Raksha, the Telugu version of Ram Gopal Varma's Phoonk, is all set for release on September 19th. Made on One Thought Entertainments banner, the film is presented by Ram Gopal Varma and directed by Akella Vamsi Krishna. Executive producer for Telugu is Subbaraju. The film unit today arranged a press meet at Hotel Grand Kakatiya, Hyderabad.
Raksha will out beat Phoonk: Jagapati Babu
Jagapati Babu, who plays the role of an atheistic dad, said: "I saw the double positive of the film and got impressed with it. Major strength of the Telugu version is that the concept of Chetababi (black magic) has got more sentimental and scary value for Telugu people than in Bollywood. I saw Phoonk. To be frank, Raksha is more powerful in presentation thank Phoonk. Director Vamsi Krishna Akella has shown great depth in dealing the subject Chetabadi and nowhere did he funk. I am fully confident of the movie's great success in Telugu. Three kinds of people are targeted. 1) Those who are afraid of horror films 2) Those who are not afraid of this element and 3) Youth audience. Generally, I am afraid of black magic and evil spirits and I believe these two things. When I was asked to do this film, I questioned Ram Gopal Varma whether such a subject was necessary. Then he said that when we speak about God, we need to show the Devil also. The way how the director shot the film and treated the subject makes me thrilled. Cinematographer Sujay Gosh did wonderful work. There was no day and no minute which made us feel the boredom and each moment was exciting. I play the role of an atheist. My atheism almost proves fatal to my child. What happens later would form the hair-raising horror throwing before me the question of life and death. Actually, we wanted to put the title Gali but Akella wanted it to be Raksha. My special appreciation is to Neha, the girl who played the title role Raksha. Though its very difficult character, the child played it with ease. There are a couple of scenes, in which I avoided my participation, fearing the episode itself. Somehow, the director managed the scenes without me, but showing me on the screen related to the scenes. The girl's performance is extraordinary."
Shocked at Akella's discipline: Subba Raju
Subbaraju (Actor) said: "Director Akella is known to me since six years. He used to come to my room and spend a lot of time with us. Last year, he came to us and said that he got an opportunity to direct a film from RGV and narrated this horror subject. At first I suspected how this soft-natured man could do this negative film. But when I came to the sets, I was really shocked at his ruthless discipline, which I feel, is more rigorous than that of Ram Gopal Varma. I was frightened to watch some scenes."
Concept-wise Raksha is the best: Vamsi Akella
Vamsi Akella said: "Ram Gopal Varma is one and the only legend that could do the contemporary film to its finest treatment. Whenever the audience watches a film worth their bucks and tickled their senses, naturally it gets compared to RGV style. When RGV heard my version and watched it, he directly complemented me that I did with more perfection than that of Phoonk. Such a complement from a great man like RGV is enough for me for this life. This is my poorvajanma sukrutham. Making-wise I liked Phoonk, but coming to concept, I feel that mine (Raksha) is the best. I personally feel that there is a good scope for the debut director to know lot of things while doing horror films."
Subba Raju (Executive Producer) said: "When Ram Gopal Varma asked me to send a good writer to him, I sent Akella. But, he returned to become a director for Ramu gari film. Though Jagapati Babu's dates were tight, Ramu garu asked us to start the movie first and soon Jagapati Babu joined us."
Sujay Gosh, cinematographer, said: "I thank the entire unit for its wonderful cooperation to me. I am amazed at the confidence which they imposed on me, apart from spotless trust in my capabilities."
Chandrasekhar said: "Ten years ago, I used to take my photographs and visit RGV's office regularly for chances, but I always failed to meet him. After a decade, I got a phone call from his office and I did it. It is my sheer luck."
Neha Thota, who did the title role Raksha; and Athulith, who played her brother, thanked the director and producer for giving them an opportunity to work for the film.
Ram Gopal Varma interview