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    Of Hanuman and the casting couch

    [Interview by Anuradha]
    Saturday, June 05, 2004
    Ace director Krishna Vamsi is now ready with his next film, ‘Sri Anjaneyam’, which concludes on the note that “God exists in every being”. He has spent lavishly, not stopping short of even hiring a Hollywood crew, for what is one of the much-awaited releases this June.

    He rules out similarities between his film and legendary Bapu’s ‘Muthyala Muggu’, which, too, told the similar tale of a youth seeking the help of Lord Hanuman. Vamsi says he prefers to make films of his choice instead of churning out routine potboilers.One such film was ‘Khadgam, where he claimed to have reflected the gender bias prevailing in the industry and warned gullible aspirants against the casting couch.

    He is equally excited about his film with new action star Prabhas. The director does not rule out giving another try to Hindi cinema, even after a disaster like his ‘Shakt’. Excerpts from an interview with Vamsi:

    Have you used Lord Hanuman as a metaphor for valor in “Sri Anjaneyam” and how was it handling a socio-fantasy?

    Lord Hanuman has always been used as a metaphor for valour in mythology. Briefly, it’s the tale of a youth who seeks the help of this God to overcome his problems. While travelling through villages, I happened to see hundreds of idols of Lord Hanuman on the wayside and started working on a script around this belief.

    Our great saints have given a ‘form’ to God for a specific purpose and also for easy worship, despite their full knowledge that He is `formless’. He is everywhere around us but we tend to ignore Him.

    I totally disagree with this genre of socio-fantasy since cinema itself is a ‘fantasy’ bereft of reality.

    Your plot sounds similar to that of ‘Muthyala Muggu’. If God is everywhere. why then these ‘yatras’ that confine Him to some places?

    I have made the film according to my conviction and if you can even find one similarity with ‘Muthayala Muggu., I would be really thrilled. I have been a great admirer of legendary Bapu and I strongly believe that he is unreachable. Even our focuses are different.. Earlier temples were built to make it convenient for people to worship but now the issue has taken an ugly turn and needs to be addressed. We should look inward and not outwards to identify Him.

    Your gender bias was evident in ‘Khadgam’ where the hero makes it on merit while the heroine succumbs to a lecherous film-maker before making it? Suggesting that talent has no value?

    Not at all. I just reflected the modus operandi of the film industry. I cautioned gullible girls who are reaching the city with stars in their eyes but unfortunately falling prey to lecherous industry folk. It is my personal view and not the view of the industry.

    I have seen most of the aspirants being forced to compromise for a break and, as an industry person, I felt I should warn outsiders. I don't say that every actress has gone through this phase.. For instance, my friend late Soundarya reached the top even after insisting on a dress code relying on her acting skills and so talent is definitely not ruled out. So I urge the aspirants to strongly count on their talent by keeping skirt-chasers at bay.

    Why did you revive your home production and have you given up your hope to make it in Hindi after a debacle like ‘Shakti’?

    I revived my production because ‘Sri Anjanaeyam’ required a wacky producer like me who would spend lavishly without applying brakes. And, after my bitter experience with outside banners, I have become a bit choosy. We hired the Hollywood crew that worked for films like ‘Independence Day’ to shoot a 600-feet length flying stunt in the climax scene I liked their discipline and safety measures.

    You will be surprised to know that I am still receiving two to three Hind offers every month but I am yet to decide on it. I don't rule out doing another film if the offer is exciting.

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