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A great combination

ON LOCATION The winning combination of Rajasekhar and Kodi Ramakrishna returns to the theatres soon.

EMOTIONAL FLICK Rajasekhar and Namitha in a Malayalam remake.

Fifteen years ago this combo had made a trend setting film that rewrote box office history. `Ankusam' is still remembered for its taut screenplay and refreshingly filmed power play between the honest cop and the dirty politician-hooligan nexus. It also threw new light on the silver screen's super cop phenomenon in the South.

Dr. Rajasekhar whose career with the role zoomed to a new high played the super cop under Kodi Ramakrsihna's deft handling of a power-packed theme. Its dubbed version in Tamil, `Idudhanda Police,' was a big hit too. Chiranjeevi made a grand Bollywood entry with its remake, `Pratibandh'.

That's for starters. Now the same duo, Rajasekhar and Kodi Ramakrishna, is back together in Sravani Cinema's untitled venture based on the Malayalam super hit, `Runway.' Interestingly, the film is produced by popular producer-director, V. Sagar. Namitha who plays the female lead returns to Telugu films.

As we entered Anil House, a private bungalow let out for film shootings, the paraphernalia of cinematographer Ramana Raju and his team, the baby crane mounted camera, the trolley and its railings, the long cable wires from the outdoor van, the arc and flood lights, the butter paper shields that cut the light, welcomed us. Crisscrossing the cluster of things and the cable wires we reached the spot where the shoot was taking place. As we walked towards the spot, we were warned of the `field' area (area covered by the camera) by one of the assistant directors.

Sibling saga

An emotional scene leading to intriguing moments was being shot. Seen at the spot were the hero, heroine, Riyaz Khan and K.R. Vijaya who too makes a comeback to Telugu films. A good actor himself, the director gets into the character to show the right emotions that the hero has to play. The shot was completed successfully and the stars retired to the sofas for a brief rest. "It is a crucial sequence in the movie. The hero tries to escape from his brother and the difficulties he encounters in the process form this part of the shoot," informs Ramakrishna. Riyaz Khan plays Rajaskehar's brother and K.R. Vijaya, their mother.

"There is a dearth of good actors to play parent roles in Telugu. Only the versatile actress, K.R. Vijaya can do justice to the mother's role in this film," opines the director. He adds that it is a tailor made role for Rajasekhar. "It suits his image like a tee. There are many shades to the character with lots of scope to showcase his acting prowess."

The theme written by Dennis Joseph has all the ingredients of a commercial blockbuster — action, romance, comedy, good music (Koti) with the `mother and brother sentiment' dominating the proceedings. Raghubabu plays the trusted friend of the hero and Nasser his well-wisher. The baddies include Rami Reddy, `Thalaivasal' Vijay, Prithvi and others.

Rajasekhar feels that the real hero of the film is its story. "Kathe hero (story is the hero). It was my long cherished wish to act in a film directed by Sagar. Maybe that will happen another day and he chose to make a film with me and Kodi Ramakrishna. Ours is a successful combination."

But the parting shot was Sagar's. "When I watched the Malayalam big hit `Runway,' I felt it should be brought to Telugu viewers. Its theme has so much of freshness and novelty. The actor who immediately came to mind for the protagonist's role was Rajasekhar (played by Dileep in the original version). I cannot imagine another hero in that role. And only Kodi Ramakrishna can only do full justice to such a subject." The lights are on again, silently announcing the shoot for the next shot has commenced. Work is progressing at a brisk pace as the film is slated for a June release.

M.L. Narasimham

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