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'Eega was the most difficult film of my career'

Last updated on: July 18, 2012 11:07 IST

'Eega was the most difficult film of my career'

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Radhika Rajamani in Hyderabad

S S Rajamouli is riding high after the super success of Eega. The audience in Telugu, Tamil, Kannada and Malayalam has lapped up the film and praises and accolades have rained down on Rajamouli for his brilliant film where a fly and Sudeep walk away with the honours along with the director.

He is one of the few directors to deliver hits with every film he makes.

Here's Rajamouli unplugged on Eega:

How does it feel to be flooded with compliments?

I have never received such compliments. The consolidated appreciation that Eega is the pride of the Telugu film industry is the biggest award I can get.

You have just returned from a success tour. Tell us about it.

We visited three districts in Telangana--Karimnagar, Warangal and Khammam--and from there we also went to East and West Godavari districts and Vijayawada in two days.


Image: S S Rajamouli explains a scene to Sudeep


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'The whole process of Eega took two years'

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You seem to know the pulse of the audience as whatever you have made has been a hit. Is there a mantra for success?

In the film Sudeep asks the tantric to open the door when they are trapped inside. The tantric says there are no mantras for opening the door.

Similarly, there are no mantras for success. No one knows how to achieve success. Giving 100 per cent of our body, mind and soul is in our hands. The result cannot be and never will be in our hands.

Eega had a simple premise around which you spun a fantastic film. The idea is credited to your father. How did you take that idea and translate it into a film?

The idea has been there for long. The development started about two years ago. So, the whole process took two years.

Reincarnation seems to be coming back as a theme. What do you say to that?

The story has an emotional graph. The emotional high is more if the protagonist achieves in the second life. But it has to be handled and exploited well.


Image: A scene from Eega

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'My producer Sai suggested Sudeep's name'

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Your casting was spot on. How did you decide to cast the three actors Sudeep, Nani and Samantha?

For the first time we completed the script and then looked for actors as the nature of the story was like that. We got absolutely perfect actors.

I had seen Sudeep in Rann. He was stylish and subtle, yet he had so much attitude. And that too when acting in front of Amitabh Bachchan!

My producer Sai suggested Sudeep's name. I said yes, he's the guy, but was not sure if he would agree, but he did. 

Sudeep, Nani and Samantha were the first choice of my whole team (which helped me with the story development) and we cast them.

How did you decide to work with Makuta Graphics with whom you had worked in Yamadonga and Magadheera?

It was because of the rapport I had developed. I believed in Kamal and Pete and their confidence.

How tough was it to shoot without the special effects?

It was challenging, very tough. All the artists and technicians had to imagine what was going to be there and shoot. It was a tiny fly which will be moving. Everyone had to imagine what I was imagining.

When the editor edited at the first stage, the animation was not there. It will be low end which doesn't convey anything and difficult to judge.

It was difficult for the music director to give the background score and for all the technicians too.


Image: A scene from Eega


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'While making the film, we were enjoying and learning new things'

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Why did you decide to make the film a bi-lingual?

From the word go it was a bi-lingual. The fly, the protagonist, doesn't speak so there is no dialogue half the time. 

This is your fifth project with Senthil as the cinematographer. How was it working with him this time?

It was not different. He had to learn his job from the beginning. After 15 years in this career, he had figure out what lenses to use for the shoot!

While doing Eega, we were enjoying and learning new things. It was exciting.

In fact when the first version was out after six months and we had spent Rs 10-11 crore, I was depressed as it was not good and realistic. Everything was bad about it. It was the lowest point of my career. For ten days I was worried.

After that I picked myself up and realised there is a problem and we need to find a solution. We started again from scratch.

Your whole family is involved in your films and in Eega too--your wife Rama (who takes care of styling), your cousin M M Keeravani (music director), Valli (Keeravani's wife, the line producer) besides your father...

It is like that. I can't imagine what it will be without them. I think that's the only way I can work now.

The family gives me a lot of strength. They are supporting, cautioning and warning and instil confidence.


Image: A scene from Eega


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'Yamadonga and Magadheera were ambitious projects'

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Would you rate Eega as your most ambitious project so far?

I would say it's the most difficult film in terms of learning and shooting at the same time.

Yamadonga and Magadheera were ambitious projects. Magadheera was tiring physically and mentally as I had to keep it big and stay within the budget.

Do you think you will get awards for Eega?

I don't believe in awards. I don't take awards and I don't attend award functions.  

Ramesh Prasad (son of the legend L V Prasad) sent me a letter equating me with L V Prasad. Which award can match that compliment?

Everyone from Rajnikanth, Shankar, Suriya, and people from the Kannada industry has praised the film.


Image: Movie poster of Eega


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'I like making big movies'

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Your films seem to be the flavour of the season in Hindi too, with remakes like Rowdy Rathore (remake of Vikramarkudu) which is a hit, and Son of Sardar (remake of Maryada Ramanna) being one of the most awaited films of this year. What do you say to that?

I feel happy if films are doing well. Vikramarkudu was made in five languages and was a hit in each. It feels great. I hope the same happens with Son of Sardar.

Will you continue making bi-linguals?

Yes, I like making big movies. It makes sense if we cater to larger audiences.

You are going on a tour again. Where are you travelling and what will you be doing?

We are going to Vizag and Vizianagaram and visiting theatres, schools and colleges.

I'm trying to promote animation as a lucrative career for the students through Eega.

Have you thought about your next project with Prabhas?

At present the audience and the industry have given me two wings and I am roaming high and it will take me some time to come down to earth.

There are a couple of stories and I have to zero down on one for Prabhas.


Image: Movie poster of Eega


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