The film releases in theatres on September 9. Starring Aishwarya Lekshmi and Simran in key roles, this Shakti Soundar Rajan directorial is going to be released in Telugu by Sreshth Movies. In this interview, Arya talks about the alien-like creature in the movie’s story, why he accepted the risky project, his upcoming movies, and more.
I have done ‘Teddy’ with director Shakti Soundar Rajan before. The filmmaker is also known for ‘Tik Tik Tik’. Shakti is well-versed with CGI and other technical aspects. That’s why he inspired confidence in me.
‘Captain’ has got an army backdrop, but at its core, it is not about Indian soldiers fighting an enemy country. It’s about a creature that is sort of alien. What is the creature about, where did it come from, what is its motive, can we kill it or we should neutralize it… These questions grip the Indian side.
‘Captain’ has been made to give a spectacular audio-visual experience to the theatre audience. There is a strong emotional core to the subject. It’s a nice story woven around the (alien) creature. Besides the VFX part, shooting for the climax was the most challenging aspect. I found it quite demanding to shoot underwater. We used oxygenated scuba-diving equipment. Once I took a plunge into water, I had to be there for 2 hours.
A lion’s share of the budget went into CGI. Even the costumes had to be very authentic. If we do a small mistake, it would be seen as an insult to the army. We had a retired army officer on set monitoring everything on set, telling us how to hold the gun, etc.
Simran has played a key role. Only she could have pulled off the role.
Doing this film was a risky affair from the beginning. We had to create a whole creature using CGI. Had it not been for Shakti, I wouldn’t have done this film at all. Like Rajamouli, he is highly knowledgeable about technical matters.
We carried the pre-production for one year. Extensive brainstorming was done about how the creature had to look. We came out with a 3D version of the same. Only when we were convinced that everything was alright, did we start production.
The story is set on the North-Eastern border. We also shot in the forests of Kerala and Tamil Nadu. The army portions were shot on sets.
I am now ready to take some risks. I have done ‘Sarpatta Parambarai’ with a similar intent.
Sreshsth Movies is releasing the Telugu version. The banner has had it lucky this year, with ‘Vikram’ becoming a big hit. I am also good friends with Nithiin (whose home banner Sreshth Movies is).
Composer D Imman and Shakti have been a successful combination. This is their fourth film together. He has done a fantastic background score for this movie. For a creature film like ‘Captain’, the RR had to be as fantastic as the VFX.
We have a small lead for ‘Captain 2’. But let ‘Captain’ come out and see where it goes.
Honestly, OTT is not a threat to theatres. But the problem is that audiences are thronging theatres only if something exciting is sensed in a film. You can’t blame OTT for this scenario. Our kids are not watching Telugu soaps; they are watching Korean dramas (laughs). Direct OTT releases incur huge marketing expenses. They prefer post-theatrical releases.
I don’t have any dream roles as such. I just want to portray the roles I don with perfection. There are occasions when I have told directors who approached me that I am not best suited for their characters.
‘Raja Rani’ has been my biggest Telugu-dubbed movie. It was a huge one in both Telugu and Tamil.
I am doing a web series for Amazon Prime Video. I completed the shoot and it will be released in 2023. It is titled ‘The Village’ and is directed by Milind Rau. It will be dubbed in Telugu. It is an adaptation of a novel and you are going to find a lot of new terms in it.