Siddharth’s latest film Chithha, directed by SU Arun Kumar, is a moving family drama about child safety and sees him at his grittiest. Though the film was originally made in Tamil, it also had theatrical releases in Malayalam and Kannada and will hit the screens in Telugu tomorrow. The film is very personal and so it became universal, says Siddharth in a conversation with Sonu Venugopal.
He says, “I produced and acted in Chithha because when I read the script and saw what we were making, it made me feel something. I thought that if I could make the whole audience feel that, it would be a very important film. It works in any language because when you see it, you will see it as a human being and not as someone from a particular place or having a certain mother tongue. If the makers do it properly, then the writing takes over. Arun is a brilliant writer and that’s why it connects universally.”
The actor asserts that even in this era of social media discussions, the success of a film is still unpredictable. “Before releasing Chittha, I showed it to five hundred people,” he says, “Technically, I should have known what would be the reactions on the release day. But, we would never know. Even when it does well, one can’t say it is because of the discussions on social media. For me, the difficult part is still making a good film and then getting people to watch it. The rest is not in our control.”
As a producer, he says he has made an effort to protect the privacy and personal lives of the child actors appearing in the film. “Two brilliant babies, Sahasra Sree and Afiya, acted in our film. On the creative side, they were put through a lot of theatre training and performance workshops. In general, everyone is treated the same way in cinema. But from the production side, they were my priority and I made sure that they were taken care of as children.”
Likewise, though Siddharth, the actor, doesn’t like watching his own films, he asserts it’s his duty as a producer to watch them several times. “So I have to teach myself to watch myself on the screen. I am a very emotional audience and I cry when I watch a film. Over the past two years, I must have seen Chittha more than 300 times, and it still makes me cry.”