Ahead of the theatrical release of 'Ghani' on April 8, new director Kiran Korrapati says that the film goes beyond the template. Produced by Allu Bobby and Sidhu Mudda, 'Ghani' is also technically rich, he suggests, thanking composer SS Thaman and cinematographer George C Williams.
Catch him talk about Varun Tej's immense homework, his expectations from the movie, his commitments after his maiden venture, and more.
The pre-release event (graced by Allu Arjun as the chief guest) had a wide reach. I am very happy about it. Coming to 'Ghani', the producers' unrelenting support was of great help. My previous experience also came in handy.
'Ghani' has a sports backdrop but its beats are entirely commercial. Varun Tej garu wanted to do a movie with me. Sports drama was not a planned thing from Day One. Unlike cricket and football, boxing is far more physical. That's why I zeroed in on the sport.
Ghani (Varun Tej) is someone who represents the thinking of every ambitious person. His character arc is what the story is about. This is not just a zero-to-hero story. The story explores the titular character's personal challenges, his relationship with his mother, so on and so forth.
I have worked for 3-4 movies of Ravi Teja sir. Harish Shankar, VV Vinayak, Srinu Vaitla, Jayanth C Paranje, Raghava Lawrence.. I worked under them all before becoming a filmmaker. A few projects almost materialized before they got stalled. That's why my becoming a director got delayed. I got in touch with Varun Tej garu for the first time while doing 'Mister'. The directors I have worked with know how to portray heroism and heroes. I imbibed lessons from them. You can't show no two heroes in the same manner.
'Ghani' is a name that is easy for the crowds to cheer. That's why we chose the title and abandoned names like 'Champion'. Allu Aravind garu and Bunny garu have liked the final cut of the film. 'Ghani' doesn't shy away from commercial values despite being an intense sports film.
I had to be cool-headed while canning boxing sequences. There would be about 800 members on set, which is 200 unit members and 600 extras. Boxing is all about six moves. I had to show them in different ways for 20 minutes. Choreographing the same, while keeping the emotions intact, was the toughest part. Two months of homework helped us figure out how to go about it.
Just a day before the shoot was to begin, the first wave of the pandemic started. A lockdown was imposed! 'Ghani' got postponed seven times. I was ready for a direct OTT release, but, surprisingly, the producers were not willing. It's because 'Ghani' has been made for theatres.
Tamil and Malayalam versions will be released two weeks after April 8. It's because of 'Beast' in Tamil.
The love scenes have come out really well. Saiee Manjrekar may be a newcomer but her personality matches the tall stature of Varun Tej. She is expressive and portrayed emotions quite well.
Upendra, Suniel Shetty, Jagapathi Babu, Naveen Chandra and Nadhiya... Their characters are integral to the story. The blending of emotions with commercial aspects is a strong point of 'Ghani'. Audiences are intelligent nowadays. They watch diverse content on OTT. We have to think beyond what they are watching.
I hope Varun Tej garu's career gets a makeover after 'Ghani'. As someone said, his career might get divided into 'Before Ghani' and 'After Ghani' phases. He worked extremely hard to maintain his look. He had to shape up to become a boxer by putting himself through hardcore training. And he had to keep going even when the production works were called off during the second wave of the pandemic.
I am committed to working with producer Sudhakar Cherukuri garu. Besides, I will do a film under the production of Varun Tej garu.