Just few days before the release of his latest flick, Maska, producer M S Raju looks real confident on his film. He seems very happy with the final product and for the first time he screens all the songs on avid studio for Web Journalists at Ramanaidu Studios on Friday (Jan 9, 2009). Later he talks about the movie and much more in a lengthy chitchat.
A very special Pongal
This is very special Sankranthi in my career. My career is at stake on Maska. Such situation is not new to me. I underwent such crises earlier too when Devi was releasing, I was at zero. Before Satruvu, all things went topsy-turvy. But my passion towards the films and commitment to deliver quality movies made me bounce back. With Maska, I am sure that my banner would reclaim the lost glory.
Maska has commercial punch
The constant question that is being asked these days is why I chose a ‘mass entertainer’ for Maska . But this is not the first time that I made films that have ‘mass appeal’. Even Varsham and Okkadu had that same commercial punch even though they were sensible and superb scripts. Like wise, Maska has the ingredients that appeals to the larger audiences.
Although Maska doesn’t fall in any particular genre, it is a pucca commercial movie. In one word, it is a Pongal Bonanza for the audiences who seek good entertainment at festival time. That doesn’t mean that it has unusual script but some of the scenes that we conceived are never seen on Telugu screen. It brings novelty. I am very satisfied with the final output. We took lot of care and time for postproduction too. I could have released it on 9th; I waited to be it perfect. When you see the movie on the screen the first impression that comes across would be that the filmmakers tried hard to entertain you. That was the precise intention.
You see Maska in everyday life...
Every need to do maska in life. In fact, even in the cordial gesture like namaskaram, you find maska in it.
Ram has in it to be superstar
Regarding casting, first and foremost I must talk about our hero Ram and his energy level. I believe he will be one of the superstars in the future in our Telugu filmdom. His commitment to give best work, his dance movements and his energy levels astounded me. He is best thing that happened to Tollywood in the recent times.
After watching Satruvu, Ramanaidu said that it was the best performance in Venky’s career. After that he did great movies, though. Mansantha Nuvve was the best film in Uday Kiran’s career. Okkadu was the biggest hit in Mahesh Babu’s career at that time. For Prabhas, Varsham is highest grocer in his career even today (with adjusted inflation). I am sure Maska will remain one of the biggest hit in his career in future too.
Hansika is really looking beautiful in the movie. She is gorgeous and her chemistry with Ram is impressive. I was criticized for the selection of Sheela for another female lead. She was selected after much thinking because the character requires a girl who can perform as well as look glam. Both of them have done really well.
Cold Water Hot Water
If you ask why I selected B Gopal for this particular project, I can’t explain it in words. Why I chose 18 year old by Devi Sri Prasad as music director for Devi? What made me to give break to V N Aditya with Manasantha Nuvve? B.Gopal delivered biggest blockbusters in the past but he is down. But he’s experience and his command over direction has helped the movie a lot. He is cool guy. I am very temperamental. Our combination is like mix of Cold Water and Hot Water.
Sunil is strength
Sunil has acted in all of our productions after he entered into the film industry. He once again has done a very important role as hero’s friend in Maska. He might be doing ‘joker’ roles but he is intelligent in real life. His valuable suggestions helped me a lot.
No song okayed in three months
Music is the major strength to the movie. In the first three months, both music director Chakri and I sat for several times but no song was Okayed. At one time he was really dejected. One day, he requested me to finalize at least one song so that his confidence would rise. Not that he had given bad songs in those sittings but I wanted best and beat oriented music. Such intensive work was done for music too. Chakri has given wonderful re-recording too.
Reason for releasing it own...
Suresh Babu has been a good friend to me for the last 23 years. He supported me all through. When I showed Manasantha Nuvve to him, he said only one thin,”hold it on, Raju. Release it on yourself, don’t sell it.” Uday Kiran gave big hit with Nuvvu Nevvu and our banner value made buyers flocking to bag Manasantha Nuvve. Yet, on the advice of Suresh Babu, I released it on my own. It made history. When I shown Maska, he said the same. That is the reason why I am releasing it on own.
Expecting new records
We are hoping that the movie creates new records. Releasing in almost with 300 Prints. 90 prints catered for Nizam. Even in districts like Krishna, we are releasing it with about 18.
Vaana disappointed me
In the recent times, I was disappointed with Vaana and Pournami. Aata was moderate success. We made money on it. But Vaana completely washed out.
Will tell after the release of Maska.