14 August, 2012
Hanu Raghavapudi is like his mentor Chandra Sekhar Yeleti. He maintains low profile and lets his work speaks for himself. His debut film was released last Friday. Here is an exclusive chitchat with Hanu (it was done two days before the release of Andala Rakshasi) -
I am basically from Kothagudem (Khammam district) and completed my degree over there. I did my MCA in Hyderabad. I used to write short stories since I was a kid. I am not interested in doing job and wanted to become a filmmaker. May be it is due to fame and the freedom of speech. That is when I met Chandra Sekhar Yeleti. He was directing Amrutham serial then. I have traveled with him since his debut till Andala Rakshasi happened.
Though I started writing many stories and scripts, I wanted to test my ability to execute them. Hence I have decided to make a short film titled ‘I am famous’ in 2007. Since I wanted to make it perfectly, it cost me 3.5 lacs rupees. I took many months to make that movie as I had to invest my monthly income into it. I got good name for that short film and it was screened in 8 internation film festivals.
MS Raju called me in 2007 and we traveled on a script for 4 months. It didn’t happen. I approached NTR through D Suresh Babu and narrated a script to him in 2009. I had worked on that script for 2 years. I also wrote a crime comedy for a friend named Sudeer. But we couldn’t do it as it requires much more budget than we could afford.
I knew Sai for over 3 years. Then I write a love story called Andala Rakshasi and narrated it to Sai Korrapati. It went to floors in December 2010, the same month Eega went onto floors.
What is Andala Rakshasi all about?
Its a complete love story on nature. The characters of Surya (Naveen), Mithuna (Lavanya) and Gowtam (Rahul) represent sun, earth and moon respectively. There is the abstractness of nature in the background.
Why did you choose the backdrop of 1992?
Man had left out many unwanted things during the period of evolution. Likewise, the mankind has left out ‘innocence’ by the time we entered Y2K. You don’t find innocence in the present day’s youth. If I show such innocence in contemporary films, people won’t believe. Hence I chose the period of 1992.
Tell us about casting?
I knew Naveen for the past two years and he was an obvious choice. I got hold of photos of Lavanya and liked her features. I met her in Mumbai and selected her without even a screen-test. I observed her the way she behaved with her friends and found it to suit the character in the movie. I started shooting with Naveen and Lavanya without the portions of Rahul. I found Rahul much later. I had a workshop for the entire cast for 3 months where everybody were given a bound script. They did rehearsals with costumes as well.
Cinematographer Murali G is a graduate from Film and Television Institute of India. I saw his demo and liked the tone of it. This is music director Radhan’s first film. I listened to his tracks six months before start of shoot and liked them. Ram is my art director and he has worked with Sabu Cyril before joining this film. All the crewmembers are first timers.
Since everybody are first timers, they gave complete attention to the film from the first day to the last day.
Did Rajamouli watch the movie?
No. We had or first schedule in Munnar and shown him the rushes and a song we shot over there. He liked them. He has not seen rest of the product.
There seem to be Mani Ratnam’s influence on you?
I take it as a compliment, but it’s unintended. Mani Ratnam uses bookish language for Telugu dialogues. I also used bookish language for Andala Rakshasi dialogues. It’s just a logic, but not any influence.
The orientation of heroine is much like Geetanjali Girija?
I am a big fan of Sivitri in Missamma film than Girija in Geetanjali. There could be more influence of Missamma character than Geetanjali character in Andala Rakshasi heroine.
What are the number of working days for this movie?
112 working days, but 20 days were cancelled due to external factors.
What is your gut feel on Andala Rakshasi?
I could able to execute 90% of what I intended to. Film has come out as per my expectations.
What kind of movies and directors you like?
I like Hrishikesh Mukherjee, Raju Kumar Harwani, Anurag Kashyap and farhan Akthar from Mumbai. I like Mani Ratnam, Bala, Chandra sekhar Yeleti, Rajamouli and Trivikram in South. Missamma and Sankarabharanam are my all time favorites. I am a devotee of Christopher Nolan. His movies will be like Bhagavatgeeta for future generations of filmmakers.
What is your next project?
I have a script with me. I will take a decision after looking at the commercial result of Andala Rakshasi.
note: this interview was done before the release of movie.
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