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Mohan Babu on 'Son Of India', quitting politics, industry issues & more

Monday, February 14, 2022 • Telugu Comments
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'Son Of India' is an upcoming vigilante drama starring Mohan Babu in the lead. Written and directed by Diamond Ratnababu, the film points at the issue of undertrial prisoners. It also proposes a solution. The film hits the screens on February 18.

In this interview, Mohan Babu says that the action drama features his kind of dialogues. Not stopping at the film, he also throws light on his agenda for the future on the non-film front as well.

Highlights of the interview:

What made you take up the film and what is its subject about?

'Son Of India' builds drama and scenes around the issue of innocents getting locked up in jails despite no proof or evidence against them. They end up in jails because of evil designs by the unscrupulous elements in society. In my film, a youngster takes up the cause and fights for it.

Does 'Son Of India' propose any solution to the problem?

It says that private jails are the solution. When we have private schools and companies, there can be private jails, too. When director Diamond Ratnababu pitched the idea to me, I immediately liked it.

'Son Of India', going by the teaser and trailer, comes across as a serious film. Isn't it?

There is also entertainment in it. Originally, the idea was to make it for the OTT audience. It was a 90-minute movie with plenty of kissing scenes. We then had a change of mind and started redesigning the film for the theatre. This is when we removed kissing scenes barring one or two. As demanded by the script, a woman plants a kiss on another woman.

The film goes on to show corrupt politicians and idealistic characters. I have always been fired-up to tell strong stories that talk about revolutionary change.

What are your expectations from the movie in terms of commercial success?

In the past, I used to make claims about my films' commercial success. I have been restraining myself from doing it for some years now. All that I can say is that 'Son Of India' will receive appreciation. I believe that giving our best shot is the only thing that should matter to us.

You are a huge fan of NTR. Have you tried to infuse his social consciousness into 'Son Of India'?

In 'Dana Veera Soora Karna', there was a dialogue on the caste origins of mythological characters. My film is more contemporary, in that it beseeches the youths not to submit to casteist faultlines. As you all know, at our educational institutions, we have abandoned the caste column. We have produced bright students who have gone on to become bureaucrats.

You have written the screenplay for 'Son Of India'? Do you have plans to wield the megaphone for a movie?

I have a few ideas in my mind. I can actually direct a movie. But the only thing that is holding me back is the apprehension that I might end up slapping artists/technicians who don't have a sense of time.

Coming to your political past, are you going to revive it now?

I am done with politics. The idea is to develop educational institutions under my management and to do films. As for politics, my general view is that the standards have come down compared to the past. In general, politicians evoke negative feelings.

You have played a wide variety of negative roles. People still like you in the old films.

A Bollywood artist once told me that I am India's sole artist who has shown the maximum range and depth in playing negative characters.

You come with vast experience in multiple fields. How about penning an autobiography?

I am doing that already. It's a work in progress. I come from a humble background and I had to go through immense struggles. Any other individual would be driven to die by suicide. I am a strong person whose life view has been shaped by my father. I am philosophical. I have reached a stage in life where I know that everything is predetermined, including the fate of 'Son Of India'. God has planned everything for us already.

Coming to the industry issues, what is your take on them? And why did AP Cinematography Minister Perni Nani recently call on you?

I don't want to talk about the cinema ticket pricing. And please don't make this interview about it. Let's talk about my upcoming movie.

As for Perni Nani garu's visit to my place, it was purely casual. We had breakfast and I didn't ask him anything about the recent meet between the Chief Minister of AP and my film industry colleagues. Nonsense has been spouted about the meet. Is it the first time that a Minister has visited my place?

Please tell us about the Sai Baba temple you are building in Tirupathi.

It's not being built just by me. It has been built with my money as well as donations from other sources at a cost of Rs 4.5 Cr. Learned men from Rishikesh have been involved in conducting temple-building rituals. It will be a pilgrimage centre for the pilgrims of Tirumala.

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