February 5, 2008
Raaj Aaditya who made his debut with Sankranthi film Pourudu is a protégé of Priyadarshan. Pourudu is releasing in USA on 8 February. Idlebrain.com met Raaj Aaditya for a chitchat. Here are excerpts -
Tell us about your background?
I am basically a Keralite and am brought up in Chennai. I completed my M Com and PGDCA (computers). My father Sri Kumaran Thampi is a writer, director and lyricist in Malayalam film industry. He directed 29 Malayaman films and one Kannada film. I learnt the basics of filmmaking from him. I did not have any formal training in filmmaking. I joined Priyadarshan as assistant and worked for films like Chandralekha (Malayalam), Hera Pheri, Snehidaya, Hungama etc. I also directed TV serials for a couple of years in Kerala. I have my own production house to manufacture TV software.
How did Pourudu happen?
I was trying to make films in Tamil. I came to know that Sumanth was looking for a script. I narrated the script to Supriya before Sumanth‘s classmates released. She liked it and made me narrated to Sumanth and Surendra. They decided to make the film on SS Creations banner. They made 10-15% changes to the script I prepared. I came to Hyderabad with 75 scenes screenplay along with treatment.
We wanted to make a main stream commercial formula film. Its been tradition in our films to show hero in negative way by projecting heroism. In this film, we have shown Sumanth in a positive light. The negative shade character is donned by Suman who played father to Sumanth.
Why did you title the film as Pourudu as it was a personal revenge story?
It was a marketing ploy to title the film as Pourudu. It resulted in tremendous openings. We created a lengthy but appropriate tagline for the film - ‘when system (government) fails, a power (mafia by Zakir Bhai) will rise. When the power (Zakir) fails, a powrudu (Sumanth) will rise.
Tell about the financial part of Pourudu film?
We made the film with the budget of 5.5 crores. It is poised to collect double the investment.
What are the best scenes in the film?
1. The scene which is shot in the backdrop of rain when Sumanth’s friend is hospitalized. Sumanth clashes with his father and the stigma of being a henchman’s son is shown.
2. Interval block where hero explodes.
3. Father/son patch up scene in second half.
What should have been done better in the film?
I think I could not tackle the comedy aspect well. There is no comedy in the last 40 minutes of the film.
Being a protégé of Priyadarshan, people do expect lots of slapstick and situational comedy from you?
That is a huge misconception that priyadarshan is only good at comedy. He is an all-rounder and made critically acclaimed and action films before he started making comedy flicks. He directed beautiful flicks like Kala Pani and Kyom Ki. He is the master of all genres. I learnt a lot from him.
The action sequences of the film were appreciated. Did you take any special care?
I would like to thank the producer Supriya for giving me free hand. She gave firm instruction to her production guys not to create any trouble. I shot talkie part of the film in 32 days and took 43 days to shoot songs and fights. And when you take more time and do quality work, it shows.
What is the response of Nagarjuna?
He watched the film recently and said that all the pieces fall in place at the end. He liked the action sequences. She remarked that the pace of the film should have been tighter. And he concluded by saying that he did not have any remakes for any film that is doing well at box office.
What is your next project?
A project with Supergood banner is pending. I am getting lot of offers after Pourudu release.
D Supriya (Pourudu)
MS Raju (Vaana)
YVS Chowdary (Okka Magaadu)
Neelakanta (Mr. Medhavi)
Sonia (Happy Days)
Ravi Teja on Dubai Seenu
Seenu Vytla on Dubai Seenu
YVS Chowdary on NTR
RK (Hyderabad Nawabs)
Dr. Haranath Policherla
Dil Raju 2
Mahesh Babu 3
Sekhar Kammula 2
KM Radha Krishnan
D Rama Naidu
Allari Ravi Babu
KS Rama Rao 2
Mohan Babu 2
KV Ramana IAS
Devi Sri Prasad
AM Ratnam 2
Ram Gopal Varma 3
Mahesh Babu 2
Mohan Babu 1
KS Rama Rao 1
AS Ravi Kumar
Ram Gopal Varma 2
Ram Gopal Varma