As ‘The Ghost’ gears up for launch, writer-director Praveen Sattaru says he prefers stories that current the brooding, intense persona of Nagarjuna Akkineni over charming romances

As ‘The Ghost’ gears up for launch, writer-director Praveen Sattaru says he prefers stories that current the brooding, intense persona of Nagarjuna Akkineni over charming romances

Those who’ve watched Kamal Haasan’s movie Vikram, directed by Lokesh Kanagaraj, can be aware of Fahadh Faasil’s character referring to Kamal’s character — Agent Vikram — as ‘The Ghost’ — a stealth undercover officer who disappeared from the radar, solely to resurface on a mission. In a small manner, Lokesh’s movie additionally established a reference to Kamal Haasan’s 1986 movie Vikram. Now, right here’s a reality that Telugu movie buffs who’ve adopted the journey of actor Nagarjuna Akkineni would bear in mind of. His first Telugu movie was titled Vikram, and launched in 1986. Back then, Kamal Haasan’s Tamil movie Vikram needed to change its title to Agent Vikram for its Telugu launch in Andhra Pradesh. Cut to the current, Nagarjuna Akkineni’s new Telugu movie The Ghost, directed by Praveen Sattaru, has him enjoying a former R&AW agent named Vikram Gandhi who returns from oblivion. 

Once upon a time…

When we start this interview, drawing these parallels, Praveen explains, “Lokesh’s Vikram and my movie started round the identical time. Initially, we had deliberate to title our movie The Ghost; then we noticed the first poster of Lokesh’s movie with the line ‘Once upon a time, there lived a ghost’. I used to be fearful if they might title their movie The Ghost and thought Vikram Gandhi can be an apt title for us, named after Nagarjuna sir’s character. But ultimately, they titled their movie Vikram and we selected The Ghost.”

Was Praveen tempted to vary the title or character title to keep away from comparisons? “If the movie had a lesser recognized actor, I’d have modified so that I don’t appear like I’m making an attempt to money in on the title Vikram and ‘the ghost’ reference. But it’s Nag sir and since there’s this historical past of his first movie, we let or not it’s.”

Director Praveen Sattaru, while filming ‘The Ghost’ in Dubai

Director Praveen Sattaru, whereas filming ‘The Ghost’ in Dubai
| Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Praveen’s spacious workplace in Hyderabad is an oasis of calm. The promotional frenzy for the movie, scheduled to launch on October 5, is but to start. On a cloudy morning, over a mug of espresso, Praveen remembers watching Nagarjuna-starrer Shiva, directed by Ram Gopal Varma, when he was at school. The depth the actor portrayed on display screen stayed with him. Antham and Rakshana are his different favourites, greater than Nagarjuna’s romance dramas. “If I had an opportunity to make 10 movies with him, I’d go for stories that carry out the brooding depth in him the place he speaks much less and appears menacing. Though I’ve additionally loved watching his entertainers equivalent to Hello Brother the place his charming persona comes by way of, the critical characters are my favourites.”

Action thrillers

One of Praveen’s hottest movies is the motion thriller PSV Garuda Vega

. He admits that writing motion thrillers is less complicated for him than a drama anthology like Chandamama Kathalu

Praveen was not a routine film watcher whereas rising up. A childhood favorite was Sagara Sangamam, which he says he should have watched greater than 200 instances; his household had the video cassette and every time he watched it, he noticed one thing new. The curiosity in motion movies grew when he was learning engineering in Chennai and watched one of the Mission Impossible movies. His company stint in the US uncovered him to extra worldwide movies and motion turned one of his favorite genres. “When the feelings are sturdy sufficient to help the motion, the relaxation of the movie will work.” 

Ask him about the broad, acquainted tropes in motion movies involving a retired or defamed agent/spy returning to take up a mission and Praveen says, “The one-line story may appear acquainted. But dig deeper if the story has one thing new and an Immersive screenplay that stems from the sensibilities of the filmmaker, it is not going to be repetitive. We have seen a number of boy-meets-girl love stories, for that matter. I don’t draw inspiration from different movies; my stories emerge from what I’ve learn or heard about in the previous.”

Not a glamorous prop

The Ghost options Sonal Chauhan as the feminine lead. The movie had its share of hiccups with Kajal Aggarwal, who was initially signed as the feminine lead, opting out as a consequence of her being pregnant. Amala Paul stepped in briefly, but it surely was Sonal Chauhan who lastly got here on board. Praveen says the feminine lead has her share of high- octane motion sequences and saves the male lead on a pair of events. “Sonal underwent rigorous coaching in martial arts, gun preventing, and so forth. There have been cases when the stunt double couldn’t pull off the strikes and Sonal did it herself.” 

Sonal Chauhan and Nagarjuna Akkineni in the film

Sonal Chauhan and Nagarjuna Akkineni in the movie
| Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

The track ‘Vegam’ hints at romance between Nagarjuna and Sonal Chauhan. Was Praveen aware of not making it look awkward, contemplating the age hole between the actors? One would possibly argue that older male actors romancing youthful feminine leads shouldn’t be a brand new phenomenon, however there isn’t a turning away from how the present-day moviegoers react to it on social media. Praveen explains that Nagarjuna performs a personality in his mid-40s whereas Sonal’s character is in her mid or late 30s. “In the story, each have had scarred childhoods and discover solace in one another. The lyrics define their journey. The relaxation is defined in the movie. I’ve tried to not make the track seem forcefit or cringy; it blends organically with the story.”

Gul Panag, as Nagarjuna’s sister, makes her debut in Telugu cinema. Praveen was eager to have an actor who shouldn’t be ceaselessly seen in Telugu movies: “This character hails from an prosperous household, carries herself with grace and is in a scenario the place she wants assist from her brother.”

Wholesome audio-visual expertise

The Ghost has 1600 visible results photographs and a sound design (by Dharmendra Kakarla) that Praveen is assured will make it a befitting theatrical expertise. For the background rating, Praveen ensured that music composer Mark Ok Robin may watch the full movie earlier than composing. “If one listens to the soundtrack, even with out watching the movie, one ought to be capable of perceive the journey of the story; music shouldn’t be in bits that merely mirror completely satisfied, indignant or different moods. I needed a healthful expertise of visuals and sound coming collectively.” Speaking of which, he remembers watching Mani Ratnam’s Bombay in Visakhapatnam, in his rising years, and being awed by the audio-visual expertise. [ONLINE]

It’s been just a little greater than a decade since Praveen debuted as a director and author. With six movies and an online collection, he has taken his time to write down and direct tasks: “I have a look at cinema as a medium by way of which I creatively categorical myself; if I’m unable to do that, I’d as nicely return to my company profession.” He prefers writing solo after which discussing it along with his staff, fairly than delegating the job. The internet collection eleventh Hour was a distinct ballgame with him taking on a screenplay tailored from a guide.

While The Ghost gears up for launch, subsequent up for Praveen is a challenge starring Varun Tej.

. .