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Vijay Antony talks on Bicchagadu’s success

Vijay Antony, Satna Titus in the movie

Vijay Antony, Satna Titus in the movie  

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The actor, composer feels more responsible to audiences even as he’s overjoyed by the success of ‘Bicchagadu’ in Telugu

Bicchagadu, the surprise success of the season, comes with a tagline ‘The Billionaire’ and it’s interesting to note that the dubbed film ( Picchakaran in Tamil) is minting millions at the box office. In times when a film’s theatrical run is driven by promotions, Bicchagadu has served as a reminder of the power of strong word-of-mouth publicity and that ‘content is king’. Competing with releases like A..Aa, Brahmotsavam, Sarrainodu, the film has gone beyond a sleeper hit status as it nears a 50-day run in theatres. The film’s lead actor, composer and producer Vijay Antony, tells MetroPlus that it’s a pleasant surprise to find acceptance in a terrain away from home.

“I know I have a market in Tamil Nadu and it was expected that the film will do fairly well there. The Telugu people in the two states made it a point to let others know that the film was good and that’s when crowds started pouring in. This is a very special feeling. They’ve been kind to me since the beginning of my career. Both Nakili ( Naan in Tamil) and Dr Saleem ( Saleem in Tamil) showed that appreciation for content has always been there. But, I’m yet to accept the fact that the dubbed version ( Bicchagadu) has earned more than its original,” the multi-faceted actor says, clearly surprised.

Directed by Sasi, Bicchagadu narrates the tale of a business honcho who turns beggar for 48 days in a bid to save his ailing mother. The universality of the theme ensured its appeal sans barriers. “The life of a beggar is often dealt with a dark tone. We showed the lighter side of their lives rather than dramatising their problems, all in a commercial package. There’s a common-man connect in the lead character and the bond he shares with his mother. But, above that, it’s a good film overall, that’s what mattered.”

Vijay Antony mentions he now feels more responsible to deliver what people expect of him. “Earlier, it was only one state, now its three (including the two Telugu speaking states and TN). I’ve always been taking care of choosing subjects that appeal to a wider audience. Looks like that has paid off well.” He’s happy that his forthcoming films Saithan and Yaman will have a better audience in both Tamil and Telugu now.

“I will now focus on selecting scripts from new Telugu directors and shooting 50 percent of my films in Hyderabad, employing a mix of Telugu and Tamil-speaking actors. I’ll definitely spend more time in the city to learn the language and understand its nuances,” he says.

Won’t the responsibilities of acting, producing and composing take a toll on the product? “It’s tough but you forget the burden when it’s a passion. People remember songs while I’m a composer. I’ll reach their hearts only if I’m an actor,” he signs off.

‘Script came to me first’

Refuting rumours that the film was first offered to Rana Daggubati who rejected it, Vijay Antony clarifies that Bicchagadu came to him first.

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Printable version | Jan 19, 2020 4:07:57 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/metroplus/Vijay-Antony-talks-on-Bicchagadu%E2%80%99s-success/article14425935.ece

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