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Chitchat with Shankar
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Hotshot director Shankar was in the city on 19th of June. He met with the press for chitchat on his latest film Aparichitudu. Here are the excerpts.

20th June 2005

Where did you get inspiration for the story line of Aparichitudu?
I used to get disturbed by small incidents in life that lead to social apathy and self indiscipline. When I went abroad, I noticed how fast the other countries are growing. I opined that the social apathy is the main hindrance to the growth of our country. That is the prime reason why I made Aparichitudu. We Indians should have self discipline.

What made Oscar Ravi Chandran to put faith in such a subject?
Oscar Ravi Chandra approached me once and asked me to make a film for him. He did not want to know what the subject and who would act in it. He just wanted to make a memorable film with me. That is how Aparichitudu happened.

You have done powerful social message oriented films like Gentleman, Bharateeyudu and Oke Okkadu. Did you find any influence of your films on the society?
The films I made were part of small contribution I made to society. Changes in society do not happen overnight. It takes years of continuous efforts from all angles for the society and system to change.

You seem to be alternating yourself between social subjects and love subjects. Don't you want to do any other kind of films?
After Oke Okkadu film I wanted to do a science fiction film called Robo. This film needs a huge budget of 30 - 35 crores. This film need to be made on all major Indian languages to recover its cost. We could not go ahead and do that project due to huge costs involved. I want to do all kinds of films - children, devotional, animation etc.

Did you prepare Aparichitudu script by keeping Vikram in mind?
For me it is the script that comes first. After finishing the script, I look out for the right actor who could do justice to the script. Likewise, Vikram was chosen after I finalized script.

We heard that you tried Multiple Personality Disorder concept subject for Rajnikant, in which he would play cop and murderer. Why was not it materialized?
I did not work out the full script. It was just the basic storyline. After narrating it to Rajnikant, we felt that audience might not accept Rajni having mental problem.

The film Boys got your image down? What do you think has gone wrong with Boys?
Boys was a good film. But audience did not expect Shankar to make Boys. If some other director were done Boys, it would have become a blockbuster.

Don't you think songs of Aparichitudu are not up to expectations?
I am happy with the songs.

There are rumors about you directing son of Chiranjeevi?
I do not know.

You are making films on social issue. Are you a good citizen on personal level?
Yes. I do my tax properly. I am consciously trying to be a good citizen. After making Aparichitudu, I am trying to be a good social human being.

Why do always portray Brahmins as the heroes in your films?
For the character of Aparichitudu I need a man with long hair as I show Aparichitudu character through the long hair he posses. We do have long-haired men in Ayyars, Ayyangars and Sardarjis. I tried Ayyars for Gentleman. I can't have Sardarji as hero in a South Indian film. Hence I went for an Ayyangar in Aparichitudu.

What is the reason behind picking up the concept of Multiple Personality Disorder (MPD)?
The concept of MPD intrigued me. In the character of Ramu there are two frustrations. 1st frustration is about not able to punish the wrong doers. The second frustration is about not being able to express his love to his neighbor girl. The characters of Aparichitudu and Remo were born out of those frustrations.

Don't you think attempting films like Aparichitudu is risky because they might end up being documentaries?
If you say Aparichutudu as documentary, then Bharateeyudu and Oke Okkadu are bigger documentaries. But they ended up being blockbusters as people identified themselves with the social issues those films presented.

What is the reason behind taking Sada?
I wanted to cast Simran for this role. But she was already married by then. Then I saw Sada and fixed on her.

What is your next project?
I am still in the hangover of Aparichitudu. After a few months I will decide about next film.

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