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'Dalam is an intelligent film'

August 17, 2013 18:23 IST

'Dalam is an intelligent film'

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Radhika Rajamani in Hyderabad

Actress Piaa Bajpai’s Telugu filmography comprises Ninnu Kalisaka and Back Bench Student. She has done many more Tamil films -- her Tamil film Ko (Rangam in Telugu) brought her recognition and acclaim.

Piaa acts in Dalam, directed by Jeevan Reddy, which is slated for release this week.

Piaa tells Radhika Rajamani what to expect.

Dalam
is a thriller set against a Naxal backdrop. Did you find this aspect interesting?


The story was narrated on the phone and I could not get much detail except for the Naxal bit. I was told that the director had assisted Ram Gopal Varma.


I have not done an action film before so I felt I should go for it. Character wise, I have not done anything like this before. I feel if you are okay with the character, you can go for the film.


What was it about the role that appealed to you?


In the previous films, I have played urban characters wearing modern dresses and salwar kurta. In Dalam I play a Tamil/Telugu Brahmin girl, simple and naïve, who dresses in half-saris.


Did you have to do any research for the role?


I did not do anything. I just put chandan and bindi on my forehead. I had faith in my director. Improvisations were done on the set.


Is Dalam bilingual? Did you shoot for both films?


Yes, it is a bilingual film. I shot it twice. Both films have the same cast.


Does the film portray any contemporary events or happenings?


It’s fiction. It doesn’t have to do with anybody.


Image: Piaa Bajpai in Dalam


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'I prayed to god for my safety'

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What is the film about?

It’s a romantic film with elements of action and comedy. Actually it’s a mix of everything. It’s about gangsters, what they go through, how they move on and how life is scary. There is no preaching here. It’s an entertaining tale.

There seems to be a Holi song and an item number performed by Nathalia Kaur in the film...

Yes, Nathalia did the item song. We are all part of the Holi song. 

How has director Jeevan Reddy handled the film?

He is very good. I haven’t seen the film though I saw the songs and some portions. I showed the trailer to some people in Mumbai and they liked it.

People are asking me about the film. The film's tone was determined by Jeevan Reddy. 

What was your experience of shooting the film?

It was quite different. I came to shoot for this in Dallapalli (Araku) after shooting for the Tamil film Sattam Oru Iruttarai in Bangkok and Hong Kong.

It was quite scary to stay in the hotel there. For some scenes I had to climb a hill (4000 feet) with the half-sari. It was raining and slippery too. To use the basic facilities we had to come down and then go up again in the rain.

On top of that, I had to change costumes and there was no vanity van. It was cold because of the rain and the altitude. One day it was so windy I had to hold on to somebody to stay out! (laughs). I prayed to God for my safety.

I shot for 35 days. Luckily, when we shot indoors, there was no problem and everything was okay.


Image: A scene from Dalam


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'Naveen Chandra is a good friend'

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Are you comfortable conversing with Telugu now?

Dalam is my third Telugu film. I found Telugu easy compared to Tamil. Anyway, language does not matter. I can work in any language.


What can one look for in Dalam?


It’s going to be a visual feast. The cinematographer has shot it well. It’s a racy film and is technically strong.


How was it working with Naveen Chandra?


He’s a good friend. He’s sincere and treated me with respect.

We play a couple. I still seek his opinionwhen I get calls regarding Telugu films as he knows many people there.


Dalam means a group/gang. So, is there a gang in the film? Who is part of it? I think Abhimanyu Singh is also there in the film...


There is Kishore Sir, Dhanraj, Ramesh and Krishnudu who are part of the group. There are others too. Abhimanyu Singh plays the cop.


Image: A scene from Dalam


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'I got good reviews for Back Bench Student'

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Do you have scenes with Abhimnayu? You must have felt at home with an actor who speaks Hindi?

Yes, I do have scenes with him. He had to rehearse his Telugu lines, and in between we used to chat. In Hyderabad you come across people who speak Hindi.


Are you looking forward to Dalam?


Yes, I am looking forward to the film. It is an intelligent film. As an actor, it will do me good. I hope it does well.

If it is a hit, I will celebrate it and if it is a flop, I will move on. Mentally, I am prepared like this for every film. I am very happy to be a part of Dalam.


Were you disappointed when Back Bench Student did not fare well at the box office?


I was not disappointed as I got good reviews. Every one wrote well about me. Every film can’t be a hit or flop. Negative things people say help me in growing. They light the fire in me.


Image: A scene from Dalam


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