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Chit Chat with Venkatesh

Venkatesh was at Reliance Web World, Punjagutta on 23rd August 2004 to do video conference with Reliance Mobile customers who won a contest held for Gharshana film. He took that opportunity to have a small chitchat with the scribes. Venkatesh looked very happy and was very honest and forthright about his views and opinions. Here are the excerpts of the casual and informal chitchat....

Are you happy with how Gharshana performing?
Yes. Our target audiences are the people in A centers who enjoy different kind of cinema. This film is doing well with steady collections in A centers. This film is not targeted for the crowds of B and C centers. It was a bold attempt by me and the target audiences appreciated it. I would like to thank them all. At the same time I have also learnt lessons.

What are the lessons?
The different films like Gharshana should have been made on a low budget and should be released with not more than 50 prints to cater to the target audience. If you release that film in 20 theaters in Hyderabad, how would it sustain in the long run?

What kind of role do you expect media to play?
Media should write good things about different films like Gharshana and promote them. Otherwise, the Telugu film industry would be struck with the formula films. Fahrenheit 9/11, though it is like a documentary film, the movie lovers identified themselves with the content of the film. If media writes good thing about Gharshana and promote it well, it would do a world of good to the Telugu film industry as it encourages the filmmakers to come up with different and better films.

Don't you think experimental films like these would have a risk factor associated with it?
Every hero has hits and flops. Even if you play strategies and calculate your image and play to it, there is no guarantee that the film would definitely become a hit. We should take our chances once a while. However hard we work for a film, it needs something beyond human effort to make the film succeed at box office. Every film would get what it deserves.

Are you expecting a Nandi award for your performance in Gharshana?
I already have 4-6 Nandi awards. I think the committee should consider giving Nandi awards to the newcomers so that they would feel encouraged instead of giving awards for a person like me who already have so many of them in kitty.

Are you planning to promote Gharshana in B and C centers?
Gharshana is not the film for B and C centers.

You told in the last press meet about Professor Parvathisam role. When are you going to do it?
I need to change my physical appearance for it. It would take at least a year and half for that film to go on floors.

Would that be an experimental film?
No. It is a full-fledged commercial film, which would be a laugh riot.

Tell us about Subhash Chandra Bose film?
I am growing beard and hair for that role.

Is that get-up something similar to Aamir Khan in 'The Rising' film?
Yes it is! But let me make it clear that I did not know about that get-up when we started the film. It is just a coincidence. That character would be there for 9 reels, which are periodic. The remaining story of the film would take place in the present time.

Don't you want to do your brand of characters like Raja, Vasantham etc?
I am not averse to do them. If fact films like Suryavamsam and Vasantham had mind boggling shares in B and C centers. I would do family oriented film very soon.

How do you see yourself when you are at work or interacting with the media?
There is an outer side and inner side for me. What I do from 9 am to 7 pm is drama. This drama continues till I die.

How is the experience of chatting with fans over video conferencing at R world?
It is a quite an exciting new concept. Thanks to R World. It is a mutual promotional exercise where both the parties get benefited.

Also read chitchats with
Mahesh Babu
Ram Gopal Varma

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