Interview Movies

Sai Dharam Tej's 'Prati Roju Pandage' is a celebration of life and bonding

Poster of the film   | Photo Credit: By arrangement

Director Maruthi has often been successful in catching the pulse of the audience. He keeps himself updated with social media trends, which reflect the mindset of the youth. As the promotions of Prati Roju Pandage begin, we ask him the reason for the debacle of Sailaja Reddy Alludu (SRA)and he replies, “I pick stories according to the producers’ interest. I did not deviate from my style and stories, but there is no denying there was a problem with SRA’s story. For Prati Roju Pandage, I incorporated a message without being preachy. I made sure that the audience will think and also get entertained. The title is not a statement but an expression. When a man is dying and he is laughing in the last days, we must see it as a celebration. I had a few stories and as Sai Dharam Tej liked this, I developed it.”

Director Maruti

Director Maruti   | Photo Credit: By arrangement

His trailer had a sarcastic comment by Rao Ramesh: he tells the audience directly that it is not a rip off of Satamanam Bhavati despite several similarities in the promo. Was that dialogue deliberately inserted in anticipation of audience reaction? Maruthi observes that the social media posts have been highlighting the negatives and ignores the positive aspects in a trailer/film by a director. There is so much prejudice. I have said innumerable times, to wait, watch the film and then come to a conclusion. Just because you see a bunch of people there, don’t compare it to Brahmotsavam, or spot a patch of greenery and call it a Satamanam Bhavati. So before they see the film and pass their remarks, I try to put a full stop.”

On the sets

On the sets   | Photo Credit: By arrangement

The director says Prati Roju Pandage has a new concept. Elaborating on the subject, Maruthi says, “Children living at a distance don’t visit their parents often, until the elders’ health issues turn serious. They visit villages only when they are bored or need a break, and not to see the parents. Some think that simply talking to their mother over the phone or transferring money into the father’s account is a job done well. I tell people to treat their parents like they treat their children, Once parents hit the 60s, they too are childlike.”

On casting Satya Raj, Maruthi shares, “Satyaraj is fit, his body type can make the audience believe that he can look 30 or 60. Most directors take senior actors, change the wigs and make up and try to make a grandfather look young for the flashback episodes. Here Satya Raj looks like a father and also a grandfather. He is a perfect choice in terms of commercial and business aspects — having done Kattappa’s character in Baahubali.”

As for the the shift in the audience’s taste, he reiterates that the change is coming from filmmakers; they do their homework well before going to sets. The young batch has great opportunities to prove themselves, the platform is big and varied. He adds, “If they fail once, people put them aside and forget. It is difficult and takes time to return. It’s the same for anyone actually.”

Finally ask him why he isn’t waiting for a Pongal release that’s not too far away and he shoots back, “I agree Prati Roju Pandage is a Dil Raju kind of film but the genre is new to me and the producers as well. The title says every day is a celebration. If we say this and release it for Pongal, it becomes contradictory. We should release it on a normal day and turn it into big festival, a big hit.”

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Printable version | May 13, 2021 3:17:55 AM |

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