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Interview with SS Rajamouli
Date: Junly 20, 2010, Hyderabad
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SS Rajamouli switched his genre this time to make a comedy film titled Maryada Ramanna with Sunil as hero. Maryada Ramanna is going to release on 23 July. The entire Maryada Ramanna unit literally hijacked the dubbing/recording theatre of Prasad labs to complete the postproduction on war-footing scale. met with SS Rajamouli for a brief interview. Here are the excerpts -

Is Maryada Ramanna a comedy film?
Yes. Maryada Ramanna is a comedy film. The comedy in this movie is not of slapstick type. The comedy is generated out of situations and coincidences. Though it is a comedy movie, none of the actors try to be comical in the movie. Maryada Ramanna is also a romantic story in which hero and heroine doesn’t have romance angle till the fag end of the movie. Maryada Ramanna has action sequences, but hero doesn’t fight in the movie.

In one of interviews, you admitted that you haven’t mastered the romance and comedy aspects in your movies. You proved that you can do romance subjects with Magadheera movie. Is doing Maryada Ramanna a conscious effort to prove your command over comedy?
Whenever I attempt to make a movie, I make sure that I don’t struggle. Maryada Ramanna is a subject that I am comfortable with. Nela vidichi saamu cheyyaledu!

What is the reason for doing a film like Maryada Ramanna with Sunil as hero after delivering the biggest massive hit like Magadheera?
I decided that my next project would be Maryada Ramanna during the Magadheera shooting itself because Magadheera is a 1 and half year project that demands lot of physical labour and mental strain. I didn’t want to commit another physically exhausting film immediately after Magadheera. Maryada Ramanna film gave us time to recharge our batteries so that we could come up with another huge project.

How different is Sunil in Maryada Ramanna?
I am using his comedian image on screen and innocence/good-heartedness from his personal life to the advantage of the movie. My instructions to him were not to repeat any antics/performance he has done in his earlier movies.

What is the reason behind revealing the plot of Maryada Ramanna before the release?
It is a clever ploy to publicize the movie. We can’t afford to reveal certain type of stories. Stories like Magadheera and Maryada Ramanna could be revealed because these films are not about what the story is, but are about how the story is narrated. Revealing the story of Maryada Ramanna has helped in bringing down expectation levels audiences had after watching Magadheera movie.

You had worked only with your father’s stories so far. What is the reason behind going for Kanchi’s story this time?
Though my father gave stories to all my earlier movies, Kanchi’s contribution in story department for those movies was notable. Kanchi has been working in story department of my films since Chatrapati. I used to be like monarch in our story discussions and I dominate everybody. Kanchi is the only guy who doesn’t succumb to my domination. He gave very good story for Maryada Ramanna.

The music of Maryada Ramanna is pleasant and pleasing to ears. Can we expect the movie to be like that?
Yes. Except for Raye Saloni song, all other songs are extremely situational and they blend with the story narration.

You are very active in twitter? How is the experience?
It is a good way of interacting with movie lovers directly. Most of the messages I get are refreshing from the followers though there are a few harsh messages. It is an excellent platform to get the information straight from the horse’s mouth. It also gives us an opportunity to directly clarify when we are misquoted in the media.

Maryada Ramanna is supposed to be a small movie and it’s budget is equivalent to that of big heroes?
I couldn’t get off my making standards. I used the same equipment we use for big budgeted films. Maryada Ramanna is going to entertain.

Though you delivered biggest blockbusters, Magadheera film turned out to be a universal movie that won the appreciation of classes and masses alike. You are trying different genre with Maryada Ramanna. Are you going to do different movies henceforth or will you go back to make mass movies again?
I would like to tell three points here

1. I would be cheating myself if I say I don’t care for critical acclaim and I continue to make mass movies that collect moolah.
2. But I will not venture into unfamiliar zone for the sake of critical acclaim.
3. I will definitely do new genre movies only if it excites me and if I am familiar with it.

I am in the process of developing my craft to become a better director which in turn will bring me critical acclaim.

Do you think audiences these days are doctored with formulaic movies? If anybody attempts different genre, these movies are not getting the attention of B/C center crowds?
I don’t agree that the minds of Telugu movie audiences are doctored by formulaic filmmakers. Sankara Bharanam is the fine example. It was unreleased for 8 months after the first copy was ready as the buyers felt that it will be not be liked by the audiences. After the release, Sankara Bharanam became the biggest mass hit.

What about the movies of recent years? Films like Aithe, AOR and Vedam didn’t get the appreciation they deserve in B/C centers?
In my personal opinion, Vedam is as classy as Sankara Bharanam. There could be some other reasons why films like Vedam didn’t penetrate B/C centers.

Tell us about the producers of Maryada Ramanna?
I had never seen such nice producers. Shobu and Prasad are cool guys and they never get tensed. Shobu is a net-savvy guy and he is doing lots of innovative online campaigns for Maryada Ramanna movie.

Why does Keeravani end up giving terrific background music for all your movies?
Keeravani gives me terrific background music because I am liberal with my editing. I give the convenience of Keeravani changing the length of scenes in my movie in order to suit the tempo and length of his background score. He has also given me three additional bit songs while doing the background store.

Rajamouli movies are known for interval bangs? How the interval bang of Maryada Ramanna is going be?
Maryada Ramanna film will have an interval without a bang!

Tell us about your next project?
My mind is completely occupied with Maryada Ramanna movie. I will take a vacation after the release and then reveal about my next project.

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