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'Antariksham' is novel, entertaining: Varun Tej

Thursday, December 20, 2018 • Telugu Comments

Antariksham is novel, entertaining: Varun Tej

As Varun Tej awaits the release of 'Antariksham' on December 21, he talks about the subject, what makes the space thriller a special outing, his future projects and more.  

Was it hard to play the role of an astronaut?

Dev is a totally atypical character with no reference point.  In my previous films, I had played generic roles.  When Sankalp came to me to narrate a story, I listened to it by keeping a blank mind. I have always looked for novel content and when he narrated the space film, I was excited. 

The screenplay took time to be developed.  He met some scientists from ISRO.  He learned the logic from them and wove the screenplay around those lessons.  

How is Dev different from normal fellows?

Everybody of us has dreams.  'Antariksham' shows how much Dev (Varun Tej) wants to achieve for the country.  In space agencies like ISRO, scientists are driven by a drive to achieve something for the nation.  There could be different approaches in doing so.  A character represents an ideological difference.  There are no villains in the story. 

How hard was it to play the role?

The costumes would take 15-20 minutes to be worn.  Acting with the helmet on was another difficulty.  The entire second half takes place in space.  CG is a vital element.  Besides the visuals, the emotion in the story is another high point.  The backpack alone weighed 10 kg.  Action choreography was practised during workshops. There should be no body movement in space while telling the dialogues.  

Where does the love story fit in?

Lavanya Tripathi will be seen in a character who supports Dev's dreams.  Hers is not a full-fledged role.  It's short but effective.  The love story is very sublime.  

Half of the film was shot in zero gravity condition.  Was it a costly affair?

There are certain ways in which zero gravity conditions are created.  Ropes were used in 'Gravity' film.  Our SFX team is from Mumbai and they have worked on films like 'Saaho'.  Ropes are more effective, given that our budget was just Rs 25-30 Cr.  Pre-production works took 6 months or so.  

What about "commercial" aspects?

There are films from which the audience don't expect songs or comedy.  When they see a poster of 'F2', they expect these things but not from an 'Antariksham'.  This is not an experimental movie.  It's just different like a 'Kanche'.  

Entertainment is not just about comedy.  It's what keeps the audience engaged throughout.  'Antariksham' is a love story between Dev and the satellite.  

Tell us about the art direction by Ramakrishna and Monika, who had worked on 'Rangasthalam'.

When I went to the sets of 'Rangasthalam', I wondered if I am in a real village.  The duo does their research always.  On the day when I went to the sets of 'Antariksham', I was amazed by their detailing.  They have worked really hard for the custom-made set.  This film will thrill children.  It will be released in Tamil and Malayalam as well.  

What are your expections from the movie?

Because of proper planning, the budget was within control.  Visually, it will look three times richer than its budget.  The trailer has got a tremendous response and turned heads in Mumbai.  We are sure 'Antariksham' will have people looking towards Tollywood again.  

Does Naga Babu listen to the stories that you ok?

Nanna garu listened to the story of 'Tholi Prema' but not this one.  It's not like he hears every time. He is fond of space films.  Rajeev and Krish garu are driven by the urge to try something different.  They don't play it safe.  

'Padi Padi Leche Manasu', 'Maari-2' and 'KGF' are also releasing tomorrow.  Your take?

It's not uncommon to have multiple releases on the same day.  It often happens in Bollywood.  

What are your next movies?

Kiran Korrapati will direct my sports drama, which will be produced by Geetha Arts and a friend of mine.  I will be seen as a boxer.  Sagar Chandra's film with 14 Reels needs extensive pre-production. He has a creative block right now.  It will be made on a large scale. 

What about marriage?

I will think about marriage after doing 6-7 movies.