‘Virupaksha’ and ‘Mangalavaaram’ prompted me to do ‘Dhootha’, says director Vikram K Kumar

The 'Dhootha' web series marks actor Naga Chaitanya's OTT debut and is set to be premiered on Amazon Prime Video on 1 December.

ByPrakash Pecheti

Published Nov 30, 2023 | 2:20 PMUpdatedNov 30, 2023 | 2:20 PM

Vikram Kumar dhootha

Actor Akkineni Naga Chaitanya is set to captivate audiences in his debut web series Dhootha.

As Dhootha marks his foray into the realm of web entertainment, the anticipation is running high.

Directed by Vikram K Kumar, the web series is poised to deliver a thrilling experience to OTT audiences.

Starring Priya Bhavani Shankar, Parvathy Thiruvothu, and Prachi Desai in pivotal roles, Dhootha is produced by director-turned-film producer Sarath Marar under the banner of Northstar Entertainment Private Limited.

The series is set to be premiered on Amazon Prime Video on 1 December, catering to audiences in Telugu, Hindi, Tamil, Kannada, and Malayalam languages.

Ahead of the release of the web show, director Vikram K Kumar addressed the media on Wednesday, 29 November. Excerpts from the interview:

About the series

Q. When a project comes from a director like you, the audience definitely expects something unique. What sort of experience does Dhootha give to the audience this time?

A. After the horror film 13B: Fear Has A New Address (2009), I have not tried any stories in the supernatural genre. I felt I was missing it. I wanted to explore a similar kind of story in a longer format, especially considering the chance to create content for the web.

The concept of Dhootha has always intrigued me. When I shared the idea with Chay, he really liked it.

Later, I developed the screenplay for a supernatural thriller with good twists and turns. In this format, each episode should have a twist, aiming to keep the audience engaged until the end. It’s a challenge.

However, I thoroughly enjoyed the process of writing Dhootha. I’m eagerly looking forward to seeing how the audience would react to the series.

Q. Dhootha is a messenger. You are a journalist who brings an incident to the general public.

A. The web series Dhootha and its ideas have been in my mind for a long time.

When I wrote the script, I wrote it aiming for the OTT audience. Some ideas are enough for two hours. Another idea can be shown very broadly. Dhootha has the power to hold eight episodes.

Chaitanya and I got closer when they did magic at the box office with Manam (2014). This is the third time we worked together.

At the time of Manam, I narrated a horror story to Chaitu. But he is afraid of ghost stories. He said, “I don’t want horror stories, I’m scared” (laughs).

However, he liked the story of Dhootha. It is a fictional story with supernatural elements.

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Naga Chaitanya as journalist

Q. Journalism is a responsible job. The practice of investigative journalism involves a lot of risk. Why did you think that Naga Chaitanya would pull off such a gutsy role in your web series Dhootha?

Naga Chaitanya in Dhootha

Naga Chaitanya in ‘Dhootha’. (X)

A. Media is one of the pillars of democracy, and a journalist plays a vital role in society.

There is a lot of risk in investigative journalism. It takes a lot of guts to be in the shoes, and not everyone can ace the role of a journalist.

In this (Dhootha) story, Naga Chaitanya’s character has been portrayed well. There are many layers in this supernatural thriller. They all promise the audience a thrilling experience.

You will understand why I chose Naga Chaitanya for the role after watching the web series.

Q. Why did you come back to this genre?

A. Following the success of the supernatural thriller like Virupaksha (2023) and Mangalavaaram (2023), I was compelled to start writing Dhootha.

After the horror flick 13 B, the same stories kept coming for me.

I stayed away from the genre for a few years. I knew that if I did similar stories, I would have to keep doing them again.

However, when I was missing that genre after some time, Virupaksha and Mangalavaaram revived my hopes. These flicks gave me the confidence to give the idea a shot, and I penned Dhootha.

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