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Interview with Sobhan by Jeevi

: 5th October 2002 Venue: Padmalaya Studios
Sobhan is making his debut as a director with Mahesh Babu's latest offing Bobby. A philosophical bent, Sobhan spoke to on the sets of Bobby where the song 'Vaa Vaa' was being shot on the 5th of October. Sobhan said straight away that he is not interested in telling any of his personal details and would be interested in discussing anything about Bobby for hours and hours. Here are the excerpts from the interview of a director with attitude and frankness …

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Tell us how you entered the film industry?

I always wanted to be a part of the film industry. I went to Chennai on this mission in 1989. I worked for a film called Rowdyism, which was stalled after 10 days of shooting. I then joined Ram Gopal Varma as a co director for Anaganaga Oka Roju. Later I started my profession as a writer for [Krishna] Vamsi's film Sindhuram and also worked with him for Murari. During the making of Murari I was in touch with Mahesh Babu and that lead to the film Bobby.

Tell us about Bobby?

It's basically a love story. When I got a go-ahead from Mahesh, I watched all his films and found that one slot was empty. Mahesh has not acted in a complete love story so far. That's when I prepared the story for Bobby to fill that slot.

I strongly feel that prema (love), korika (desire) and istam (liking) are not three different feelings. These three feelings are interlaced together. A love that does not contain korika and istam is only possible with God. We, human being, always want something in return from the ones we love.

Hence Bobby deals with that kind of love that has korika and istam. The characters in this film have strong beliefs (Nammakaalu). We have strong beliefs as kids. But as we grow up, our experience and maturity dilutes the firmness in a few beliefs and contaminates our mind.

I devised the whole story as per the strengths of Mahesh. This is a film with an 'attitude'.

Did you come across any tense moments during this period?

I had tense moments not just now [working as a director] but also when I worked as an assistant director, co-director and writer. It's all a part and parcel of life and this profession. I am very comfortable with Bobby film. I just feel that its an extension of Murari.

Why did you change the heroine from Tara Sharma to Arti Agarwal?

Telling that out, I think, will lead to unnecessary controversies. interviews are not spicy without controversies. Tell us what exactly happened?

Tara Sharma is still my heroine for Bobby. But, what matters for the filmmakers apart from talent is the present market conditions. At the end of the day, I need producer's cooperation to get my work done. The producer cannot give me the luxury of a paid holiday by leaving everything to my wishes. I still prefer Tara Sharma for the role of the heroine. But, I go by majority and what the producer says. I am comfortable with Arti Agarwal. She did a good job.

9 and half crores are being spent on this film. You are the man who can make this film a hit and Mahesh Babu's fans are eagerly waiting for this film to become a blockbuster. What do you have to say about this?

I believe in one thing. I can't live up to someone else's expectations. I can only live my life. I can do things only I am capable of. I am not worried about brickbats or applause I would get if the film becomes a flop or hit. I am here to do my job and I am doing it to the fullest of my satisfaction. That's what matters to me.

I got drained myself the moment I prepared the story. All my creative energies were exhausted. I did not have the capacity to design the entire project. Then I was put into a simple harmonic motion. If you were in it, you would just follow the motion. Likewise, once the story is made, the story led me to do the rest of the stuff as per its demands.

There is a rumor that the climax is tragedy-oriented and some others say it's a happy ending. Which one is correct?

I am paid by the producers for not revealing the story (giggles). I am being paid for arousing the curiosity among the public to know what my film is all about. Hence I would not be interested in telling anything about the climax.

Tell us about the song (Vaa Vaa) that is being canned now?

It's a mono color song. We are using four mono color sets (silver, brick, blue and green) to can this song. I cannot say that it's being done for the first time. I am adapting the thing that is already done by somebody else. This song is the first duet after interval in the film. I believe in adapting right ideas for right situations.

Who are the choreographers for this film?

Lawrence is doing this song ['Vaa Vaa']. Raja Sekhar did one song. Harish Pai did one song and the remaining three songs are done by Nikki (a new choreographer).

Why did this movie take so much time to complete?

We made the announcement of the project in March 2001. But later we realized that we couldn't confirm the starting date as it depended on how soon Mahesh Babu's film in progress (Takkari Donga) at that time completed. By publicizing about the film, we can't sustain the viewer's interest for more than two months. As the film kept on getting postponed to this year, we thought that we should keep the film in low profile and give publicity just before the release.

You must have seen the rushes. Is it up to your expectations?


Will it be up to the expectations of the public?

I can't really guess what the public wants. All I can say is that I have aimed Bobby for a regular moviegoer who is looking for 3 hours of good quality entertainment.

How did you decide on the hairstyle of Mahesh Babu for Bobby?

There is a small flashback for this one. You must have seen the scene of Mahesh Babu in Murari when he comes out of water in a fight. That still was extensively used in the publicity of Murari. I liked that hairstyle of Mahesh in that water scene. Hence I thought I should use that hairstyle for Bobby and everybody appreciated it. Previously he used to look like a boy. Now with this hairstyle, he is looking like a man. That is not a remark, but that's just my opinion.

Lot of things have been said about the 'Youth Joint' set for Bobby? What is it all about?

It's a meeting place. Lovers used to meet in the backyards in villages at one point of time. Now in urbane places, lovers meet in posh areas like Barista, Coffee Shop, Treasure Island etc. I have a few meeting scenes between lovers. We have erected a futuristic set that serves as a meeting place between the lead pair of Bobby. There is always a sweet scent about lovers meeting for the first time and when the viewers see these scenes they connect them to their own experiences.

Any message for visitors?

Direction is nothing but telling a given subject for a given situation on the screen. How effectively you tell it, is solely based on your passion. Direction is my passion and I am living in it. I am not a national hero to give any message. I am just a normal human being.

Interviewed by Jeevi
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