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'First Rank Raju' is downright entertaining: Chetan Maddineni

Wednesday, June 19, 2019 • Telugu Comments

First Rank Raju is downright entertaining: Chetan Maddineni

Actor Chetan Maddineni awaits the release of 'First Rank Raju' on June 21.  In this interview, he talks about the film's subject, why he thinks it's a universal subject, working with director Naresh Kumar HN and more.  

What is the premise of 'First Rank Raju'?

The film tells the life story of Raju.  As you have seen in the Teaser, he grows up to be a bookish, innocuous person.  He is ultimately transformed into a colorful personality.  After this metamorphosis, some drastic changes take place in his life.  What are they and why does he change in the first place?  For whom does he undergo the transformation?  Has he transformed himself for real?  Answers to these questions are really exciting.  

What kind of homework did you do to play the role of an educated nincompoop?

There was no much homework per se.  I prepared myself by oiling my hair thoroughly and combing it properly always.  I was like this even when I was not in front of the camera.

Why is the characterization of the hero that way?  Do you think the audience can relate to it?

The fact is that we all learned some or the other thing by heart as students.  We were all referred to as first rankers in varying degrees.  The education system is such that it requires children to cram.  The subject is universal.  It's also trendy.  Every parent nowadays wants their kids to become doctors or engineers.  This is what we have critiqued through 'First Rank Raju'.

The film is a remake.  How did the idea to do the remake germinate?

When my father's friends watched the original, they suggested that I should act in the remake.  When we contacted the producers of the original for remake rights, they told us they would like to see it being remade in Telugu.  Director Maruthi garu also helped us a lot at every stage.  

Coming to your academics, what kind of student were you?

I did score the first rank now and then, but it was not a permanent feature of my student life.  I completed my Engineering from the main campus of Andhra University.  I belonged to the same class as the student who had secured State No. 1 rank.  My class was full of toppers.  When it was the turn of campus placements, I was one of the first ones to be placed.  I got a job in Idea.

From such a career to cinema, when and how did all this happen?

I always loved films even as a child.  I used to attend demo shoots while doing Engineering.  I got an opportunity through Maruthi garu for 'Rojulu Maarayi'.  My acting in 'Gulf' was also appreciated.  

How was it working with director Naresh Kumar HN?

He is a very friendly man.  The story of 'First Rank Raju' is such that it can be narrated like an art film.  Thanks to the director's vision, he has made it into a pucca commercial entertainer.  There are five songs in the movie, a few of which are duets.  You will enjoy the comedy.  The music and background score are top-notch.  The dialogues are also so good.

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