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‘Kaadan’ is the toughest movie I’ve been a part of: Rana Daggubati

First look of ‘Kaadan’  

There are few movies that promise to offer a wholesome cinematic experience. Prabhu Solomon’s upcoming Kaadan is one movie that hopes to achieve that. It is a movie that is intended for families and children, though it touches upon a universal concept: coexistence between man and animal.

Prabhu Solomon is one filmmaker whose movies have a strong sense of Nature. But the director said he was double-minded when he walked into the office of Suresh Productions [the company owned by Rana Daggubati’s father, Suresh Babu], when he had gone to narrate the script of Kaadan. “I had only narrated the first 20 minutes of the movie, but he [Suresh Babu] started to engage with me, which was very encouraging,” said Prabhu Solomon, speaking at the press meet of Kaadan, releasing in Hindi as Haathi Mere Saathi and Aranya in Telugu.

 

The jungle book

The director is reasonably confident about the product, given the core message that Kaadan carries within. “The movie is just a spark and I hope it reaches the proportion of forest fire. We haven’t fabricated the truth, but sugar-coated it for the sake of commercial viability,” he said, adding that the character Rana Daggubati plays was inspired from environmental activist Jadav Payeng, who is famously called the Forest Man of India. Talking about the significance of elephants in the larger ecosystem, Prabhu noted how we have been abusing wildlife for the longest time. “I read a report about a wall being raised blocking the passage of elephants from Kaziranga National Park. Who will voice for their [elephants] issues?”

That question formed the basis of his script, which has Rana playing the guardian of the forest. “It was a physically demanding role and required Rana to run amidst 30-odd elephants. There were instances where I had asked for retakes, but he never made me feel uncomfortable,” he added.

Into the woods

Coming to Chennai was like a homecoming for Rana, who visited the city almost three years after the release of Baahubali: The Conclusion. Having played the eponymous Bhallaladeva in Baahubali series, Rana was almost convinced that no other character would be as exhausting as the mighty warrior. “But Prabhu sir changed my perception within a week,” he laughed, adding, “I have always believed that it’s not the storytellers who find stories, but the other way round. The power of this story is much bigger than us.”

The team of 'Kaadan'

The team of 'Kaadan'  

 

Rana had been wanting to do a Tamil movie ever since his début film, Leader, which was produced by AVM Productions. But he was waiting for the right script, despite meeting Tamil filmmakers on and off. He describes Kaadan the “toughest movie” he has ever been part of, “I’ve wanted to do a movie that had the potential to reach a larger section of the audience. This is the first time I’m part of a movie that was shot in three languages.” But Rana isn’t the only hero of Kaadan. Unnikrishnan, a wild elephant that has also acted in Kumki 2, has played a pivotal role. “Having worked with him [Unnikrishnan], I can safely say that he’s learned the language of cinema,” added Prabhu.

For Vishnu Vishal, it was about overcoming fear. “I’m afraid of forest and Nature. But the movie communicates an important message: that love is universal,” he said. It was during the making of this movie when Vishnu met with a severe injury that put him out of work for a month. But looking back, he says he was grateful to have had the fall. “I have no regrets because I was back on my feet and overcame my inhibitions,” he said, adding, “The movie went through a lot of hurdles over the last two and a half years. But one person who kept his patience and vision intact was Prabhu sir.”


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Printable version | Jun 25, 2021 5:04:12 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/movies/kaadan-is-the-toughest-movie-ive-been-a-part-of-rana-daggubati/article30808632.ece

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