MS Raju, the Sankranti Maker at the box office as producer, is now ready to prove himself Sankranti maker as director too. His directoral debut is gearing up to release the 15th of January - Vaana - starring Vinay, Meera Chopra. Here is a quick chat with MS Raju on the film
How did you get into direction? Did you have this inclination towards direction from the beginning?
See, I was always involved in all crafts of the film for my productions. So, I have in grip in all the departments. Looking at my involvement, many have wondered on why I am not taking up direction. During the recent vajrotsavam event, I realized that why not I direct a film. I liked this film immensely. So I decided to direct it.
The initial buzz was that you are planning to launch your son with this film
That was true. After thinking about the story several times, I felt that he, who is in teens, might not be apt for this role. And also, this film has emotionally heavy content too. I am not sure if it is a good idea to launch him with that kind of a film. So, I went with Vinay.
How did your recent film Aata fare at the box office? It was criticized from several cornors?
I dont care what any one talked about that film. As a producer, I am very happy. It got me good revenues. It is a pure commercial entertainer. Coming to the criticism part, I am always open to criticism. Mistakes are human nature and you will know if you really committed a mistake. For example, when I made Pournami, I personally felt that it is a great movie. But I was wrong. The verdict came otherwise.
What did you think went wrong with Pournami?
I cannot say what went wrong. All I can say is that one cannot assume that his liking will be appreciated by all. Also, I might have failed to judge a few things at that point of time. See, one cannot make all superduepr hits, right. Some will misfire. I hear criticism for every movie. For instance, during NVNV, every one said that the hero looked like a girl. Now for Vaana, I hear comments that the hero is new face to the industry. It is all part and parcel of film making.
Usually director is the captain of the ship. But there are comments that you get involved into the film heavily?
Director is the captain of the ship, agreed. But not in all the cases. When I gave the story and screenplay for the film, how can the director be the captain. Sobhan (Varsham), VN Aditya are closely assocated with me. And when I have good grip on the crafts, I dont see wrong on why I should not be involved. That is not called interference but involvement. After all, it is my film, right. So I have to.
Why did you pick remake as your first directoral film
I always wanted to do an original script. But this story is simply superb. I fell for this story. And more over, remake is not a sin. Even Titanic is a remake. It does not matter what story you are doing but what matters is how you are presenting it. And remaking is not easy either. It needs lot of nativity work etc.
Usually your films are extravagant. How does Vaana feel in terms of budget?
I have to clarify one thing here. I never spend money unnecessarily. If the script demands it, there would not be any compromise. For Okkadu, we needed an expensive set and we did it. If, as you said, I am crazy about being lavish, I should have erected sets for Varsham also. As a producer, I spend money on what is required to get the script executed. So budget of the film depends on the script.
Do you think tragic ends will go well with Telugu audience?
I never said the movie has tragic end.
Original film Malai had tragic ending
I said that we worked on necessary modifications to suit to our nativity. I only took the flavor of the film. If you already know the film, you will know what changes we did after you watch the film.
Any special reason for picking Kamalakar for this film?
I felt he would be apt for this kind of a film. Now you can see his work. Background also came out excellent.
You and director Teja have different trademarks. What can be expected in this combination?
Future will speak.
We thank MS Raju for his time and we wish that he recreates his magic this time yet again at the box office.