In conversation with Abhilash Reddy - 'Loser' is a story of a winner
Bhavana Sharma -
Loser is a web series, which is streaming on Zee5 and is receiving tons of praises for telling stories about strugglers who have overcome different hurdles with a lot of patience and hard work. This Telugu series is the first one to have explored air rifle shooting, badminton, marital rape and a lot more. Besides telling an amazing story, this series is all about why having hope is necessary.
Credit goes to writer and director Abhilash Reddy. After winning hearts with the first project he helmed Ekkadiki Ee Parugu, Abhilash is back with Loser. Starring Piryadarshi, Sayaji Shinde, Kalpika Ganesh, Annie, Komalee Prasad and others in lead roles, the series is an anthology, which narrates the story of three different sportspersons, to whom the sky is the limit.
Abhilash is a young and budding filmmaker, who passed out from Annapurna International School of Film and Media in 2018. His love for cinema is immense and so, he chose film making as his profession. Just like any other youngster, who wants to make it big in the field of cinema, Abhilash had faced a lot of struggles in the initial days to bag his first project which marks his directorial debut.
In conversation with LetsOTT.com, Abhilash talks about what inspired him to make Loser, the research he has done about sports, casting choices and a lot more.
Abhilash, the story of Loser would have been made into an amazing film and have a wider reach as well. Why did you choose to make as a web series?
The story of Loser cannot be told in 2 hours and 30 minutes. It has so many characters and individual stories that have to be told. So audiences first need to connect to the characters and then go with the narrative. To talk about the background of the characters, a movie doesn’t give us enough time. This is not possible in a movie. Also, not all section of audiences might want to watch this story on the big screen. I want to tell stories that people would relate to. I always wanted to make a web series. I don’t say that I will not make movies.
What has inspired you so much to tell such an inspirational story?
This series, and story, is all about strugglers. I wanted to tell a struggling story. One of my friends is a rifle shooter and I know what all he had to go to through to get a gun for himself. People should know the struggling story of a person before knowing their success story. Also, sports is the reason. I wrote characters keeping sports also in mind. Then improvised the story to be a motivational one. At the same time, I didn’t want to have any big stars in the series because they all are successful already and audiences cannot see them as losers. So I chose to have actors who are still struggling to make it big.
You have shown different years in the story. What are those years relevant to?
The 1980s is when the craze for cricket started to grow in India. So wanted to show about a passionate bowler who is struggling to get into the national team, and is trying hard to keep his wife happy. In the 90s, badminton was slowly getting introduced. In 2008, until Abhinav Bindra bagged a gold medal Olympics, people didn’t even know that there is a sport called rifle shooting. So I wanted to tell a story, narrate a drama that has sports as the basic storyline. Also, if you observe in the series, Ruby was suffering from marital rape, an issue which was slowly getting into the limelight. All these things happened in different years and all stories are connected to each other.
The cast is one of the assets of the series. Did you choose all of them for their respective roles?
Yes. Most of the actors in the series have worked with me for Ekkadiki Ee Parugu, my debut project. So they believed in me and my work. While I was writing the characters itself, I was sure of who I wanted to play those. If you observe, most of the actors in this series are struggling actors. They are still waiting for a break in their career. Darshi, though has managed to become successful, he too has a story to say.
What kind of a filmmaker do you want to be? What have you aimed at?
I haven’t aimed at anything bigger. All I want to do is to tell stories. I don’t want rich characters or Richie Rich in my series. I would like to design those characters which can reach the audiences easily and make sure that it has a drama. Even if I film a love story, it will have a drama in it.
How did you believe that there is Suri Yadav in Priyadarshi and convince him to play the role?
Suri Yadav is not rich. Darshi is a down to earth person and is the perfect choice for Suri Yadav. Talking about convincing him, I narrated the story much before even Mallesham released. He really liked the story and has said he would definitely do it. When we were shooting, he had a lot of films in hand and was busy. But he never troubled us. He has given the dates I had asked him for. He has given more than cent per cent and breathed life into Suri Yadav. Not just Darshi, but every artiste in Loser has given more than their best to their roles. I even thank Sayaji Shinde sir for being part of the series.
Tell us about your upcoming project and are you planning to make any films in the future?
Yes, of course. I have a love story and a student political drama in mind. Talks about the film with reputed production houses are underway and as of now, nothing has been confirmed yet. In this film too, I will be casting an actor who is again a struggling one. It will definitely have all the necessary commercial aspects. Through Loser, I wanted to give hope to people, tell them that we need the patience to wait for the right things to happen to us. So through my film too, I would give a motivational message and I am working on it.