‘I think I’ve done fairly well’

As ‘Govindudu Andarivadele’ opens today, Ram Charan talks about working with Krishnavamsi, scathing reviews and seven years in the industry

Updated - September 30, 2014 07:40 pm IST

Published - September 30, 2014 07:38 pm IST - HYDERABAD

Ram Charan in Govindudu Andarivadele

Ram Charan in Govindudu Andarivadele

From the looks of the trailer, Govindudu Andarivadele seems to have all the staples one can expect from a family drama that comes from Krishnavamsi. Ram Charan, teaming up with the director for the first time, agrees, “It is a mainstream family entertainer with an emotional core. At a given time, the viewer will see around 40 members in the frame.”

Ram Charan, in a session with the media, discloses that he was to work with Krishnavamsi soon after Magadheera . “For some reason, things didn’t fall in place at that time. Govindudu … is a content-driven film. Murari , Ninne Pelladutha and Chandamama are among my favourite Krishnavamsi films. I believe that each genre needs to be dealt with in a certain way. Trying to mix mass masala elements into a family drama will dilute the genre. It was good to work with a filmmaker who doesn’t compromise on how he narrates a story. The film has its inspiration from Seetharamaiah Gari Manavaralu but this is a completely new story.”

Charan hasn’t done a family drama and his last few films have towed the line of action and ‘mass masala’ entertainers as the Telugu industry would term it. “I didn’t set out to do only masala films. I am open to different genres. Looking back, I feel Orange might have worked if it had been treated well.”

In Govindudu …, he plays an NRI returning to meet his family and ironing out a few strained relationships. Talking of his character, he says, “I play an NRI who hasn’t lost out on Indian cultural values. I’ve often heard that NRIs are more clued into our festivals and rituals than we are but while making this film, I got to meet a few people from whom I understood this better.”

The film went through changes in its cast. For instance, Tamil actor Raj Kiran was replaced by Prakash Raj after a few days of shooting. “Raj Kiran is a terrific actor but we felt that the portions ended up looking more like a Tamil film. With Prakash Raj stepping in, a few scenes had to be rewritten but this will work to the favour of the film,” says Charan. This film will also see Charan him share the screen with Srikanth, with whom he says he shares a comfortable rapport. “We’ve got along well since the days of Shankardada MBBS .”

Of late, Krishnavamsi’s films haven’t fared well and Charan says, “Some of his films have failed, not him. Working with Krishnavamsi, I learnt to see things from a different perspective. I would read a scene and visualise it in a certain way.

But the way Vamsi narrates it would open up new points of view. I think he’s helped me discover new facets of acting.”

It’s been seven years since the release of his first film Chirutha and Charan has had seven releases so far. He reflects, “I think I’ve done fairly well.” He doesn’t regret doing Zanjeer/Thoofan and is contemplating another film in Hindi. We ask him about the scathing reviews of Zanjeer and he quips, “Yes, critics said I was ‘wooden’ and had ‘zero expression’. I don’t know. Maybe I didn’t connect with the character and the film. Or it could be the director’s inputs, but I don’t intend to pin the blame on anyone. Apurva (Lakhia) is a good friend. We just didn’t hit the bull’s eye.”

Mani Ratnam film : “We discussed a film and then parted ways after realising it wouldn’t work for both of us. Now, Mammooty’s son Dulquer Salman is doing the film. I’d love to work with Mani Ratnam someday. Who wouldn’t want to?”

A film with Gautam Menon : “We are planning a Tamil film, which should go on floors in 2015.”

Bollywood, again : Despite the failure of Zanjeer, Charan has plans for a new Hindi film.

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