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'118' embeds emotions in thriller format: Kalyan Ram

Saturday, February 23, 2019 • Telugu Comments

118 embeds emotions in thriller format: Kalyan Ram

Nandamuri Kalyan Ram says that '118', set to hit the screens on March 1, is a different film.  In this interview, the actor talks about what makes the investigative thriller a unique one, working with KV Guhan and Nivetha Thomas, handling failure and more.  

A universal subject:

If you see the trailer for '118' on repeat mode, you will understand the subject.  Everyone faces the situations shown in the film but not everyone gets affected by them.  The hero's character becomes curious and decides to dig in.  What will happen when a character dares to take on the issue?  That's what the film is about.  There are no supernatural elements in the story.  It's a natural story.  Guhan is not the kind of director who tells unnatural stories.

'118' will have you in tears

I go by my gut feeling.  I go by my instinct.  My mind and my heart should be in agreement with something for me to do a film.  '118', I feel, will be loved by the youngsters out there.  It's structured to suit their tastes.  The second half will wet your eyes at least twice.  That's the feedback I got.  Investigative thriller comes embedded with strong emotions in '118'.    

A tough role to do

Performing in this film was not easy at all.  The dialogue-delivery style is very natural.  I had never tried to be one before in any film.  None of the shots were short.  Things would change on the edit table though.  There was also scope for improvisation in some cases.  For example, we involved ourselves and reworked a scene in the second half.  

Audience is equal to hero in '118'

We considered several titles like 'Anveshana' and 'Rakshana'.  But they are routine titles.  We searched for a title that can reflect the soul of the film.  There is no political element in the movie.  You will love the film as you will keep guessing.  Both the audience and the hero knows about the mysteries at the same time.  Nobody is ahead of the other. 

Climax will stand out 

I didn't know swimming before this film.  I learned it for this movie.  We shot in Mumbai in realistic locations to suit the story.  The film also shows a solution to the problem it talks about.  But for Guhan garu, the film wouldn't have come out this well.  The last 30 minutes will transport you to a different world.  His camera work, story-telling and screenplay are unique.  

That's why the look

Guhan garu wanted me to look sturdy.  I look the part.  Changing the look as per the character will create an interest in the audience.  For example, I built up my body for 'ISM'.  In '118', this is the first time that I have sported such a look.  

Nivetha Thomas is most apt

This is not a heroine-centric movie.  But she is at the centre of the story.  Nivetha is a very sensible artiste.  I have seen her in 'Ninnu Kori' and 'Gentleman'.  She can portray a strong girl's role so well.  Doing emotional scenes is like a cakewalk for her.  

Mahesh Koneru has right sensibilities 

After I and my team loved the story, I told Mahesh Koneru about it.  He showed an interest in listening to a narration session.  I wanted to take his opinion.  He was quite excited and came forward to produce it.  His sensibilities are nice.  Since he was a film reviewer once, he has developed a sense of how a film should or shouldn't be over seven years.  For example, he chipped in with a suggestion when we were confused about whether to have a commercial song at a particular point in the film. 

Handling failures 

Failures do bother us.  I tend to think from the audience's perspective and analyze the failure.  My agenda is to do things in a better way.  My family has always supported me right from the beginning of my career.  They are my biggest pillars of support.  I keep trying.  

NTR Arts has its purpose clear 

It's a proud moment for me.  If someone whom I introduced (referring to 'Pataas' director Anil Ravipudi) is going strong, it makes me very happy.  NTR Arts seeks to make sensible movies.  I should never make a movie that puts off people. 

Web series is happening 

A web series is definitely on the anvil.  I will be producing it.  It's a work-in-progress.  I keep watching programmes on Netflix, etc.  I love documentaries that are related to historical events.