Following RGV

Director Praveen Sri talks about his upcoming bilingual film and what it means to be associated with Ram Gopal Varma.

February 21, 2014 05:02 pm | Updated May 18, 2016 09:56 am IST - MADURAI:

Praveen Sri (right)

Praveen Sri (right)

Praveen Sri was lucky to have Ram Gopal Varma as producer and Maestro Ilaiyaraja as music composer for his maiden film Gaayam 2 , a sequel to RGV’s Gaayam.

“I am fortunate,” he says. “When I told RGV that I would like to do a sequel, he immediately said yes.” But, why a sequel? “I decided to do a sequel as they were very popular during that time. I never realised the challenges it would involve. It was definitely a risk for a debut director. I was very happy when Jagapathi Babu, who played the hero in the original, agreed to work in my film. But later, when people compared my movie with the original, and did not look at it as a separate entity, I realised my mistake,” he says.

Born and brought up in Hyderabad, this commerce graduate decided to make movies after he watched RGV’s Shiva . “I began to watch a lot of movies. I saw Godfather more than 40 times. I used to download the script and read it aloud. I was desperate to join RGV. But at that time he was so busy that I was not able to meet him,” he says.

First assignment

Praveen joined Editor Shankar as an editing assistant and worked on movies such as Anthapuram and Chitram . In 2007, he did a short film, Souls . “I showed it to RGV. He liked it and he showed it to Amitabh Bachchan and Abhishek.”

Soon, Praveen expressed his wish to join RGV as an assistant director, and his wish came true. Praveen says he wanted to make a sequel to Shiva , too. But I decided against it as Nagarjuna and Amla, who did the lead roles in it got married after the movie and I thought the magic the duo created would be missing.”

Praveen likes to do realistic films that forced him to come to Usilampatti for his second film, Kalicharan , shot simultaneously in Telugu and Tamil. “I believe in emotional dramas. Commercial success depends on how you package your movie but content is the key,” he says. Kalicharan in Telugu is yet to get a title in Tamil. It is a movie set in 1980s.

The bilingual film revolves around a family torn between two dons. The movie is shot in rustic locates of Chithoor and Usilampatti. Chaitanya Krishna who acted in Rowthiram and Chandhini who debuted in Siddhu Plus Two play the lead roles. Praveen introduces Nandhan Raj as the music director.

Praveen’s picks:

Movies: Godfather series, Omkara, Shiva, Gaayam, Rathri, Company and Sarkar

Directors: Ram Gopal Varma, Francis Ford Coppola, Vishal Bharadwaj, Anurag Kashyap, Balu Mahendra, Bala, Vetrimaran and Maniratnam.

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