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Thursday, December 29, 2011

2011 తెలుగు సినిమా విషాదాలు - వివాదాలు

2011 తెలుగు సినిమా రివ్యూ

Simultaneous release of films in the overseas market along with the domestic market has been the latest trend in the Telugu film industry.
It is quite fetching when the talk is good, but at the same time quite risky, too. And in the concluding year, several Telugu films hit the overseas screens, but except two or three films, almost all of them bombed, making the buyers bankrupt.
According to the statistics available so far, during 2011, only three films -- Mirapakay, Kandireega and Sree Rama Rajyam could make profits, that too, very meager: Rs 10 lakh, Rs 5 lakh and Rs 20 lakh respectively in the overseas market. Dookudu made the highest profit, but the exact data is not available.
Mr Perfect also made a little fortune but again the statistics were not available.
All other films have incurred heavy losses. For example, Jr NTR’s much-hyped film Sakthi, which was bought at Rs 2 crore in the US, could generate only Rs 60 lakh, leaving the buyers with a loss of over Rs 1.4 crore. Similarly, Badrinath starring Allu Arjun was bought at Rs 2 crore, but it could make only Rs 50 lakh and the buyer became bankrupt by Rs 1.5 crore. So was the case with Pawan Kalyan-starrer Teen Maar which made a loss of Rs 40 lakh, while Anaganaga Oka Dheerudu starring Siddharth bombed at the box office, causing a huge loss of Rs 90 lakh to the buyer.
The bottom line is that although there is huge number of film lovers in the USA, they are clear in going to the theatres only when the film gets thumping hit.


All-time hit: Dookudu
Super hits: Kandireega Sreerama Raajyam
Hits: Mr. Perfect Mirapakaay 100% Love
Star of the year: Mahesh Babu

As has been commonplace in recent times, flops dominate the hits in Telugu Cinema abroad; the overseas market for Telugu Cinemas has long forgotten something called "average"! Small films are unable to even recover the shipping costs or the costs for the prints, and the theater rents are not even brought into the equation yet! It's alarming that young heroes' films are bought at high prices and the whole investment is lost if the film flops! Owing to this situation, once-active distribution houses are now taking a backseat while new distribution houses are joining the race. Some producers are choosing to distribute their films on their own when they think that the offered prices are not on par with the estimated market status for the hero. For instance, Dil Raju distributed his Mr. Perfect by himself as three of his latest films were disasters and no established distributor wanted to risk a 1-crore investment on his film anymore! He did make his money with the film, but an outsider would have incurred losses due to shipping costs, selling local distribution rights, and so on. Annapurna Studios too started their own overseas distribution channel with Naga Chaitanya's Dhada and followed it up with overseas distribution of Rajanna. Lack of theaters in smaller cities proved to be a problem for films like Sreerama Raajyam and Panjaa, as they could not get theaters at the right time due to the holiday season.
January had 5 films released abroad. Mirapakaay was bought for 70 lakh rupees and fetched decent profits for the exhibitors and distributors. Anaganagaa Oka Dheerudu was bought for one crore rupees, and while the distributors were safe in the whole deal, the exhibitors lost everything on the film! Golconda High School and Wanted could not even recover the cost of prints, and quite notably, one of the blockbuster hits in Andhra Pradesh, Alaa Modalaindi... could not also recover the cost for prints overseas!

Hit: Mirapakaay
In February, 4 films - GaganamKatha-Screenplay-Darshakatwam AppalrajuPrema Kaavaali, andKudirithe Cup-pu Coffee - were released abroad. The 40-lakh rupees of investment of Gaganam could help it towards a breakeven for both distributors and exhibitors, while the same investment for Katha-Screenplay-Darshakatwam Appalraju was washed out for distributors as well as exhibitors. The other two films were released by the respective producers and ended up as flops.

Average: Gaganam
March saw only 2 theatrical releases abroad: Aha Naa Pellanta! amd Dongala Muthaa. The former film had a limited release by the producer himself, with no result at BO, and the latter film which was bought for 15 lakh rupees and was a complete washout.
April has 4 releases in the overseas theaters in the form of ShaktiTeenmaarMr. Perfect, and Nenu Naa RaakshasiShakti was bought for a whopping 2 crore rupees and kept the distributors safe, at the cost of the exhibitors who lost all their investment. Teenmaar was bought for even higher price of Rs. 2.25 crores and ended up with a loss of about Rs. 50 lakhs. The producer himself released Mr. Perfectas he could not find a distributor that offered his expected price. The film collected Rs. 1 crore despite being a blockbuster in India. Nenu Naa Raakshasi was a total washout for an investment of 35 lakh rupees.

Hit: Mr. Perfect
Disappointments: ShaktiTeenmaar
3 films were released in abroad in May100% Love was bought for one crore rupees and was a break-even for all buyers. The film was just an average fare abroad. Veera, which was bought for 60 lakh rupees, and was a diaster at the abroad box-office. Dubbing film Rangam was released too, but it didn't make any big impact at the BO.

Average: 100% Love
Disaster: Veera
June had 2 films released abroad. Badrinath was bought for Rs. 1.85 lakhs and resulted in about Rs. 35 lakhs in losses for the distributor whereas exhibitors lost most of their investment. 180 was released by the producer but it could make profits neither to the producer/distributor nor the exhibitors.

Flops: Badrinath180
July witnessed just 1 film's release abroad. Varun Sandesh's Brahmi Gaadi Katha was brought for a mere five lakh rupees but did not recover that either. �
In the month of August, only Kandireega and Dhada made it to the screens abroad. Kandireega was bought for 20 lakh rupees and made nearly thrice as much! Dhada, on the other hand, was bought for Rs. 60 lakhs and lost it all.

Super Hit: Kandireega
September too just had 1 theatrical release overseas, but it was the much touted Dookudu! The film not only became an all-time hit abroad but also made it to newspapers in the USA, for the buzz it created at the box-office!

All time hit: Dookudu
In October too, only 1 film released abroad. Oosaravelli was bought for Rs. 2.05 crores and had good openings. However, it ended up with a loss of about Rs. 30 lakh rupees for the distributors.
After six long months of less releases, November had 4 films releasing into theaters abroad. Moguduwas bought at 30 lakh rupees and ended up as a loss for all its exhibitors. O My Friend!, at 60 lakh rupees of investment, made a profit to distributors but the exhibitors had to face the losses! It's My Love Story was released by the producer himself and was a damp squib at the box-office abroad. Sreerama Raajyam was bought for a paltry sum of Rs. 40 lakh rupees (given its budget and star cast) and it became a profitable investment for all its buyers, with a total overseas collection amounting to nearly 1 crore rupees.

Super Hit: Sreerama Raajyam
The last month of the year, December, had just 3 releases abroad. Overseas distribution rights forPanjaa were bought for Rs. 2.2 crores and it ended as a flop to its exhibitors. Business details aboutRajanna are yet to be known but the film ended up a flop for the producer who distributed the film on his own. Dubbed movie Journey was released in limited screens and was a flop too. 
Flop: Panjaa

Monday, December 19, 2011

డిజైనర్ 'అను'


2011 తెలుగు సినిమా 'జయాలు - పరాజయాలు'

The year 2011 has come to an end and it is time to have a recap at how the year has been for the economics of Tollywood. Incidentally, the last two to three years have been quite dull for the industry with many promising films becoming duds, films getting delayed due to various reasons.
Anyways, here is an overview of how the year began, its ups and downs and what notable films had their share of success and defeat…
The year began with the medium budget ‘Graduate’ starring Akshay and Tashu Kaushik and it failed to catch the attention of the audience. To add to the disappointment, it was the highly expected film ‘Paramaveera Chakra’ starring Nandamuri Balakrishna which came as a Sankranthi treat but bombed miserably at the box office. However, the respite came in the form of ‘Mirapakaya’ starring Ravi Teja and the mass masala treat clicked with the audience and scored a hit. The Sumanth starrer ‘Golconda High School’ was also good but though it got critical acclaim it could not garner commercial success.
Another big budget disaster that struck during Sankranthi was ‘Anaganaga Oka Dheerudu’ starring Siddarth and Shruti Haasan. This was the debut of Walt Disney pictures in Tollywood but then the result was disappointing. As January came to an end, it is the surprise hit which came in the form of ‘Ala Modalindi’ starring Nani and Nithya Menon. The film became a roaring hit giving new lease of life to small budget movie makers. But ‘Wanted’ starring Gopichand became yet another disaster.
Taking advantage of Telangana chaos, February opened with ‘Jai Bolo Telangana’ and though one song became a hit, the film was a dud. This was followed by the bilingual ‘Gaganam’ with Nag and it was an average success. Manchu Vishnu’s another attempt ‘Vastadu Naa Raju’ failed to click once again and flopped. Then came ‘LBW’, a commendable film in overseas but failed here. Gautam Menon came up with a variety thriller in the form of ‘Erra Gulabeelu’ but it failed to shine due to lack of publicity.
RGV’s much talked about ‘KSD Appalaraju’ also came at the same time but it became a major disaster. Youth icon Varun Sandesh came again in February end with ‘Kudirithe Kappu Coffee’ but the coffee was not that tasty at the box office. It turned out to be a below average grosser. Sai Kumar’s son Aadi made his debut with ‘Prema Kavali’ and though the budget and publicity was massive, the film became a just average grosser. Overall, February was disappointing.
March began with ‘Aha Naa Pellanta’ starring Allari Naresh and it was a hit. Then came Charmee with the much hyped ‘Mangala’ but it turned out to be a major dud. Kannada superstar Upendra came with his ‘Super’ and surprisingly, it caught the attention of the B, C centre audience in a big way and scored good success. Ram Gopal Varma came again with an experimental flick of sorts titled ‘Dongala Mutha’ and as usual, the hype was good but content was poor so the film flopped.
Sumanth came up with a rather raunchy film titled ‘Raaj’ but that didn’t work at the box office. ‘Chattam’ was another movie which came and went without much noise. An interesting twist was the film ‘Gangaputhrulu’. This was a commercial flop but it gained good presence in the film festival circuit. Overall, March started well but it ended up with more of disappointments.
Summer season ticked off with April and it came with the highly expected ‘Shakti’ starring Jr NTR. But right in the first two days, the film was declared a major disaster. The woes continued with yet another big star movie ‘Teen Maar’ starring Pawan Kalyan. Despite getting good critical reviews, the film could not score success. It was only the arrival of ‘Mr Perfect’ starring Prabhas which brought some respite as it became a good hit. The external factors played a key role in making this a success. But the woes continued with another big star film ‘Nenu Naa Rakshasi’ starring Rana and directed by Puri Jagannadh. Despite all the hype, the film became a major dud. So, April turned out to be a disappointment again.
May came with ‘100% Love’ starring Naga Chaitanya and though it got average reviews, the film picked up in the later days and scored a big hit. This was followed by Allari Naresh’s ‘Seema Tapakaya’ which also garnered decent success. The positive graph continued with the dubbed film ‘Rangam’ and it became a very big hit. Same was the case with another dubbed film ‘Ragini MMS’ a horror treat which clicked well. But Tollywood troubles continued with yet another big one ‘Veera’ starring Ravi Teja struggling to make break even. Meanwhile, Kollywood wave continued with ‘Vaishali’ a dubbed film getting above average success. The month ended with Srikanth and Tashu Kaushik’s ‘Dussasana’ directed by Posani which as usual turned out to be a crazy flop. This was followed by another film ‘Vykuntapali’ starring Krishnudu and Tashu Kaushik which had a good concept but poor execution resulting in a flop. Overall, May was a month for dubbed films while Tollywood was going down.
June began with ‘Babloo’ starring few fresh faces and it was a dud as expected. But the big blow came when the much awaited ‘Badrinath’ starring Allu Arjun turned out to be a average grosser. The Kollywood flavour was also there with Bala’s ‘Vaadu Veedu’ scoring a flop. Then came Jagapathi Babu with ‘Nagaram Nidrapotunna Vela’ a major failure again. Siddarth’s bilingual ‘180’ had some promise before release but it could not reach the success mark at all. So, June also turned out to be a below average month for Tollywood.
The month of July came with ‘Virodhi’ by national award winner Neelakantha but it was not upto the mark. The film was more of an offbeat genre. Varun came again with ‘Brahmi Gadi Katha’ and it bombed without a trace. The oxygen came with the dubbed horror flick ‘Kanchana’ which roared at the box office. ‘Nanna’ was yet another brilliant film which didn’t get the required publicity and success but touched the hearts of audience. Jagapathi Babu’s ‘Key’ flunked miserably.
Krishnudu’s magic failed to work with ‘Amayakudu’ and this was followed by Tanish’s ‘Kodi Punju’, yet another disappointment. Another Kollywood treat came in the form of ‘Sega’ starring Nani and Nithya Menon but it could not survive. Overall, the month of July was filled with medium budget and small budget flicks but nothing worked at the box office.
August came with the dubbed movie ‘Naa Peru Shiva’ starring Karthi and it scored an above average success. The flop streak continued for Tollywood with ‘Dhada’ starring Naga Chaitanya, this was a miserable failure. It was only after Ram came with ‘Kandireega’ that hopes brightened. The film was a major hit. A medium budget flick ‘Mugguru’ produced by Rama Naidu didn’t click despite overflowing glamour from heroines. The Malayalam dubbed ‘Urumi’ had good potential but it failed due to lack of publicity and word of mouth.
Another dubbed movie from Tamil came with ‘Prema Khaidi’ but it didn’t get the required success like it got in Kollywood. The Telugu film ‘Mr Rascal’ was another major disaster. Another film which followed suit was ‘Keratam’ despite massive publicity and hype. Sumanth tried once again with his film ‘Daggaraga Dooramga’ but he could not succeed. The RGV protégé JD Chekravarthy came with his ‘Money Money More Money’ but despite its backdrop, it was an annoying disaster. So, August also didn’t have much to talk about.
September saw the arrival of a dubbed movie ‘1947- A Love Story’ and though it had good potential the film suffered due to lack of promotion and failed. Krishnudu’s attempts with his medium budget ‘Naaku O Loverundhi’ didn’t work and he scored another flop. Kollywood star Ajith came with his ‘Gambler’ and the Telugu version flopped while the Tamil version became a super hit. A film with fresh faces ‘Nenu Nanna Abaddham’ came and went without much noise.
Similarly, ‘Akasame Haddu’ also created some noise before release but went silent after release. The dubbed season continued with Jiiva’s ‘Vachchadu Gelichadu’ but that didn’t work at the box office. The turning point for Tollywood came this year with the arrival of Mahesh Babu’s ‘Dookudu’. The film became a roaring blockbuster at the box office rewriting the Tollywood history records. Of course, Allari Naresh could not repeat his magic with ‘Madatha Kaja’ which became a below average treat. That way, September gave a lot of confidence with one blockbuster.
October began with Jr NTR returning in a different avatar. His ‘Oosaravelli’ showed promise at the start but eventually became an below average grosser. The surprise hit came in the form of ‘Pilla Zamindar’ starring Nani. His market value has been ascertained once again. Murugadoss’s much hyped film ‘7th Sense’ opened with good promise but failed to pick up speed in the following days. It became an average grosser. The month saw very few releases and though the big ticket flicks came with lot of hype, the overall result was just average.
November started with a small time flick ’Nuvvila’ and though it had good talk, it didn’t get the required revenue due to lack of publicity and promotion. Many had hopes on ‘Mogudu’ starring Gopichand but that failed to click. Madhura Sreedhar came with his second venture ‘It’s My Love Story’, that turned a musical hit and made a comfortable break even. The notable flick came in the form of ‘Oh My Friend’ starring Siddarth and it was a decent treat.
It was a bit disappointing to see Nandamuri Balakrishna’s ‘Sri Rama Rajyam’ having everything to score a hit but failing to strike the mark. However, many say this is more of a masterpiece and not a commercial venture. Young hero Nikhil came with ‘Veedu Theda’ and it worked at the B, C centres. Nara Rohit came with his ‘Solo’ and the film was the perfect recipe for family entertainer. This got a good response at the start but could not sustain for long. November that way was mixed with hits and flops.
December came with ‘Bezawada’ starring Naga Chaitanya and though it had enough hype and promotion from RGV, it didn’t have enough material to score. This became a dud. Same with ‘Sangarshana’, the dubbed movie from Tamil and its intensity didn’t work with the Telugu audience. Varun Sandesh came again with his ‘Priyudu’ and returned with a flop in his kitty. The crucial film for the month was ‘Panjaa’ and despite getting a strong pre release talk the film really didn’t have it to score a Pawan Kalyan range of hit. This was a disappointment.
A hit in the making right now is ‘Journey’ with sensible script and good performances. ‘Rathinirvedam’ is a dubbed treat from Malayalam and the erotic quotient is working in B, C centres. ‘Duniya’ is another film which has turned out to be a dud. As the year is coming to a close, all eyes are now on ‘Rajanna’ starring Nagarjuna. Already, the trailers are creating some waves and the mark of S S Rajamouli in it has been the key factor. If ‘Rajanna’ scores a hit then 2011 will end on a good note.
Overall, the year has been better in comparison with the previous years and 2012 looks more promising since the big heroes are gearing up to arrive with at least two films in one year. The steady performance of few films in 2011 is also another factor for planning the year ahead with better parameters. Here’s waving a goodbye to 2011 and wishing Tollywood a successful 2012.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

కధానాయకుడు 'రామ్'

కుర్రకారు కొల'వెర్రి'

కధానాయకుల 'క్రీడాభి రామం'

దర్శకుడు 'త్రివిక్రమ్' శ్రీనివాస్

He needs no introduction....

Interest in cinema

I am from a middle class family in Bheemavaram. Cinema was the best and cheapest form of entertainment when I was a kid. I used to watch a lot of films. It was during my 10th class and when I was 14 years old, I decided to become a film director. Though my goal was to become a director, I didn’t have any road map. Getting money to buy a ticket to Hyderabad from Bheemavaram was the biggest task for me in those days. I studied in Bheemavaram till my degree. Then I went to Vizag to do my M. Sc in Andhra University. I have completed my M Sc in 1 year and 3 months. I used to watch movies every day during my stay in Vizag. All this while I made sure that I didn’t let my intentions of becoming director known to my parents.
I am also an avid reader. I am so addicted to books that I still get a high while reading books. I feel that book is the only thing that we interact with by keeping our ego aside. Once we keep our ego aside, we submit ourselves to the vision of the writer. We also keep ego aside when we seek information on Internet.
Searching for opportunities
I came to Hyderabad after completing post-graduation. A friend has given me a contact where I can teach tutions. I survived with the income generated by tutions and I started looking for film opportunities in the spare time. I met Kommanapalli Ganapathi Rao and he is such a kind person that he invited me in his house and gave me a cup of tea. He asked for my plans and I told him that I am a writer. I had a hand-written story called ‘Road’ with me. He liked it. He made me send it to the editor of Andhra Jyothy magazine. That was my first and only story published so far. He was writing dialogues for a film titled Merupu (Vikram, Anand and Kasturi), which was loosely based on ‘Sleeping with enemy’. He said that I can work for the film, but the producer can’t pay. I expressed my interest and started working for it. When they have shofted the shooting location to Gandipet, I couldn’t go such a far distance due to lack of money. Hence I had to disassociate from that film after working for 10 days.
Actor Gowtamraju is a good friend of Sunil. Gowtam Raju took me to TVD Prasad (National Art movies) who was going to make a film titled ‘Akka Bagunnava?’. Gowtam Raju asked the producer if he can help me. He said that the entire version is complete but for the climax. He has narrated the story and asked me to come up with the climax. I wrote a climax version and narrated it. Posani Krishna Murali was also one of the writers and he took a liking to the climax. After that I lost contact.
Traveling with Posani Krishna Murali
I was also writing for a film based program conducted by Gowtam Raju in ETV. Gowtamraju has connected me with Posani again when he was in Chennai. I took the remuneration of Rs. 3000/- from ETV and used it to travel to Chennai to meet Posani Krishna Murali. He was staying in Transit Guest House. He was writing for Pavitrabandham at that time. He has asked me if I knew how to write script and dialogues. I said yes like an experienced professional. In fact, I didn’t know anything at all. He went into another room when he got a phone call. During that time, I looked into the script of Pavitrabandham and understood the format of writing scenes/dialogues on paper. He has narrated me the story of Pavitrabandham and asked me to come up with my own version. He is an open guy and he makes all of us readout our own versions. He adapts the best scenes if they match with the original story line. I learnt a lot from Posani Krishna Murali. Contrary to controversial image projected by him, he is a sincere and hardworking writer. He used to sit in room for days to complete his work faster. He only comes up during meals time. He used to finish writing story and dialogues in four days for big films. I used to have misconception that film writers booze and smoke cigarettes to write dialogues and scripts. All those misconceptions were proven wrong when I saw Posani Krishna Murali in action. I got the confidence that film writing is a respectable job to take up.
Posani Murali also give lot of respect to his team members. He used to introduce me as his assistant writer or associate writer to others. He introduced me to directors like EVV, Muthyala Subbayya and B Gopal. He never uses us as ghost writers. He used to pay us our salary on 30th or 31st of every month irrespective of where he is. I got a vast experience in all genres of film writing with my stint of 1 year 8 months with him. I started realising that by writing to films, I am getting away from my goal of directing films. I didn’t want to become relaxed in life because I am taken care well in tutelage of Posani Krishna Murali.
I am personally against ‘bhava dasyam’. By working with Posani Krishna Murali, I got an assurance that I could continue working here without doing any ‘bhava dasyam’.
I used to be in the same place (I interviewed Trivikram at the place which he continue to use as office and hangout place from the time he entered Hyderabad to become a film director) and used to hangout at an Irani Chai cafe called ‘Try Luck’, which used to be there opposite to ETV office in Somajiguda. I used to meet Venu (actor) and Shyam (producer) at that cafe. I narrated the story of Swayamvaram to them. They believed in the story value. I have told the dialogue ‘Prema ane swargam nundi 7 adugula dooramlo vunde narakame pelli’ as the gist to the story. After listening to this, Vijay Bhaskar insisted that I should pen dialogues for this movie. Shyam took many risks and crossed several obstacles to produce and release the movie. It became a hit.
Nuvve Kavali
I had no interesting offers after Swayamvaram release. I went back to Bhimavaram and spent over one and half month. That is when I got a call from Sravanthi Ravi Kishore to accompany him to Madras. I went with him to Madras to buy the remake rights of Malayalam film Niram directed by Kamal. I saw the Niram film and understood the essence. I didn’t want transcript of Niram as I wanted to write dialogues afresh. I used only one dialogue ‘Nuvvendukuraa Naaku mundu I Love You cheppaledu’ from original as it is the key scene and incorporates the essence of the movie. I added humor with the dialogues and incorporated few characters like that of Sunil. During Nuvve Kavali making, I had simultaneously penned story and dialogues for Chirunavvutho.
Nuvve Nuvve
I had narrated the script of Nuvve Nuvve during the making of Nuvve Kavali to Sravanthi Ravi Kishore. He liked the story and asked if I could direct it. I had accepted his offer but asked for more time as I needed more confidence. I directed Nuvve Nuvve film after the release of Nuvvu Naaku Nachav. I couldn’t do that film the way I wanted. I was not completely satisfied with my work. I think the dialogue writer in me dominated the director in that film. However, it was a commercially successful project for the producer.
I narrated the story of Athadu to Mahesh Babu before the start of Nuvve Nuvve shoot. Before making of Athadu, I fixed myself that I should not compromise at any cost. I wanted to make the film the way I envisioned it. I wanted to satisfy the audience in me after shooting every scene. I doubled checked each and every scene as an audience. I could able to do 80% of what I had imagined when I wrote the script. If you look at the first 15 minutes of Athadu movie, you will realise the level of intensity and technical finesse.
I met Pawan Kalyan during the climax of Bangaram film and narrated a story. When returning back, I narrated a characterization and a couple of scenes. He liked it better. He asked me to develop that character. As we started making the movie, the character’s consistency got affected as I wanted it to be more of a romantic comedy than pursuing the character from terrorist angle. I know that there is no solution to terrorism. I made a satire on entire police vs naxalite conflict as ‘evari daggara gun vunte vaadu right’ (might vunnavade right). I asked Mahesh if he can give voice over to Jalsa and he did it. I never felt that there is an angle of friction till Allu Arvind jokingly told that its a big issue to get hero from one camp to do voice over for a hero from another camp.
Khaleja is a film that had millions of problems during production. It was stalled in between for 6 months. There was no producer for the movie for 6 months till C Kalyan took over it. Mahesh Babu and me took as a personal responsibility to complete the film and release it. I had learnt a lot of lessons during the making of Khaleja. I learnt to be unrmotional about the creative aspect of the film and concentrate on the practicality aspect from the producer point of view.
Conflicting result for Khaleja in India and overseas
Khaleja is a big hit in overseas and a flop in India. I take pride in one aspect of Khaleja. That is the consistency of character. The hero character will be doing fights, romance and comedy. But I maintained the same characterization throughout the film irrespective of what he is doing. I think it is a very difficult job for the writer to maintain that consistency. Probably, that consistency in characterization, entertainment and Mahesh Babu’s craze worked in USA to become a big hit over there.
Why did Khaleja went over-budget and how come Julayi is made in pre-decided budget?
It’s just the span of making that made the difference. Khaleja’s working days were 135 days and Julayi’s working days were 110 days. Hence there is not much of difference in working days. But Khaleja was made in a span on 2 years and Julayi was made in 6 months. The producer saves huge on interest money when the film is made in short span.
You have been labeled as an expensive director after looking at budget and making spans for films like Athadu, Jalsa and Khaleja?
As a director I want to make films that work at box office so that producer will make money as well. If you look at Shankar, he always make sure that there is always a profit margin for the producer irrespective of the vast budget. As a director I want my producers to be profitable and make many more films. Likewise, I also want to make successful films. We all work towards the single goal of success. i cant go to each and every person who claims that I am the cause of over-budgeting by telling them real reasons. For example, me and Mahesh Babu have returned 40% of our respective remunerations to the producers for Khaleja so that it could be completed and released. Nobody knows about it as we don't like telling about it outside. Did any of the producers stop making films or went out of business because they made films with me?
After my experience with Khaleja I made sure that I don’t charge a penny to producer for pre-production. I did pre-production of Julayi in my office and producer is not charged for anything. If preproduction for a big film is happening at producer’s office, the coffee/tea and hospitality charges for visitors and staff will come to 25 lacs and if you include interest till the release of the movie, it may go upto one crore. The people outside don’t look at how that figure is arrived and they generally comment about the same. Hence I decided to have all pre-production work done at my office so that there is zero pre-production cost for the producer.
You do generally keep your film’s story/scenes/dialogues secret till the movie is released. Why did you narrate story and dialogues through the theatrical trailer of Julayi?
I thought that it will be good to let the movie lovers know about the film from horse’s mouth than through gossips.
Tell us about Julayi?
laksha rupayala lottery ticketni kooda kastapadi sampadinchina okka rupayithone konali’ (you have to use your hard-earnt one rupee to buy a lottery ticket that wins 1 lac) - this dialogue has the essence of the movie. We always feel that our goals are easy to achieve till we start pursuing them. You realize the difficulties as you start your journey towards the goal. There is a kodi dialogue between father and son (Tanikella and Bunny) in the trailer. There will be a retort to son from father towards the end which will serve as eye-opener.
You always have nice lyrics in your movies. How come there is the usage of word ‘osey osey’ in julayi song?
(laughs). That word is used to catch attention. But if you listen to the rest of the lyrics, you will find beautiful poetry and nice thoughts like “Prema pundu meeda karam petti, gunde anchukemo daaram katti, istamochinattu danne egareyyake ala ilaa”. All of Julayi songs have poetic value to them.
Whats your reading on actor Allu Arjun?
There are a lot of people who think that they know everything. Allu Arjun is one of the few people who think that they don’t know anything and they have to learn a lot. He is always on his toes to learn new things. He is very grounded. He knows his real stuff and doesn’t get carried away by the sweet words of the people around him. He has no tantrums and he is an easy actor to work with.
You are very close to Pawan Kalyan and Mahesh Babu. Tell us your personal observations?
Both of them have terrific sense of humor and only people who are very close to them know about it.
Pawan Kalyan: A personal observation
Pawan Kalyan is a simple man who wears Lungi and Lalchi during free time. When I met him for the first time at his farmhouse, he was carrying the generator for repair along with a worker. He is a passionate reader though he is a +2 dropout. He is like a walking library. He has personally signed books of Paulo Coelho (Author of The Alchemist) and Ashok Banker (Ramayana).
When I met Pawan Kalyan during Bangaram climax, I observed an something interesting. A lady working nearby came and kept her sick baby in the hands of Pawan Kalyan. He listened to her problems carefully and called his friend Sharat Marar and asked him to take the kid to Rainbow hospital. Later on, he paid all the expenses required to get the baby to normal health.
Pawan Kalyan doesn’t know the value of money. When somebody goes for help, he asks if 20 is sufficient. It’s not 20 thousand, but 20 lacs. He feels that if he offers anything less, we might get offended.
Recently Pavala Syamala went to Pawan Kalyan and requested for help. He listened to her problems and he has 20k with him in the van. He gave the money to her. He called his manager after she left and asked him to deposit another 80k in her account the next day. He felt that he helped her only after giving her 1 lac. He called me and asked me if 1 lac will be sufficient for her to sustain for a couple of months.
Mahesh Babu: A personal observation
Mahesh is very jovial and a very simple guy. He doesn’t care much about materialistic possessions. He used to have two shirts and two pants during Athadu time. He used only one car (Opel Astra) till he got married. It was Namrata who gifted him Mercedes Benz E Class after his wedding. Mahesh is a soft-spoken guy. He never uses cuss words. The biggest bad word he uses when he gets extremely angry is ‘choosukondanyya’. When Mahesh says ‘Choosukondayya’, his staff get really hurt as if he scolded them heavily. I think it has a lot to do with his upbringing. He is very composed and down to earth. The best thing is that he pays for his staff and his family when they travel with him to shoot. Namrata makes the list of all personal expenses (family and staff) occurred during the shoot on monthly basis and ask the producer to deduct it from the remuneration. They take those bills and submit it to Mahesh’s personal auditor. The values of people will be reflected in small issues like these.
He loves his brother Ramesh Babu very much. When Ramesh Babu was admitted in hospital in an afternoon due to typhoid fever during the shoot of Khaleja, I asked Mahesh to go to hospital and visit his brother. I told him that we can use the next day to cover up the lost time. But Mahesh insisted that we should shoot. When I started my work, I observed that his eyes were wet and his cheeks were red. I understood how much he loves his brother and how dedicated he is towards his work at the same time. I forced him to go to hospital and called for a pack-up. Occasions like these make our respect towards such persons grow at an exponential level.
You got a special recognition for your thinking pattern and dialogues right from Swayamvaram. What is the secret behind your signature entertaining and thought provoking dialogues?
It could be my interest in reading books or humorous conversations with friends. I can’t point out and say that my dialogues have become popular due to this reason. Just like how a beautiful painting is made with several strokes, a skill in one person will be developed due to several factors and influences. I also feel that one’s various experiences, skill and unrelenting passion towards goal make their work special. Why do people follow when there are 10s of websites? That is because it is started by a person who developed a signature for himself with his work. ‘picha vunna vaarini prapancham ignore cheyyadu. They always shine’. You may love them or you may hate them. You can never ignore such madly passionate people.
Reviews and mouth talk
I am also a human being and I get little disappointed when somebody criticise my work. That is the reason why I don't read reviews for at least 10 days if my film gets released. Just like I have a right to direct movie, reviewers too have a right to criticise the film. When I watch movies by other directors, I watch them as a normal audience like I did when I was studying in Bheemavaram. I don’t like to ask for talk of the film. I want to enjoy the pleasure of watching film myself and make an opinion than going to a movie with a pre-conceived opinion that is influenced by others. I don’t derive the sadistic pleasure when somebody speaks negatively of others movies. I never let negativity come into my life and to my movies.
Next project with Pawan Kalyan
My next project is with Pawan Kalyan and it will be an entertainer based on human relationships. Nuvvu Naaku Nachav was the last such kind of movie I had worked on. If a similar subject on human relations is enacted by a powerful and mass hero like Pawan Kalyan, the reach will be much higher. It will be a pure and prestine Telugu film on Telugu manava bandhavyalu. It’s a film on Telugu padikattu (Telugu tradition). This film’s shoot will start after the release of Cameraman Gangatho Rambabu.

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