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‘I am coming to Kannada, maybe through mini-series’- Cinema express

‘I am coming to Kannada, maybe through mini-series’

Rana Daggubati, on a promotional tour for his Nene Raju Nene Mantri, says he is working out a project with AMR Ramesh that could be either a movie or a mini-series

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Published: 10th August 2017

People are still talking about Rana Daggubati’s Bhalladeva in Baahubali series, and the actor is thrilled that the movie is still doing well in Karnataka in 52 theatres. But, he quips, he slips out characters “very fast” and that he has even tailored himself to suit the character in his next movie Nene Raju Nene Mantri, which is to release this week. The actor was in Bengaluru recently, and he came in character, in spotless white dhoti, vest and shirt. “I have never worn a dhoti before,” he says, “but now this seems to have become my style.”

Bengaluru is not a strange city to Rana, and he observes that this is a place where many cultures meet. “This has been so for the past three decades,” he says. “No other city gives you such a vibe. The mind of this city is young and upbeat, which is what I love. People here, irrespective of what they do or who they are, want to see and experience new things. That is the fun part of Bengaluru.”

He has been watching Kannada movies and the last he watched was Pawan Kumar’s U-Turn. “I liked it very much,” he says. Does he have plans of coming to the Kannada industry? There have always been rumours. Rana says, yes, of course he is keen to work in Kannada. “There is one project I am working on--AMR Ramesh’s Aaspota,” he says, “It is being discussed and might take off. But I don’t know whether it will be a film or a mini series, we are yet to decide on that.”

Rana calls this “a cool and interesting piece about Rajiv Gandhi’s assasination”. He says, “Ramesh has documented this very well. Today with Netflix and Amazon videos, a storyteller has so many opportunities. We are now considering if the story should be told as a mini series or as a film. We will take a call once I am done with my other commitments.”

Nene Raju Nene Mantri is special for this actor because it has him teaming up with his father and producer Daggubati Suresh Babu for the first time. Rana has done 12 films before working for his father’s banner. “We have different tastes when it comes to stories,” he says. “We have been listening to so many for so long, and we even had a 10th draft ready to go... but then that did not come through. We waited for so long because we both were keen on doing a good film together, and we didn’t want to go wrong. I like alternative story-telling format while my father is more a fan of mainstream cinema. Nene Raju Nene Mantri was the perfect fit, and we are happy with how it has turned out.”

Director Teja is set for bigger success, says Rana.
A popular director from Telugu industry, he has been lying low with a series of flops and the makers of Nene Raju Nene Mantri have brought him back to the industry. Rana says that he is confident about the director’s talent. “I did a film with Rajamouli, the biggest director in the country, and immediately after that I worked with Sankalp Reddy, the director of Ghazi, which was beautiful cinema,” he says. “Teja is a great craftsman, one of the biggest DOPs in India, who made Raja Hindustani, Ghulam and such films. Then he came to Telugu and became a big director. Having watched two of Teja’s films, I didn’t need to dwell on his recent past. I value the insights he has brought to Nene Raju Nene Mantri. For me, film is a collective art and only he could have done this film because it has a big character graph.” Rana says that Teja is sure to make it big in the industry. “I always knew this and I was convinced while working with him in Chennai, recently,” he says. “He started in this industry cleaning floors at AVM Studio, he pushed trolleys and later grew to become one of the greatest DOPs. He has a long journey ahead, regardless of whether he sees successes or failures along the way. He has seen poverty and fame, and Nene Raju.. needed him.”

‘Political thriller with the soul of family drama’
Rana says that he has little interest in politics. “If not for the character in this movie, I would not even have used half of these words,” he says. “But politics is the secondary plot in the film. The soul of it is the life and relationship between a husband and wife. The film dwells on the saying ‘power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.’ Even a good guy who is thrown into this bad world, will get sucked into it... this is what the film is about.”

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