Irrespective of the response to the teaser, we would have worked equally hard, says ‘Zombie Reddy’ director
Is it possible to give the audience their usual fare and still give them something different? Yes, is the answer from budding director Prasanth Varma. His first Pan-Indian flick HanuMan is scheduled for a worldwide release on May 12 in 11 languages. The teaser of the film that was unveiled a month ago made the nation sit up and take notice of the talented director. VCinema caught up with the Zombie Reddy director for a tete-a-tete. Following are excerpts from the interview with Sridhar Adivi
Q. Congratulations on the response to the teaser of ‘HanuMan’. Were you expecting it?
A. Thank you! My team and I were very nervous when the teaser was about to be launched. I put my phone away and went out to play cricket. When I returned, I was stunned to see my team celebrating and the congratulatory messages that poured in.
Q. Comparisons were drawn with the teaser of Adipurush. What’s your take on it? Is there added pressure on you now?
A. There’s no pressure because, irrespective of the response to our teaser, we would have worked equally hard. As far as the comparisons with Adipurush go, I think it’s too early to judge a film on the basis of a teaser alone. They are still working on the VFX and I think it’s going to be a cracker of a film. But in all honesty, I have immense respect for each and every film irrespective of its scale. Every film is a case study for me and I only focus on working on my mistakes and improving with each film.
Q. What was the best compliment you got for the teaser of ‘HanuMan’?
A. I’m from Bhimavaram, but I was born and brought up in Palakollu, the same town that legendary filmmaker Kodi Ramakrishna hails from. I was always fascinated by his films and the use of graphics in them be it Ammoru, Devi or Arundhati. In fact, I was discussing Kodi Ramakrishna garu’s work with a Bollywood actor some time back and how far he was ahead of the times in using technology. Therefore, when I heard from some of my relatives that I was being compared with Ramakrishna garu, I was truly humbled.
Q. What are the plans for ‘HanuMan’ going forward, now that it’s set for a global release?
A. I actually wanted to play it safe and go in for a release in Indian languages only. But my producers were adamant and believed that the movie had global potential. They cited the example of Baahubali and how the makers believed in the content. Had their gamble failed, they would have lost money but not to take a chance on something they truly believed in was anathema to them. I’ll tell you an interesting thing here. Our producers were trying to get in touch with overseas distributors to release our film but things weren’t working out. After the teaser of ‘HanuMan’, they themselves emailed us asking whether they could release ‘HanuMan’ in their respective countries.
Q. Beginning with your debut film Awe, you have always tried to chart different waters. What is the principle behind your filmmaking, the motivating factor?
A. Prior to making ‘Zombie Reddy’, I was actually in a bit of a dilemma. Should I make a film for a hero, the producer or myself? That was when something that Singeetam Srinivasa Rao garu told, inspired me. Someone had once asked him how much money he had made given his extensive and illustrious filmography. Singeetam garu responded, saying that the key thing was whether he was happy doing what he loved. If he didn’t get paid a lot for making films, he would still do it because that was what he loved and money and fame were only secondary. That was when I decided to go ahead with ‘Zombie Reddy’, to be true to myself.
I’d always wanted to meet Singeetam garu and was thrilled when he rang me of his own accord and complimented me on the teaser of 'HanuMan'. I went and met him when he came to Hyderabad. I will forever cherish those two hours I spent with him. He is a university of cinema and he shared some ideas with me which truly amazed me….I mean they are still so far ahead of the current generation. That has been one of the biggest positives from the teaser of 'HanuMan'…..it gave me the opportunity to meet Singeetam garu.
Updated date: Sunday, 15 Jan 2023 - 10:23 PM