gautami ma'am and Radhika ma'am were on the jury. They felt that I was expressive. I tried to get acting assignments for two years but nothing substantial came my way. This is when I gave up on acting and started writing a script. I also did Ads and short films. Some of the Ads that I did were made on a high budget.

Many celebs are lauding our movie. Nagarjuna sir told Sharwanand that he would see him as his son after the film! I am trying to secure a meeting with Singeetam Srinivasa Rao garu, who is the trendsetter in the time-travel genre.

Next up, I am looking for a nice banner to associate with. These days, you have to give something theatrical to the audience. I have to make my next film on a bigger scale. I have a fantasy story in mind. It will be a realistic fantasy drama. I want to work with Allu Arjun sir. I wrote the script with him in my mind! When I was in Chennai, he was synonymous with Telugu movies. I am ready to wait for 5 years to do a film with him. I am not in a hurry. I am in for a long haul and even if I make a handful of movies in my entire career, they have to be special.

Updated on September 13, 2022