Ravi Krishna, the protagonist of 7 G Brindavan Colony who moved the audience all over the South, admits that his going was halted in the later years due to lack of good scripts or selection of wide-of-the-mark scripts. He hopes to come back into the limelight with the film Ninna Nedu Repu, which is set for release soon. “I hold great respect for the Telugu audience. They are the real patrons of quality films,” he maintains. In an exclusive interview to Idlebrain.com, he tells about his attitude towards films, his career in the multimedia and hilarious stint as student in UK. Excerpts:
How and why did you make your entry into film industry?
Right from the beginning, I always wanted to maintain a separate style of my own. I never wanted to be branded as the son of AM Ratnam. His shadow on me would create more and more expectations among the audience. I wanted to try my hand at the multimedia first. I went to London where I took the BA degree in Multimedia. I did diploma in Interactive Communication at Penta Media, besides completing my further career in multimedia with Non-linear film editing at Sam Media.
Actually, I never thought of becoming an actor. So far I haven’t revealed one fact as to how I had made my entry with 7 G Brindavan Colony. When my father took up the subject, we thought of taking in Madhavan or Siddarth, but they were busy. Director Selva Raghava casually asked me – Why can’t you do this? When I asked my dad, he kept quite and later thought a lot about it. After a few days, he told me not to take it seriously, but make a trial with photo session. Dad felt this was important. Photo sessions were taken – solo and along with the heroine. The output was satisfactory to one and all. That’s how the film began. Without my knowledge, I found myself deeply involved with filmmaking and also as an actor.
What went wrong with your films post 7GBC?
I sincerely accept that my films after 7GBC didn’t run well. The stupendous success of that film aroused a lot of expectations on me in my later films, but I couldn’t deliver the goods. It was more due to lack of proper scripts. I should have done six or seven films in Tamil and two or three in Telugu last year. But, I didn’t accept any script. At this lean period, I happen to hear the script of Lakshmikanth Channa (for Ninna Nedu Repu). After discussing it with my dad and well-wishers, I okayed the project. The film is likely to release soon.
What about Brahmanandam Drama Company? How did it help you to mould your career in Telugu?
To be frank, majority of the audiences in Andhra Pradesh doesn’t know that the film got released. The movie is really good, but poor publicity marred its chances in getting the crowds to the theatres. Personally, as an actor I am satisfied with my performance in the film. It’s producer told me the difficulties he faced in the making of the film and when he released with weak publicity. It all happened due to poor budgeting. The film was shot over a period of one year or so, with huge gaps in between. This would result in incurring huge interest on the loans. It should be a lesson to the upcoming producers also that they should not plan a movie without shaping the correct budget, if not correct, at least approximately.
Tell us about Ninna Nedu Repu?
The movie is all about truthful expression of its title on the screen. The story consists of the developments that take place in three phases. It is a very different movie. It doesn’t have a regular storyline. There is no commercial heroism. The hero will not run after the heroine. It is not a regular love story, but a love story that emerges out of situations. The songs are not commercially inserted. They are commercial but inserted at the right situation. The film reached the last leg of post production and I hope it is releasing soon. As per Lakshmikanth, the audience in the age group of 18-25 is targeted. There is a big delay in the release of the film due to some unavoidable and technical reasons.
As a person technically trained in the postproduction works, what’s your feel about NNR?
I didn’t poke my nose into any film’s production aspect. But, I will not miss the opportunity to suggest the director or producer within my limits. I give lot of importance to quality. What is the use of making a film in wonderful locations without a good photographer? Like this, I feel that a film not worth watching if it lacks quality of entertainment and also technical values. With minimum resources and maximum concentration, we can surely get excellent results.
How did you enjoy the music of NNR?
Music director Anil worked really hard for giving superb music. As I told you before, you don’t have any deliberate commercial insertions. Everything would come naturally. The music here in this film just travels along with the story and it creates the correct mood in each scene and suits with the emotions and visuals on the screen. The audience will enjoy the theme music a lot.
What about your heroines?
Tamanna and Akshara played the female leads. The former does the guest role, which is very significant in the film. Coming to Akshara, she is very special to our film. Why we have cast her? You will find the correct answer when you will watch the film. Instead of terming them as heroines, I prefer to call them the characters. Their performance doesn’t come in the regular category of mere dances and romance. They are part and parcel of the film, traveling with the story.
Does the film have any message?
Yes. It does have a powerful message. But, it will not be a headache to the audience. We will not be forcing it banging it on the audience head. The film unfolds the dreamy side of the youth. Our youth mostly think that they would have bright future after they complete the studies. The film showcases the mistakes of the youth which naturally shuns the responsibility at their age.
Did you or your dad make any trials to do a film like 7GBC again?
Such a thought continues to be with us. My father tells us several times that the film 7GBC comes under the category of rare films, like Karthavyam and Bharateeyudu. 7GBC is not a mere commercial love story. It is out and out a realistic love story. Though it’s from Tamil and dubbed into Telugu, the entire people of Andhra Pradesh welcomed it. They talked about it like an epic story about love. This phenomenon led to my respect for the Telugu audience doubled and trebled. They will surely give big support to movies with quality entertainment. If we get a good script, which I think is very rare; definitely we will do a film like 7GBC.
Why do you prefer bilingual films?
Though I am a Telugu guy, I live most times in Chennai. I am bound to adapt myself to two cultures and languages. A bilingual film is really a boon to the producer. He can exploit the market of a state with little more but intensive efforts on the sets and taking care of the technical aspects. Important of all, I am not going to charge the producer for two films (Telugu and Tamil). It’s in fact very economical for the producer to get table profits with bilingual films.
You dub your voice. Do you think you are completely free from the Tamil tinge?
Definitely, I do hold that Tamil tinge when I speak. I live mostly in Chennai. I studied there. Most of my friends are Tamilians. I speak Telugu at home. As you have raised the point that I display some amount of Tamil tinge, similar is the case with Tamilnadu people when I speak Tamil. They say, there is Telugu tinge in my voice. What can I do? Let it go just like that. I hope people have accepted my voice and attached a peculiar liking for it too. I am thankful to God; nobody is averse to my voice and dubbing. I know, when I speak any language, it will produce an ECG like graph.
What’s the specialty of your director Lakshmikanth Channa?
More than a director, he is a good thinker. He knows exactly what he wants and how to get it. While preparing the subject itself, he comes to a conclusion on each scene whether it is really necessary for the film. He did double-check each time he takes the shot. During my conversation with him, I noticed that he is nearer to reality. He is capable of giving concrete shape to the abstract ideas also.
Tell us about your “Gali Seenu” role in Tamil remake of Gamyam?
Working for “Kadhal Anna Summa Illai” (To Love is not easy), the remake of Gamyam, gives me pleasant feelings. It is a wonderful film. When dad saw this, we wanted to cast Danush in that role. But, it didn’t materialize. In fact, this particular role (done by Allari Naresh) remains the central theme. Due to non-availability of the right artists for the script, we almost shelved it. One fine day, Sharwanand called me and enquired about the project. Hearing that we couldn’t find the right people, he said: If you can do that Gali Seenu role, I am ready to act in the film. We discussed this later and immediately jumped into the making. Raj TV was involved in the production. The film is almost done, and is set for release soon. We retained 95% of the original Telugu script while making, and just 5% is an exception for the local tinge in TN.
As a multimedia person, what’s your contribution to graphics?
Very few people know that I studied the multimedia. Take for example, the film 7GBC. There is one scene where the hero (Me) jumps from a bridge. Everything should appear real. We rehearsed the shot for nearly 30 times, but took just two takes. A good part of it was executed through graphics. Not only this, several scenes – where I feel the hallucination of the lady love. Quality is such that, the audience hardly noticed the graphics. They got involved more with the story. Even for other films of dad also I worked on the scenes where we had to remove the big objects and create the natural setting, digitally creating.
Tell us about your experiences as student in UK?
It was thrilling. At the institute where I studied, there were a huge number of students coming from the South East Asia and India. We were about 80 Indians, speaking different languages. Hindi people were one batch. Telugu and Tamil were separate. Kashmiris were separate. Fortunately, I spoke Tamil, Telugu and Hindi and mixed with all. It was not the case with other students. In fact, I was also shocked at the diversity and disunity too. Funny thing is that Kashmiri students didn’t like moving either with Pakistani people and Indian people. They simply used to say: Let us be alone. We want to be separate from both of you. This way, we used to have lot of fun and hilarious moments often. This also helped me a in a big way to understand India, literally with visuals. (Laughs)
Your next projects?
I am going to do one film with SPB Charan. He will produce it. I will also be doing another film with Lakshmikanth. One more film with the dialogue writer of Parugu film as director is at the discussion stage.
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