The title ‘Rajubhai’ in itself sounds like a mass character. Tell us about your character in the film?
Raju is my character’s name in the film, while everyone call me bhai. So I turned Rajubhai. Raju is a vagabond and accidentally he joins a mafia gang and he turns the right hand of the villain. He too is very happy as the gang is paying money for bashing someone. Of course it is a mass character but at the same time it is quite emotional.
So you admit that it is a mass character but not exactly a mass role.
Of course, the director came to me and told me that he needed a particular kind of body which should be strong but not very muscular. So I took one month time to build the body and also moved around the slum areas in Chennai and watched the movements of the goons there.
Tell us about heroine Sheela…
Heroine Sheela gave a very good performance in the film. She is not very glamorous and very casual. She looked very realistic and proved to be a girl in the next door kind of role. She fitted best in the role. In fact it is not a glamour role but mostly performance-oriented role. She did a very good job.
Generally these days there will be some friends around the hero in most of the films? Tell us about them?
Yes, in this film too there are such friends to the hero and of them one is Rahul and the other is Bandhu. In fact Bandhu’s character is a main character. He is a talented guy. Shekhar is another role. However, each character has its own importance and not kept for padding to the hero.
What about the comedy part in the film?
The entire first half of the film is entertaining and the hero and his friends would provide the necessary comedy. There is no separate comedy track. However, the second half is totally emotional and you can’t find any break exclusively for comedy but there would be situational comedy. There won’t be any separate comedians or comedy track.
In the early days of Telugu cinema, that is when the late NT Ramarao and Akkineni Nageswara Rao were the heroes, there used to be songs for comedians. But, you revived the system with your film by giving a choice to Sunil to do a song.
It is not exactly like that. The story and situation demanded that song. The hero would be in a bad mood and Sunil will in the villain’s den and in order to cheer up the hero. Sunil would be asked to do that by the villain.
What about the subject and what about the hero’s role
It is normal love story with little bit of action. However, the movement of the story is novel and there will be a twist in the film. That twist is very important in the film and it is the heartbeat of the film. All the characters are realistic. In Telugu films, realistic character is a dream. I got an opportunity to do such realistic role.
Why you chose a Tamil film? Do you think our writers can’t give a reasonable story?
It is not the case. When we are looking for a good script, we came to know about the film and we watched it and in fact it came on our way and we accepted it. In fact, I lost one or two opportunities, because of my sister’s wedding and while looking for a good script.
The audio of Rajubhai is a big hit? How it has become a highlight?
Yuvan gave tunes to the songs. Premji, cousin of Yuvan had helped us a lot in scoring very good tunes. We made a lot of hard work while composing the music. Yuvan used to give tunes and Premji used to look after the orchestraisation. I have two favourite tunes in a Tamil film ‘Kadal Konden’. I got the tunes for two of songs as none had so far used them. In fact, tunes would be okayed in one or two sittings. But, I made Yuvan to sit for about a week for a song for extracting a better tune. The credit should go to Premji. He patiently sat for all the songs right from the first one till the completion of all the songs. He helped us a lot.
What about the choreography of songs?
You know well that the audio was already a big hit. But I am confident that the songs are further impressive while watching the film. We employed one choreographer for each song. Even while composing the steps for the song, I encouraged them by claiming that the other choreographer gave a fantastic dance bit and steps and made this dance master to give a better composition. Like this, I was able to extract the best from each choreographer. I know Raju Sundaram right from my childhood and we were brought up together almost. He did one song. Shankar is another dance master. I know him while I did ‘Shree’ film. The third song was done by Ganesh Acharya. He is well known for doing choreography of songs in an entertaining way. This could be understood as he did most of the choreography for Govinda’s films. We introduced a new choreographer Vidyasagar. Besides these, there is a bit song and another pathos song. For this, the credit should to go cameraman Prasad and editor Naveen. We took the help of digital editing of these songs by Naveen. He did a very good job.
It seems you used one remix song in the film? Tell us about it?
These days the youth are accepting remix songs and they are liking them very much. So we used that remix song for a love song. Everybody is going for a fast beat. The song was rendered by Yuvan and we used it in the remix.
Being a hero how far you involved in the film production? Moreover the film is from your own banner?
I did not involve in the film production except for the music. Even my involvement was necessitated as the director asked me to do it as he was otherwise busy. He gave me the responsibility and I took it in a professional way and did it. My hard work paid well and the audio came good and is getting a very good response. However, the credit should go to audiences as they gave a positive verdict.
You chose a novel picturisation of song to Sunil which is not in the original? Why?
Yes, the audiences will always welcome novelty. The song was also scripted in a novel way based on different kinds of fish. The song would be a definite hit among the audiences especially for the coastal region. Though we thought it would be quite casual, the film has become very big hit than all the other songs.
What about action in this film?
We did not use any wire for action scenes, though I did several risky shots. Some of us had suffered injuries while acting the action scenes. The output came out very good.
Tell us about the director?
Once the film becomes a hit, the credit should go to director Suryakiron. He explained each and every shot and at times performed it beforehand to extract the exact feelings from us. In fact it is Suryakiron, who told us about the original Tamil film. He did a very good job.
Tell us something more about the film ‘Rajubhai’ and your experiences during its shoot?
It is a very good and memorable experience. I don’t say that I acted in the film but almost involved in the character. I did the film along with some of my friends and at the same time, the shooting of several scenes was done amidst the general public.
Do you think use of more techniques in the film would help in the success of a film?
Yes. We should give importance to technical aspects in a film to take our film to international standards. My opinion not about our film exclusively but I am taking about the Telugu films and I believe we should prove that Telugu films are also technically good among the international circles. We can’t understand Japanese language but we watch Jackie Chan’s films because they are technically good to watch. At the same time story is also important.
How did your father Mohanbabu, feel after watching the final output of the film?
After the completion of the film, my father watched it totally and patted me for giving a good performance and gave me a hug. That proves that the film would be a sure hit.