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Chitchat with Raghava Lawrence

March 7, 2007

Raghava Lawrence’s third film as a director, Muni a bilingual in Telugu and Tamil is all set for a release on March 9. In a tête-à-tête with Telugu film scribes fraternity he enthusiastically spoke about his new film. Excerpts:

What is Muni all about?
The word Muni in general refers to a Swamiji, but this is a commercial film. My debut film Mass is a commercial flick, followed by Style a dance based film with strong mother sentiment. Muni is an action thriller with horror elements.

How do you justify the title?
The name of my character in this film is Muneeswarudu. Muni is shortcut name. The story of the film is about a man who achieves his unfulfilled goal as atma (soul) and it looks exciting on the screen.

There are quite a few number of films with similar storyline?
The basic story plot of the film is entirely different. It is like a correct mix of films like Basha, Indra, Matrix and Chandramukhi that aims at providing spine chilling thrill to the audience. Chandramukhi shown it as a psychological thriller, but in Muni we are going to show that there are spirits.

What kind of characterization the Muni has?
My father brought me up by narrating spirit related stories (Deyyala Kathalu) and I used to come home by 6 pm as I fear evil spirits. Muni works for an MLA in this film and fears entering in to a brawl at nights. He fights only during daytime and the political backdrop for this film too has horror elements.

Is there any inspiration for this film?
I prepared this story even before conceptualizing ‘Mass’. I fear staying alone at nights; probably that feeling prompted me to come up with this storyline.

Don’t you think these kinds of stories would not suit the tastes of present generation?
I too had the same opinion earlier. But the success of Chandramukhi changed it all.

What about dances in Muni?
Like my earlier film Style, this film too will have good dances. In addition to it, I gave more preference to fights as well. The climax song is going to be very special as I experimented with the idea of there is a different human being in all human beings.

What kind of film Muni is going to be?
First half of the film is going to have lighter vein orientation with love and entertainment elements. Second half will have horror base.

Your first two films are Telugu films. Why did you choose to do your third film in Tamil?
My father is Telugu and mother is Tamil. My mother, relatives and friends asked me to do a Tamil film. I am doing it for them.

Which film industry do you prefer, Telugu or Tamil?
I always give preference to Telugu film industry because it is Telugu people who encouraged me as a choreographer, actor, director and music director.

You are scoring music for Nagarjuna’s Don. How long have you been practicing music?
I never thought of becoming a music director. When I prepare a story, I imagine the kind of beats/songs I should have for different situations in the story. When I narrated the story of Don to Nagarjuna, I also told him what kind of music those six song situations will have. Then he asked me to score the music as well. Nagarjuna encouraged me to compose music and I recorded two songs so far. I will score six songs for the film. But I will leave the background music part to any professional because I am not an expert in it.

What can we expect from Don?
Don will entertain audience three times than Mass. You will see a new Nag in that film.

Tell us about your experience working with Nagarjuna?
When Nagarjuna trusts a technician, he gives complete freedom to him. It increases the responsibility of technician. With the kind of freedom and encouragement Nagarjuna gives, I shoulder more responsibility and come out with more dedicated and creative output.

What are you future plans?
I never plan anything. I am waiting to direct Chiranjeevi in the future. I want to direct all big heroes. I worked with all big heroes as choreographer. Fans of all heroes like me and it is my biggest asset.


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