Sir is an honest effort to present a socially relevant story with a great message. Venky Atluri

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Sir starring Dhanush has released on February 17, 2023 in Telugu and Tamil. The movie, produced by Sithara Entertainments and Fortune Four Cinemas and presented by Srikara Studios, got a great applause from all the corners. The performances of actors is lauded and everyone is heaping praises on Venky Atluri for doing a socially relevant film. Most of the scenes in the film are heart-touching and are relatable to many. Sir is running successfully with a positive talk from the audience.

Here are the excerpts from director Venky Atluri’s interaction with media.

Sir is a story set in 90s, how will it connect with the audience of this generation?

If we narrate a story well, then it connects better with the audience. Sir is set in 90s and is still relevant today. Entrance exams are there today, and the struggles are the same. Those struggles haven’t changed. Education is a basic amenity, so this story is relevant.

Is Dhanush your first choice?

During the lockdown, I watched a lot of films – Karnan and Asuran of Dhanush, and he won by heart with exceptional performances. So, I wanted to narrate the story to Dhanush, and it worked. Now we can watch content in OTT and that brought all the other language stars closer to us.

First reaction of Dhanush after the story narration

He liked it instantly and clapped 3 times after the narration, and gave me his dates. He is a man of few words, but strong words.

Education is always an emotion to the parents

The one who pays the fee has more emotion when it comes to education. Parents connect well with Sir. After watching the film, many realized the importance of education and wish they spent more time back then.

On your parent’s reaction

My mom always encouraged me to study more. Engineering happened quickly to me but direction took time time. My parents really loved the scenes and the whole film. They walked out with heavy hearts from the theatres. That’s the case with other audience also.

On Trivikram’s contribution

He believes more in collaboration. He is the producer and maintained the same rapport in the narration and script discussions. There is more involvement by him as a producer. The father – son scene was not that elaborate in the first version. Then Trivikram told about his struggle. Then I realized and wrote the lines where parents are sad for the whole life for not making the ends meet. This is a constructive change.

On discrimination and dignity of labour showed in Sir

This is still relevant, so it has to be addressed. You might be a software engineer earning Rs 25000 per month or a cab driver earning Rs 35000. Though there are more earnings in the latter case, people may not see it with dignity of labour. I have seen many such instances and roped into my film. Two people from the same class but different community are hesitant to sit next to each other. I tried to address these issues in Sir.

On making a sequel to Sir

I never had an idea to make a sequel to Sir. I only wanted to tell a story with a honest intent.

On no fight sequence between Dhanush and Samuthirakani characters

I never imagined a fight between Dhanush and Samuthirakani characters. It would have been unnatural. There is a tug of war but no physical fight. The driver clapping in the climax scene, says it all. In the initial scenes, Samuthirakani’s character doesn’t care for the driver. This shows hero’s victory over the villain.

On response in cinemas

I watched the morning show in Chennai. They were clapping continuously for 10 minutes from the pre-climax to climax. I couldn’t ask for more. In Telugu, I got many calls and said I made a fantastic film. This is a universal concept. We haven’t yet anything now for Sir’s release in other languages. This film will be well received in Hindi belt too.

On Sumanth’s character

When I zeroed in on Sumanth, ‘Sita Ramam’ was not released. We wanted someone special so Sumanth came onboard. We view Sumanth as a hero, so we needed a person of that stature as a narrator. When I sent the script, within one day he accepted the film. He connected with the character because of his honesty.

Any learnings from Dhanush?

He is too punctual. He has an inbuilt creativity and a gifted artist. He exactly knows what’s the outcome during a shoot. He is a hard worker and has good insight.

On comparisons with ‘Super 30’ and ‘3 Idiots

Sir is a flashback narration and it’s not new in industry. So, comparison with ‘3 Idiots’ is not relevant. Also ‘Super 30’ is a biopic. When I watched ‘Super 30’, I was happy that Sir is nowhere related to the film. My film is all about private colleges sending lecturers to rural colleges as part of social responsibility.

Appreciation from producers

Trivikram liked it a lot, and he commented that as a producer he made a right decision. Shirish called me and appreciated the film. Nithin, Varun, and others also called and appreciated.

On tilting towards commercial cinema

Sir is a unique concept when I wrote it. Then it became commercial. I don’t want to do same genre films again.

On acceptance of Telugu films by other languages

Now there is no barrier for a film industry. After the likes of Baahubali, RRR, Pushpa made waves in the national front, people from all languages are welcoming Telugu films.

Why did you change from love stories to socially responsible projects?

I hit the threshold of making loves stories with ‘Rang De’. I saw some incidents related to education in the news during lockdown and wanted to touch the education subject. Most of my education was in 90s, so I brought in many experiences of my own.

On your journey into films

When I entered the industry there was no one to guide me and never thought about direction. Though I had a passion in writing, I couldn’t express it to others. Acting job came easily. And I was bashed for it. A few meetings with Ushakiron movies helped me make a decision outside acting. Then Dil Raju’s association helped me a lot for screenwriting. I learned from many people including Madhura Sridhar, P C Sreeram, and others.

On the next project

I didn’t plan it to be honest. I have to ensure that Sir reaches to maximum number of people, and then I can work on my next project. I am planning to do something edgy this time.