Director Bhimaneni - Chitchat

Wednesday, February 3, 2016 - 20:30

Bhimaneni Srinivasa Rao needs no introduction. The director with blockbusters like Subhakankshalu (1997), Suswagatam (1998), Suryavamsam (1998) has good fan following too. Known for remaking movies successfully, he has had some flops some years ago. But he bounced back with the blockbuster, Sudigaadu (2012). Now he has made Speedunnodu starring 'Alludu Seenu' fame Bellamkonda Srinivas as hero. As the film hits the screens on 5th Feb, the director sits for a small chitchat.

Sudigaadu was a super hit. Yet you have taken such a long gap to release another movie. What is the reason for delay?

In the beginning of my career, I had given series of hits, made movies with big stars like Jagapathi Babu, Venkatesh and Pawan Kalyan. Later my career plummeted, so I took conscious decision to sit back and dwell upon my strengths and weaknesses, only then I made 'Sudigaadu'. Eventually Sudigaadu became successful. So I have decided to work in the same manner - taking more time on script and making it with complete care. Taking time is better than releasing in hurry and repenting later. Thus we worked hard on the script of 'Speedunnodu' which is remake of Tamil hit 'Sundarapandian'.

But you have announced the film back in 2013 and planned it with Ravi Teja. What went wrong with Ravi Teja?

True, Ravi Teja was original choice. As we have started working on the script, we have realized that the story wouldn't suit a hero with his image. He is too big hero to play this character. So I called up Ravi Teja and informed him that I would make a movie with him with another script. He agreed. Then I saw Alludu Seenu and felt Bellamkonda Srinivas suits well for this role.

Is it exact remake of the Tamil movie?

No, we have changed a lot to suit the tastes of our audiences though the core idea remains the same. The film is all about five friends and hero doing anything for friendship. The original Tamil movie is made with less budget and realistic way. Ours is made on grandeur way with huge sets and foot-tapping music as Bellamkonda Srinivas has proved his mettle in dancing in his debut movie.

Everyone is talking about Tamannah's song!

It is a catchy number and she has danced superbly. We have invested huge money on this song as we wanted it to be visually stunning. Tamannah is a great dancer. Our hero Srinivas is a highly energetic dancer. Both of them have great chemistry too. It is a visual feast for dance lovers.

You have earned the tag of Remake Maker. Don't you want to come out from this image?

As I said earlier, at this stage of my career I want to give consistent hits like I used to do in the beginning than experimenting. I have begun my career with remakes and I have won good image and reputation for that. Also remaking a movie is not that easy task, or every other film would have been successful.

When I made 'Sudigaadu' based on Tamil movie 'Tamizh Padam', I have changed entire scenes and we have reworked on it like a straight movie team works. That is why the film became a huge success. Even Rajamouli gaaru called me and said he liked this version than the Tamil.

Your movies in the beginning were huge musical hits. But off late, you have taking mass-oriented numbers from music directors?

Even in Speedunnodu, there is a beautiful melody. Today the biggest patrons for Telugu movies are not women but youth and mass audiences. When I started my career the case was different, women were biggest patrons. So now I am catering to the tastes of today's audiences. Yet, I always include at least one melody number in every film.

Why did you turn producer with this film?

I want to make films on my own terms. Even though, Sudigaadu was not produced by me, I involved in the production too as the producers were newcomers. When I wanted to remake Sundarapandian, I had decided that I should produce it myself with the help of Vivek Kuchibotla. This decision has given me freedom.

From directing Pawan Kalyan and Venkatesh to Bellamkonda Srinivas…

I know where you are heading to. When I made Suswagatham back in 1998, Pawan Kalyan was upcoming star, not big star. Though he is from big star family, he wasn't declared as a big hero then. So, this is not the first time that I am working with an upcoming hero like Bellamkonda Srinivas. Also Srinivas has already won good following with his first film and has high energy. I am 100 % certain that he will be in the top league in the coming years.

Will you be directing original stories?

If I get a story that inspires me to film it immediately I wouldn't hesitate directing an original story. Original or remake, what is important is that the story should inspire me to make it.

What next?

My policy is to think about next movie only after the release.

- Interview by L Venugopal