For die-hard Telugu fans of actor Kamal Haasan, it will be a two decade-old wish coming true once his latest project gets completed and hits the screens. That’s ‘Cheekati Raajyam’ for you, starring the hero with Trisha, Prakash Raj and Kishore among others, on the Rajkamal Films banner.
As is common with such productions with big names in the cast and in the crew, very little was unveiled at the ‘First Look’ here on Sunday. Regular shooting will start towards the end of the month, starting with a schedule at the Ramoji Film City here.
The very presence of the ’60-plus-year’ star, apart from top technicians like Director of Photography Sanu John Varughese, of ‘Viswaroopam’ fame and because it was touted as a ‘straight’ Telugu film, it drew attention of many. He looks different from how he looked in ‘Subhasankalpam’’ (1995) directed by the legendary K. Viswanath and produced by S.P. Subrahmanyam, but suffice it to say that his looks belie his age.
Speaking from the dais, Mr. Kamal Haasan said that for years now, Telugu-speaking fans were asking him when he would do a ‘straight’ film and recalled how he used to say, ‘soon, very soon’. “I wanted to show people that I always like to keep my promises and there you are, ‘Cheekati Raajyam’,” he declared. This would not be a ‘one-off’ movie and that more Telugu films would surely follow, he added.
“Prakash Raj told me that this should not stop and that Telugu fans were thirsty for more. I did 36 films with my Guru, the legendary KB. They were actually enough to last a lifetime and I could have hung up my boots. But I didn’t stop there and worked with him in ‘Uttama Villain’,” he went on. Post ‘Akali Rajyam’ the star has straight films like ‘Saagara Sangamam’, ‘Indrudu Chandrudu’ and ‘Swathi Muthyam’.
“I can say for sure that cinema is truly a democratic art. Some become hits because of the director and some for the script and story, while some draw attention due to the casting. This film I can say is a combination - it could revolve around director Rajesh, or the star-villain Prakash Raj or the heroine Trisha. Actually, I am happy I am working with people in the Telugu film industry whom you know very well and can even say they are my ‘seniors’,” he said.