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Thursday, 3 October 2013


Set for a hat-trick
After a disastrous debut, he managed to get a huge hit in Mirapakay. He followed it up with the stupendous success of Gabbar Singh and now director Harish Shankar is all set to score a hat-trick with Ramayya Vastavayya, writes Murali Krishna CH

Ramayya Vastavayya seems to have lots of one-liners. NTR Jr is good at delivering lengthy dialogues, so why the one-liners?
I have grown up watching movies of Amitabh Bachchan, Chiranjeevi and NTR Sr where heroism plays a crucial part. Be it aesthetics or intention, my love for poetry was instrumental in me penning those one-liners for Jr. The highlight of the film would be his characterization. There are a lot of one-liners in this film which Jr has done in a single take. The film will have all that the audience expects from NTR Jr and I have shown him in an entirely new dimension in the film.

It’s been years since NTR Jr played a student, how did you convince him for the role?
I have known NTR for 7 years. He treats me as his close friend. His sense of humor is awesome. He is very young and apt for the role. You tend to have a different perception of him based on the kind of roles he has done. I feel this is an appropriate time to show him as a student. In future, I might not get the opportunity again.

What kind of a film is Ramayya Vastavayya?
As speculated, NTR Jr is not playing a student leader and there are no satires on the society. His character is very energetic and the film is a youthful entertainer which would be equally liked by the family audience.

Is Shruti Haasan your lucky charm?

See, I don’t have any superstitions of a lucky charm, iron leg or a golden leg. Shruti Haasan is a top actress and she is very busy with her Bollywood and Tollywood projects. She is my good friend and she has given me bulk dates, more than what I expected as she immensely liked her character in the film. Her performance is one of the highlights of Ramayya Vastavayya.

How did you balance the roles between both the leading ladies?

Both Samantha and Shruti Haasan have very interesting scenes. Yet, they do not share a common scene in the film. To know how I managed to strike a balance between them, you have to watch the film (smiles).

What according to you is the USP of Ramayya Vastavayya?
There are six beautiful songs in the film and we have already received a fantastic response and feedback from the audience. Importantly, you are going to see a new NTR Jr with incredible energy in this film. Obviously, fans will have a lot of expectations from Jr's film and I have showcased him differently. The film is a feel good entertainer and will entertain you for 180 minutes. So to experience all of them one should watch Ramayya Vastavayya.

In the posters, NTR Jr is holding a mace? In what way is it related to the film? Have you choreographed any action scene with that or is it just a publicity stunt?
Why is Rama (NTR Jr) holding a mace which was originally used by Bheema? You will get the answer when you watch the film.

You are a self-confessed Pawan Kalyan fan and now you have worked with Jr. Both of them have contrasting personalities. So, how did you deal with them?
Firstly, it’s nothing like dealing or handling them. Both have a lot of common qualities. Both Pawan and NTR command a huge fan following and they are passionate about cinema. They believe in the right script and in the right director. After Shock, I have narrated scripts to both of them. When I have a script that excites a super star, I feel there is no need to handle them and there won't be any difficulty in directing the film. They would get involved in the film and their characterization. That is what happened with both of them in Gabbar Singh and Ramayya Vastavayya.

What made you to pen dialogues that reflect the real life persona of the actors in GS and RV?
I like Jandhyala garu’s films and Salim-Javed scripts. I like one-liners of Chiranjeevi, Amitabh Bachchan, Rajinikanth and Shah Rukh Khan in their films. I have grown up watching films that have hero-oriented dialogues. I treat myself as a common man and think like a movie lover before writing a script. Also, I write dialogues that make me dance, clap and whistle. Usually, the dialogue that depicts the persona of the hero in the film receives a lot of applause and people will relate to that character very often. That is the psychology of audience. I have grown up like that and probably that has influenced me a lot.

Why didn’t you direct Gabbar Singh 2?
After watching Dabangg, Pawan Kalyan called me and offered me Gabbar Singh. It was his conception and he felt I was the right guy to helm the project. Even though I was busy with other commitments, it was only because of Pawan Kalyan that I directed that project. In a similar way, he might have thought some other director is apt to direct Gabbar Singh 2. As far as Gabbar Singh 2 is concerned, I have no right to question on why I was not offered the film. In fact, I feel great to have directed Pawan Kalyan in Gabbar Singh and it was a big opportunity for me. I wholeheartedly wish Gabbar Singh 2 will become a bigger hit than Gabbar Singh.

Did you watch AD? If so how did you feel when people are saying it will cross GS in terms of BO revenue?
I have watched Attarintiki Daaredi (AD) and I have already shared my joy on my micro blogging page. I thoroughly enjoyed watching the film. I liked Pawan Kalyan's performance and comedy timing, Trivkram's dialogues and DSP's music. I am happy when people are saying AD will surpass GS.

Puri Jagannadh and you are the associates to RGV. Do you feel there is a competition between you and Puri?
I have grown up watching RGV and Puri’s films. I would like to put it this way. A son may go to any lengths in his career. But, he can never replace his father. Similarly, Puri Jagan and Trivikram are my inspiration. If somebody tells me that I am writing like them, I take it as a great compliment. I neither have the courage nor the skill to compete with a director like Puri Jagannadh.

Your recent tweets about the media have created a controversy. What is your reaction to it?
I would like to make it clear that I have never spoken badly about any profession. It was only certain individuals I had in mind. And they just happened to belong to a certain profession.
Lot of my cousins and relatives are in the media profession. As a student of Telugu and son of a Telugu Pundit, I understand and respect the noble profession of the media. Good and bad people are part of every profession. I was only responding to a few people who had written meaningless stuff about me on a personal level. It was never about their profession. In spite of this if some genuine people from the media have taken offense at my remarks, I would wholeheartedly like to apologize to them through Metro India.

What are your future projects?
My future project is Ramayya Vastavayya’s promotion.


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