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'Raaj the showman will be more than a paisa vasool entertainer'

Last updated on: August 12, 2009 

'Raaj, the Showman will be more than a paisa vasool entertainer'

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Raaj, the Showman releasing on August 14, is touted as the biggest Kannada film of 2009. Puneet Raj Kumar and Priyanka Kothari play the lead roles.

S Krishna, winner of the Karnataka State Award for Mungaru Male is the cinematographer of the film. He has just won the Filmfare Award for 2008.

R G Vijayasarathy caught up with the cinematographer to talk about the biggest release of the year.

Your earlier films, Mungaru Male, Haage Summane and Geleya are basically youthful romantic films. Raaj, the Showman is perhaps your first film which is quite different and made on a larger scale.

Raaj is certainly a film made on a huge canvas. Each sequence and song will look huge and visually brilliant. Working in this film and translating the ideas of director Prem was the biggest challenge of my career. I can definitely say working in Raaj was the most pleasant experience despite the many difficult situations we faced during the shoot.

I have worked in the most inaccessible places and rainy terrain earlier where transporting heavy equipments and shooting in misty atmosphere posed a big problem. But I faced different type of problems while shooting for Raaj, the Showman. I had to shoot in different locations with extremely different weather conditions where the light was scarcely available.


Image: A scene from Raaj, the Showman

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'For a song shooting in Melkote, we used around five hundred lights'

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What were the major challenges you faced during the shoot?

All the technicians working in this film were highly charged from day one. The director had indicated to us that the entire film was to be presented on a large scale and that the producers were willing to go with his ideas. The meeting of the minds of the producer and the director really boosted the morale of all the artists and technicians.

All the equipments I asked for were given immediately. I shot with more than one thousand lights for some of the songs. For a song shooting in Melkote, we used around five hundred lights in the night. The producer came and told me that he is prepared to send another two to three hundred lights if I required them. That was the spirit of the producers.

I saw the same level of enthusiasm in the producers when we went to South Africa, Leh and Ladakh to shoot the two popular songs Hey Paro and Poli Ivanu.

I had to shoot with practically little source lights for some of the scenes. We shot a fight sequence in a tent in Kanakapura where light was very minimal. We also shot a major thrilling sequence of a jumping sequence from a high rise building.


Image: A scene from Raaj, the Showman

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'Remix song will show Puneet sir in a new light'

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The audio released five months ago has become a big hit. Can you tell us something about the way the songs were shot?

We took great pains to shoot the songs. The first half of the film has three songs Muththuraja Kalitta Kade, Hey Paro and Poli Ivanu. The second half has a remix song along with the hugely popular Kuch Kuch Anthidhe and Raaja Heluvaagella. Prem has written the lyrics of Kuch Kuch and has even sung Raaja Heluvaagella.

I know I would be severely criticised for revealing these details before the release of the film, but the remix song will show Puneet sir in a new light. You can see him dancing like Dr Raj sir, Vishnu sir and Ambareeesh sir. That song will be the major highlight of the film.


Image: A scene from Raaj, the Showman

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'I have heard many people say that Priyanka Kothari is a bad actress'

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How would you describe Raaj, the Showman?

It has entertaining moments in the first half, sentiments in the second half and also fantastic acting. I will be sad if Puneet Raj Kumar does not win any prestigious award for his performance.

I have heard many people say that Priyanka Kothari is a bad actress. But you just look at her performance in this film. In fact, her character provides the most important twist in the film.  

Raaj the showman will be more than a paisa vasool entertainer.


Image: A scene from Raaj, the Showman

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