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Chitchat with Rajamouli
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June 22, 2006

With all his four films turning into blockbusters, SS Rajamouli is one director with whom every producer want to make a film. Vikramarkudu - Rajamouli’s latest film with Ravi Teja – is releasing tomorrow. Producer ML Kumar Chowdary made a table profit due to the impeccable track record Vikramarkudu director possess. met with Rajamouli for an exclusive chitchat. Here are the excerpts -

What is Vikramarkudu all about?
This film is about two characters – Atthili Sathi Babu and Vikram Rathod - played by Ravi Teja.

How did the story of Vikramarkudu form?
All my earlier films were predominantly action oriented films. Ravi Teja is predominantly entertainment oriented hero. We were searching for a story that caters to both of our needs.

When we have two characters in a film, one character dominates the other one. Will Athili Sathi Babu get dominated by Vikram Rathod?
We did not face that problem, because we have very few scenes that feature both of them.

We did not have any hits with hero doing double action roles in the past five years. Are you aware of that fact?
I don’t know about it till now. But I love films with dual roles. I used to get excited as a kid by watching same hero doing two roles in single film. It was like watching two heroes on one ticket. I don’t care if a dual role film did not hit the bull’s eyes in the past five years.

What does Vikramarkudu offer?
It offers entertainment, action and emotion. In order for the action to click, we should have strong foundation of emotion. When you have action and emotion on the screen, you need to cool down the audience a bit with nice entertainment.

You delivered four consecutive blockbusters. What is the secret of your success?
I do not know it. I am always tensed before the release of my films. If I knew the secret of success, I would not be tensed about film’s fate before the release. There is no formula for success.

But I think that the secret lies in selecting the basic central point of the film. If we get our basic idea correct, then film would become a success. Most of the directors start with good basic idea, but deviate from it when they develop script and when they execute the film. If you could make the final product as close as possible to the basic central idea, your film will be successful. I also deviated from the basic central point to certain extent in certain films.

Which is the film that comes very close to the central idea of it?
Sye is one film which I could give the final output as per the exact specifications of the basic story idea. But there is a small mistake in that script. We did not capture the emotions of two college groups properly.

There is a comment that music of Vikramarkudu is not as good as your earlier films?
Except for my first film Student No1, all other films generated the same talk before movie release. May be our kind of tunes are such that they need repeated listening to find the liking.

What is your personal favorite among Vikramarkudu songs?
Dooramga song is my personal favorite. This is the best song I shot in my entire career.

How is Ravi Teja’s performance as the cop?
He is simply terrific. Initially there was some hesitation in our camp about Ravi Teja’s ability to do that character, because he is a complete mass hero. Cop’s character has lot of subtlety to it. He understood the character perfectly well and performed to the perfection.

Who is Vikram Rathod and where does he come from?
Vikram Rathod is an IPS officer who worked in Chambal valley before being posted in AP.

There are some rumors in the industry that there are shades of Amitab’s Don in Vikramarkudu. Is it true?
Yes. There are some shades of Don in Vikramarkudu.

Anushka is paired up with Athili Sathi Babu character. Does Vikram Rathod has any wife/lover?
No. Police duty is Vikram Rathod’s love.

What is the role of Ruthika?
There is some suspense associated with her. I don’t want to break it.

The number of shooting days are less for Vikramarkudu compared to your earlier movies. Don’t you think it affects the output?
No. it only affected me personally in terms of fatigue. My wife is the driving force behind completing the film in less number of days. She continuously cajoled us and also threatened us if needed in order to complete the work in stipulated time.

What is the need to complete the film in less number of days?
The business of the film depends on hero, director and producer’s previous films. Though our track record does not matter to the audience, it gives some scope for buyers to bargain with the producer. A couple of Ravi Teja’s films did not do well at box office recently. Producer too has some backlogs through his earlier films. Hence we fixed certain number as target and finished the shoot in that time without compromising on the quality. Though the number of days were less, we worked for more number of hours everyday and put in extra efforts to complete the film.

Interval episode is the highlight for Chatrapati. What is going to be highlight of Vikramarkudu?
The presence of Vikram Rathod character is going to be highlight of the film. You will find Rajamouli’s touch in it. That character will have more footage in last five reels of the film.

How about the fights?
Ram Lakshman did very supportive work in this film. They executed my wild thoughts without even asking why.

Will heroine part be less in this film like your earlier films?
Yes. Romantic angle was less in my earlier films. In this film I tried to keep in more romance between the lead pair. Anushka did a wonderful job. She gave terrific performance towards the end of the film (especially in the scene where she talks in villain).

How is the business proportion of Vikramarkudu?
Movie is sold out for all the areas and producer made a decent table profit.

How do you select your producers?
I select my producers in such a way that they support me. The producer should keep faith in me. I always make sincere efforts to see that producer is always in profits. My producer has to believe in me that I am putting honest and sincere effort. If I spend more money on certain episodes of the film, I always make sure that I save the same amount of money while canning some other episodes. If I think that this guy believes in me and supports me in that aspect, I will do a film for him. For example, we planned to do the interval sequence in 9 days. But, it took us 14 days. I compensated those 5 extra working days in shooting of some other scenes. If the producer puts up a sorry face when I am shooting the vital episodes by taking more time, my creative juices stops flowing. I made good products and fetched good profits in my films because all my producers believed in me. If I have a doubt that a guy would not support my taking, I stay away from him.

Tell us about your future projects?
As of now, I just completed Vikramarkudu. I will take rest for 3 months and decide about my next project. My next film will be done on my home banner ‘Viswamitra Creations’ with NTR as hero.

Is that film going to be ‘Mudra’?
No. I don’t have such an extravagant finance to produce Mudra. This film is going to be made with a different story.

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