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'Vakeel Saab' is an honest film & a courtroom drama: Venu Sriram

Wednesday, March 31, 2021 • Telugu Comments

Vakeel Saab is an honest film & a courtroom drama: Venu Sriram

Director Venu Sriram's 'Vakeel Saab', starring Pawan Kalyan as a lawyer, will hit the screens on April 9. In this interview, he talks about directing Power Star, remaking a socially-relevant film like 'Pink', whether he went through mental pressure while doing the courtroom drama and more. 

Excerpts:

It felt great to release the trailer in theatres. Due to the pandemic, celebrations are missing in our lives. Releasing the trailer in theatres amid fanfare was a special feeling. 

I never felt the pressure while directing Pawan Kalyan garu. If you are directing your favourite star, why would there be pressure? More than pressure, it was a happy thing to get to wield the megaphone for 'Vakeel Saab'. Every director goes through some sort of pressure for every film. Whenever I see Pawan Kalyan garu, I smile without my knowing. 

I took time to convey my approach to the remake. I conveyed my viewpoint to Pawan garu over the course of four meetings with him. He doesn't get excited about things. He asked me to go ahead with the approach and that's all.

'Vakeel Saab' has to be told in a responsible way. I adapted the screenplay and the characterizations in keeping with the spirit of the subject. The trailer shows the story as it is. 

'Pink' was about women's empowerment. I have been true to the theme in the remake. I made changes within the context of the theme without deviating from the spirit of the subject. 

My first film ('Oh My Friend') was a good film but it didn't work. I sat at home for the next 7 years. 'MCA' was a commercial film as far as the second half was concerned. I feel 'MCA' helped me get 'Vakeel Saab'. It has been a long journey. My first film will turn 10 this November. I have seen the worst sort of failure in life. I didn't do anything for 7 years after 'OMF'. 

Pawan garu is a demigod. Every single director must be wanting to work with him. He is a friendly person. I stuck to my job and brief. It was comfortable working with him. 

'Vakeel Saab' is a courtroom drama. The backdrop couldn't have been changed, given the nature of the subject. After the teaser and posters were out, many criticized us for ignoring the female characters (played by Nivetha Thomas, Anjali and Ananya). At the end of the day, the trailer is what the film is about. If you see the trailer, much of it is about courtroom scenes. You mark my words. We have made an honest film. 

Vakeel Saab is an honest film & a courtroom drama: Venu Sriram

I am in a very happy space. Flop or hit, my life is not going to change much. I always take things in my stride. 

India is a diverse country. Ajith garu is a big star in Tamil. His 'Nerkonda Parvaai' was different. Pawan Kalyan garu is a big star here but at the same time, the image he carries is quite different. It's about balancing the subject and the stardom of your hero. 

Don't make assumptions about the length of the courtroom scenes in 'Vakeel Saab'. I have made the film as per my convictions. 

There is a surprise factor in the second half. But I don't want to reveal it. As a director, I have some restrictions. Thaman may want to reveal it. 

There is mass in a women's empowerment story. What can be massier than this? Mass is not just about bashing up goons. Nobody knows as yet how I have designed the protagonist's character. 

There are fights but they are entirely situational. How we have presented the 'No means no' theme has to be watched on the big screen. 

I am not on social media. But I came to know that a lot of people trolled me when I was chosen for this film. People asked, 'Couldn't they find someone better than this guy?' I can't help with it!

'Maya Bazaar' was made before we were born. Do we remember how much the film collected at the box-office? Such films are an emotion. We don't remember records. That's why I don't believe in records. We remember 'Bommarillu' to this day but how many of us remember how much it collected in terms of money?

We were confused between 'Maguva', 'Lawyer Saab' and 'Vakeel Saab'. We didn't want to disappoint trade by choosing a title like 'Maguva'.

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