blockbusters in a row! How do you feel it?
In my opinion, it is '5 hits in a row'. My film
Manasantha Nuvve was a good blockbuster. Nee Sneham
is a pretty good class film which made break-even
and bit of profits. As per trade, Nee Sneham collected
60% of Manasantha Nuvve revenue. Nee Sneham was also
a successful film as it was made with a low budget.
From Okkadu onwards, I had a continuous blockbuster
seem to have invented a formula for making successful
I have not discovered any formula. If I know the formula
for success, I would rather sell it for crores to
other filmmakers than risking my money and making
you seem to be making films with confidence and they
go on to become blockbusters?
The secret lies in setting the mood and track of the
film. Once you set the mood of the film, then the
sense of insecurity would go away. All my films have
old stories and novel narration. And each of my films
is different from the other.
prompted for you to make soft flick like NVNV after
actions films Okkadu and Varsham?
I wanted to take a break from action films for a while
and do a wholesome entertainer in the style of trendy
Bollywood flicks of Suraj Barjatya and Karan Johar
genre. This film too has bonhomie, vibrant colors,
family values and positive outlook.
with idlebrain.com, you said that Prabhu Deva
is the best director you had ever worked with so far.
He proved himself with NVNV. Are you repeating him?
I am making 3 films with Prabhudeva. 1st film
is NVNV. Second film would be Pournami with Prabhas
and Trisha in the main leads. Muhurat of Pournami
would be held on 14th May 2005. After that Prabhu
Deva would do a film for outside banner and I would
do a film with another director. We would reunite
again after 1 film gap.
have not repeated any director after Kodi Rama Krishna
so far. Why are you repeating Prabhu Deva? Why not
other directors who worked with you earlier?
I do not mind repeating the directors. But at the
same time directors should also be willing to work
with me. There are certain birds that left the nest
after a film with Sumanth banner, thinking that they
could fly on their own. A wise bird stays in the nest
and gets proper training about flying before taking
off independently. Prabhu Deva belongs to the category
of the wise birds. He knows the value of teamwork
and he is matured. He has worked as a choreographer
with 100's of producers/directors/technicians/heroes
and he knows what works for him.
call your films as MS Raju's films. Media attributes
the success of your films more to MS Raju than to
I would be cheating myself if I declare that I
am the only guy responsible for success. It is a perfect
example of teamwork. I am like the thread. Cast and
crewmembers are like flowers. Thread keeps all flowers
together in a garland. I am currently playing the
role of a thread. We need each other to make a beautiful
garland. At the same time, it is the flower that gives
fragrance. MS Raju and team are like a 'mallepoola
the same time, we cannot undermine the importance
of the contribution of Prabhu Deva as director. He
involved himself in each and every field of filmmaking.
He is very receptive and listens to even laymen if
they come forward with any suggestions. I made a small
suggestion and he immediately accepted. The result
is my appearance in 'yele yele' bit of 'Chandrudile
Vunde Kundelu' song. Prabhu Deva is a honest and dedicated
director. He has no ego at all!
is the reason for repeating Trisha for a consecutive
3rd time (Varsham, NVNV and Pournami)?
If you observe all my films, heroines do play vital
and meaningful roles in my films. I feel that in a
family, wife is as important as husband. Likewise,
in films too, heroine is as important as hero. After
Satruvu and Police Lockup, Vijaya Shanti always wanted
to work for Sumanth Arts banner. After Varsham, Trisha
volunteered to be a part of my future films if the
role suits her. Trisha is one of the most talented
and beautiful actress I have ever worked with. I would
go to the extent of comparing her work to that of
Savitri, Nargis and Sophia Lauren.
you satisfied with NVNV as it is going to be the biggest
grosser ever made by you?
I am never satisfied with my films. I could see so
many scenes that could have been handled better. Filmmaking
is like climbing Everest. I am just in the middle
films are being continuously remade in Tamil. Did
anyone approach for Tamil remake rights of NVNV?
Okkadu was remade in Tamil as Gilli by AM Ratnam and
it was a big blockbuster. SP Balasubramanyam is currently
remaking Varsham in Tamil. There are around 8-9 producers
who approached me for Tamil remake rights of NVNV.
Negotiations are going on. All my films have very
good human emotions, clean entertainment and cool
music that would be liked by all the people irrespective
seems to be dramatized too much towards the climax.
The climax looks forced as the rest of the film go
on natural flow. What is the reason?
I make sure that there is a peppy song as a lead
to the climax and a climax with high voltage drama.
Right from Devi Putrudu, all my films have the same
graph towards climax. It helps in making films commercially
do you think are negative points in NVNV?
There are negative points in all my super hit films.
A film would become a hit when positive points dominate
negative points. Checkout my film Okkadu! The climax
is bit hurried up. We had confusion whether to let
Mahesh get Bhumika or play the game in the climax.
We also had to insert a beautiful song in order to
make sure that it would enthuse crowds in B and C
centers. At the same time I make sure that there is
emotion in my film as emotion leaves all the logics
is the best compliment you got for this film?
Lots of big celebrities of Telugu cinema who did not
call me up after Okkadu and Varsham called me this
time after coming out of theater to congratulate me.
I cannot reveal their identities.
us more about Pournami?
It will have Prabhas and Trisha in the main leads.
The same technical team of NVNV (including cinematographer
Venu) would be repeated for that film as well. Pournami
is an auspicious name. Pournami means full moon day.
It would have two shades. One is the coolness the
moon gives and the other one is the heat it absorbs
from sun. This film will have a soft love story with
a violent backdrop.
brought stardom to Prabhas. Where would Pournami take
It would be an extension of Varsham. It is just a
comparison. If Varsham were Firstblood, Pournami is
going to be Rambo. I am talking about the range/stardom/maturity
of the films, and they do not have anything to do
with the storylines of those Hollywood films.
you try your hand at producing films in other languages?
I would prefer to be a king in my homeland than a
struggler in alien territories. I will make only Telugu
heard rumors that you would be introducing your son
Sumanth as hero in this year?
Sumanth is currently pursuing his 1st year in B. Com.
It would take at least 3 years to complete his studies.
Then I would introduce him to Telugu film industry
in the field (actor/technician) he is interested in.
Also, he actively participates in shooting/editing
work of my films.
bonhomie climax in your films?
Maro Charitra has a tragic climax. The film would
have been a big hit even if the climax was a happy
one. My friend saw it 14 times and I saw it 30 times.
But my friend used to go out of the theater before
climax from the 2nd viewing onwards. He could not
stand a tragic climax.
us about your scripting process?
My whole script would be ready before the start of
the film. But I get better judgment when I see rushes
in the editing room. That is the reason why I shoot
the first half of the film first and then move on
to the shooting of second half. When you shoot the
first half, you would learn more about the character
and see how effectively each and every character is
established and how they behave. I travel through
the characterization and then I decide about how effectively
I shape the second half. My script would change during
the making of the film. Pundits tell us that scripts
are bounded and the screenplay of the film is written
on the left side of the page etc etc. But these kinds
of rules do apply for the films that are made over
3-4 years. My style of filmmaking is entirely different.
narrate the story of the film to Paruchuri brothers
first to see if my judgment is correct. When everybody
is after Rayalaseema for action films and Konaseema
for village love stories, I preferred Nizam (Warangal)
for Varsham backdrop. When I discuss with my team
members more and more inputs do follow.
Do you have any suggestions to the wannabe directors?
Inti gelichi racha gelavamannaru. I would first teach
them to my son. If he succeeds then I would preach
them to others.
message from you?
Try and keep trying. One day you will get the eluding
success. Perseverance is the key.
more about MS Raju in another interview
(6th December 2002)