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'Mahesh Babu agreed immediately to do 1-Nenokkadine'

January 15, 2014 11:11 IST

'Mahesh Babu agreed immediately to do 1-Nenokkadine'

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Radhika Rajamani in Hyderabad

Sukumar generally directs films that are like mindgames and test the intellectual capacity of the audience.

His latest film, 1-Nenokkadine (released on January 10), starring Mahesh Babu and debutante Kriti Sanon is another film that falls in the said category.

Here, Sukumar talks about the film, its stars and the audience response.

What triggered the idea to make this film?

When I looked at Mahesh Babu, I felt he has a universal appeal in terms of looks. Keeping that in mind, I worked out an action film which is a psychological thriller.

In the film the bus driver talks about a young boy who tells everyone that his parents were killed in the bus. This was the base of the story.


Image: A scene from 1-Nenokkadine

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'We have trimmed the film by about 20 minutes'

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Radhika Rajamani

Your films generally revolve around mind games. Why do you like to test the intellect of the audience?

I like to do such films. It is thrilling to do so. I say things from my heart.

For a psychological thriller, isn’t the film a bit too long at two hours and forty-nine minutes?

Thrillers in Hollywood are long. It can’t be made fast as one has to reveal a lot.

A Telugu film must also have five songs. We have trimmed the film by about 20 minutes.


Image: A scene from 1-Nenokkadine

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'Mahesh has given a wonderful performance'

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Radhika Rajamani

Why have an item number by Sophie Choudry in such a film?

It's a superstar’s film and it should reach all. Item numbers are common these days and people expect to see them.

The situation was that Mahesh had to go to a pub to get information about the person he was looking for. So there was occasion to put in an item number.

The film is slick and stylish. Were you inspired by Hollywood or other films?

Not directly. Inspiration by way of books or films gets inside us internalised. This film is based on an original thought.

Don’t you think the intellectual element of the film will deter audiences in smaller centres?

In Kakinada (a coastal town) Terminator 2 ran for a year in a theatre. People did not understand the language but connected to the film on account of the emotions -- the mother-son relationship.

In 1 Nenokkadine, the audience will connect with Mahesh’s search for his parents. They will understand the emotional element in the psychological thriller.

Mahesh has given a wonderful performance.

Are you happy with the way the film has been received?

The early morning benefit show may have shocked people because this film was different from Mahesh’s earlier films.

After 12 pm I got calls saying it is good and the response is positive. No one will call if they do not like the film.


Image: A scene from 1-Nenokkadine


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'No big heroine will give bulk dates'

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Radhika Rajamani

How have Mahesh’s fans reacted to the film?

In the early morning show may be they were disappointed. But the film has action, sentiment and other things so now they are happy.

Did Mahesh agree to the film immediately or did you have to convince him?

Mahesh agreed immediately. He asked me to make it as I had envisaged it.

What was his contribution, if any, to the film?

Like every artist, he brought his experience. He was good with the action and the choreography.

You gave him not just a different kind of role but also an image makeover.

He had worked on his physique and came with a sculpted body, so whatever he wore looked good on him.

Wasn’t it risky to do such a film?

If it was risky, I wouldn’t have done it.

Why did you choose a new heroine, Kriti Sanon?

No big heroine will give bulk dates. And I wanted a new heroine.

Mahesh looked young and fresh as he had worked on his physique, so I wanted a new heroine with him. I chose Kriti after an audition.

This film has been in the making for almost two years. What were the challenges you faced? You shot in many places like Belfast (Ireland), Thailand, Goa, Hyderabad etc.

The major schedules were held last year. The climate conditions were different in the places we shot in. Hiring new (technical) people in different places was wonderful.

It was a new yet learning experience. We looked at world technicians and saw them work and can use whatever we learnt.


Image: A scene from 1-Nenokkadine


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'My next project with NTR Jr is yet to be finalised'

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Radhika Rajamani

The camera work by Ratnavelu is brilliant…

This is my third film with him after Arya and Jagadam. We share a comfort level. He understands me and what I say well and translates it on screen.

Likewise, Devisri Prasad heard the story repeatedly, discussed the thought and translated my vision in the background score.

How do you assess the action by Peter Heins?

Peter is a fantastic technician. Normally a technician specialises in one thing - car chase or boat chase etc. Peter does everything. He is unassuming and good in his work.

Your next film is with NTR Jr. Have you finalised the project?

The discussions are still on. It has yet to be finalised.

 

 


Image: A scene from 1-Nenokkadine


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