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Interview with Samudra
Date: September 18, 2008, Hyderabad

Director Samudra, going by the brand as mass director, is all excited, tense and profusely sweating with a few hours left for the release of his "first romantic feel good film yet with mass shades" – Mallepuvvu, starring the crazy, say even an odd, combination – Bhumika and a debutant Murali Krishna. "For me this subject is like tumbling over a fox tail. At a time when I was depressed with the failure of Vijayadasami; and introspecting into my trademark of doing film with big and mass heroes and questioning myself "What am I doing?" – That I got this Mallepuvvu from my friend Ramesh Varma. I dared to do this. This has completely changed my perception of making a class movie. But, I am tense. This is not a regular movie, but a bold love story with realistic touch," Samudra says in an exclusive interview to Excerpts:

What Mallepuvvu is all about?
It is a different feel for the audience. Bhumika shoulders the entire burden of the film. It has a powerful back drop. That is terrorism. I will tell you the crux of it. After all the film is releasing tomorrow and I am confident of its success. A matured girl comes all the way Bangladesh. She is a student, making research into terrorist activities in Hyderabad. Without her knowledge, she becomes the victim of interrogation. How the hero, a hard and rugged laborer, meets her and bails her out from the beleaguered situation. Ilayaraja's music is a major asset and our biggest hope.

What exactly made you go in for Bhumika as the heroine?
Definitely we need a heroine exactly like her. The characterization is completely performance oriented. She should be bold and at the same time look innocent. You have multiple expressions created for her. This is sure. Had she not accepted the film, there would not have been a Mallepuvvu. That is her strength.

Is Mallepuvvu an effort to juxtapose the softness of the heroine with the ruggedness of the hero?
No. The hero does the role of a laborer. In tune with the story, he encounters with the heroine. We need a hero like him. In fact, when Ramesh Varma made the script, Murali Krishna (hero) was very much there in his mind. You watch the film and tell us whether our selection is good or not.

You are a mass director. This is a romantic entertainer as you said. How did you go through this transformation?
A director who can't adapt himself to varied subject is not at all a director. This is my personal feeling. To be frank, I was vexed with the failure of Vijayadasami. That time, I thought of doing a soft, silent and realistic love story with a powerful backdrop subject. So it is my urge to pass through the transformation. So, I could achieve it so easily.

Why dedicating this to (late Sobhan Babu)? Is there any inspiration from the title (Mallepuvvu) of that yesteryears hit of him?
No, just we want to put the title Mallepuvvu and this is not an ordinary title. Entire Andhra Pradesh people know about this film, particularly the older and contemporary generation of audience. It is an evergreen film. That's why we informed Shoban Babu garu about it. He felt happy and showed interest to come to the audio function. But, he passed away in the coming days. We are moved. That's why we dedicated the film and we hope his soul will be happy there (pointing to the sky).

The posters are showing Bhumika as a delicate beauty. How glamorous is she in the film?
She is not doing any glamorous heroine in Mallepuvvu. She does the role of a worst sufferer. You will sympathize with her and cry for her. So, there is no scope for glamour portion in this film.

Why couldn't you consider a teenage girl as heroine rather than Bhumika?
One hundred percent, it is a Bhumika film. We are not doing any teenage love story. We wanted a matured heroine. This way, we didn't require and nor even thought of a teenager. Mallepuvvu is not about physical love.

To what extent you brought justice to the script of your friend Ramesh Varma?
I think hundred percent. But, Ramesh Varma never interfeared into my direction. He just belived me. He is happy.

Instead of taking over the subject of Mallepuvvu and directing it yourself, why didn't you have given a chance to your friend Ramesh Varma himself?
See sir, I have done about 10 films. Can't I do this? After all, I wanted a subject completely away from the regular and the routine. Ramesh Varma is a very good friend of mine.

There are reports that you are going to become a hero. Are they true?
I can't deny them. Yes. I am planning to become an actor also. In Mallepuvvu also I did a small role. You knew, I also did a role in Vijayadasami. Doing a hero is not my concern. Just I want to work as an artiste. I believe I too can impress on the audiences. I will come soon, but when I can't tell you.

Why are you not satisfied with regular stuff and doing films with big heroes?
I don't know exactly. But, I can repeatedly say. The audience will never support routine stuffed films. Now, they want difference. They want something odd. They want hundred percent realities. When we do film with big heroes, we really don't have freedom to exploit our brain fully. I spent several sleepless nights thinking about this dimension. You know what happened to Vijayadasami.

What happened to your film with Tarakaratna, Venkatadri?
Yes. It will be releasing for Deepawali. Due to some problems, the shooting got delayed and stretched out. This will bring very good name to the hero. The film is full of life.

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