I was particular that Hindi sounds like Hindi, Telugu sounds like Telugu: 'Major' director Sashi Kiran Tikka

Director Sashi Kiran Tikka shares his experience of working on Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan’s biopic, Major, and reuniting with Adivi Sesh

Lipika VarmaUpdated: Thursday, May 19, 2022, 10:24 PM IST
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Sashi on the set of Major |

The film Major reunites actor Adivi Sesh and director Sashi Kiran Tikka after their 2018 Telugu hit, Goodachari. While the latter was a spy thriller, Major is based on the life of Major Sandeep Unnikrishnan, who lost his life during the 26/11 Mumbai terrorist attacks in 2008. While there have been several screen adaptations of the tragedy, Major is more of a personal story of Unnikrishnan. The movie, which has been made in Hindi and Telugu, is set for June 3 release.

However, director Sashi is particular about the diction of a particular language. “We did two camera settings and shot it simultaneously in Hindi and Telugu. Only Malayalam will be the dubbed version,” informs Sashi before beginning the rendezvous.

The leads of the movie, Adivi and Saiee Manjrekar, have shot for the movie in the two languages without the help of dubbing artistes. “I was particular that Saiee dubs in her voice. Not just Saiee, it’s a principle we follow — all actors should dub for themselves. It took a lot of time as it was not easy for her to speak Telugu. I was also particular that Hindi sounds like Hindi, Telugu sounds like Telugu, and English like English. I wanted the language to sound authentic. Hence, we went an extra mile with the diction of these languages,” Sashi explains.

Adding further, Sashi says, “Adivi has an American accent. Hence, I always had a tutor on the sets for him to talk correctly. There was also an army officer to help him get his body language right. There were quite a few tutors, not one. For Hindi too, we had tutors.”

The movie also stars Sobhita Dhulipala, Prakash Raj, Revathi and Murali Sharma in pivotal roles. Sobhita plays the role of a hostage in the movie.

Giving insight into Sobhita’s character, the director shares, “She is a brilliant actor and her role is a vital one. It was important for us to know what happened inside the Taj Hotel from the hostages’ point of view. People like me were in front of the television but we never got the inside perspective.”

To get the account of the hostages right, the director met with a few of them. Their identities haven't been disclosed in the film though. “We met several people who were in the line of fire. They shared their experiences of the ordeal and we then condensed it into a story,” Sashi explains.

While her character is an important part of the plot, her absence from the film’s promotion hasn't gone unnoticed. “Sobhita didn’t go missing from the promotional activities. She has been busy and couldn’t make it for the recently-held events. However, she will be joining us for all the private screenings of the film, which will happen before the release,” Sashi says.

Before signing off, Sashi adds, “I take pride as people who have seen the film are spellbound by the performances of Saiee, Sobhita, Prakash sir, Revathi ma'am and Adivi. I think this will rank amongst the best performances so far in his career. It’s quite an effort to get their performances out. You will see they are on the edge in Major.”

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