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Sumanth: I need a big commercial hit.

Last updated on: August 23, 2011 11:57 IST

Sumanth: I need a big commercial hit

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Radhika Rajamani in Hyderabad

After the critically acclaimed Telugu film Golconda High School (GHS) where Sumanth won accolades for his performance, he now stars in Daggaraga Dooranga releasing this Friday.

Though GHS and his other two films Boni and Raaj did not do well at the box office, the actor with the impeccable pedigree (grandson of thespian Akkineni Nageswara Rao and nephew of Nagarjuna) hopes that Daggaraga Dooranga will break the jinx.

Daggaraga Dooranga is your third release this year. What made you sign it?

I'm averaging two films a year. It's not a conscious decision to be selective. I am on the track of doing progressive commercial cinema. My primary aim is to entertain the audience. By progressive commercial cinema, I mean cinema with a little more purposeful action and comedy and with songs. Daggaraga Dooranga is on these lines.

I play an ordinary guy facing extraordinary circumstances. The film has a backdrop of terrorism. The love story is what made me sign the film. It's unique.

In fact I had agreed to do this film six months before Golconda High School.

 


Image: A still from Daggaraga Dooranga

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'The film is realistic commercial cinema'

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What sort of love story is it?

It's a romantic thriller, not a soft love story. It has romance and thriller elements in equal measure with a healthy dose of entertainment. As you would have seen in the posters, the two lovers are handcuffed to each other. There is physical proximity but the girl hates the boy. Mentally, there is distance between the two. I would say the film is realistic commercial cinema.

How has Ravi Chavali treated this film?

The comedy and the romantic tracks are strong even though the comedy is situational. All elements are pretty balanced. Nothing is forced. There is smoothness and polish in the film. The scale of the film is not huge. The second half happens in one day, while the first half is more drawn out. So, we could finish the film shoot in a time frame of 55 days.

Did you chip in with your inputs?

I did chip in only at the script stage till it became a bound script. Everything was planned out in detail. After that I functioned as an actor.


Image: A still from Daggaraga Dooranga

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'I am quite confident about this film'

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You said you play an ordinary character facing extraordinary circumstances...

It's a Hitchcockian formula. I'm forced to be on the run. I am the creative head of an advertising agency -- a normal guy who has to face two aspects of love and terrorism.

The love aspect is unique. There is no inspiration from Hollywood or Bollywood. The terrorism aspect one can relate to -- the blasts in Pune and Hyderabad are referred to.

You are paired with Vedhika for the first time. How was she to work with?

The girl's role is central in this film, the film revolves around her. We looked around for a heroine and zeroed in on Vedhika as she suited the character. In fact she exceeded my expectations. She plays this upper middle-class girl who is spunky. It's a fantastic role and it will be a good break for her.

How confident are you about the film?

I am quite confident about this film. I am generally neutral about my films. I knew GHS was a marginal film from the word go. Of course, it gave me critical mileage. It was a fantastic satellite movie for the makers. Daggaraga Dooranga can reach far more people. Brahmanandam is seen in a new light. People can relate to the film. It has the potential to be a positive film.


Image: A still from Daggaraga Dooranga

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'I will continue to do films made on limited budgets'

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Do you think it will reverse your fortunes?

Hopefully. I definitely need a big commercial hit.

Golconda High School was a meaningful, well-made film. Why do you think it didn't click with the majority of the audience?

It was an urban film. Our core audience is the masses and the youth. A film must have the elements they want. It was new for the Telugu audience. It had a bigger TV audience than theatre audience. The TRP ratings were high. I was happy that the producer broke even.

Will you continue to do that kind of film?

Yes, I will continue to do films made on limited budgets and ensure they break even. GHS has given me so much mileage.  I will try to balance these kinds of films with commercial ones. To do progressive commercial cinema is a priority with me and to do regular formula commercial cinema is secondary.


Image: A still from Daggaraga Dooranga

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'The success rate of films this year is better than last year'

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Have you signed on for any other projects?

No. I am listening to scripts.

The Telugu film industry seems to be going through a rough patch...

It is going through one. The success rate of films this year is better than last year (which was bad). We just have to improve the writing, control budgets, and keep them in perspective to the market.

Image: A still from Daggaraga Dooranga

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