'Vakeel Saab', starring Pawan Kalyan, will release in theatres on April 9. In this interview, producer Dil Raju talks about producing the film, his experience of teaming up with Power Star, his upcoming movies and more.
I am very satisfied with the output. And once the film releases this Friday, I hope the satisfaction will turn into joy. It has been a beautiful journey. We started the project in December 2019. The plan was to release in May 2020. The plan was tight. Despite the one-year delay, we have been no less energetic.
I got an opportunity to observe Pawan garu from close quarters. Our journey has just begun. Surely, there will be future collaborations. I was witness to the craze for 'Toli Prema' during the early stage of my career. Pawan garu has grown film after film. I dreamt of producing a movie starring him when I become a producer. It has finally come true.
I was supposed to do 'ICON' with Venu Sriram and Allu Arjun. It was paused for some reasons. This is when I asked Venu to do the remake. Since he is a fan of Pawan garu, he took up the offer immediately. Trivikram garu took Venu to the hero.
We haven't spoiled the story of 'Pink'. At the same time, the film gives a lot of highs and whistle-worthy moments for the fans of Power Star to enjoy. We have done a balancing act. Since it's an emotional story, spoiling it would result in a misfire.
The songs and fights were designed after a thorough homework. Even those who have watched 'Pink' will get a bang for the buck watching 'VS'. If 'Pink' is 50 and 'Nerkonda Parvaai' is 70, 'VS' is 100.
Every star has got a unique image. Kalyan garu is equal to style. 'Suswagatham' and 'Toli Prema' belonged to one zone of style. His subsequent films saw a change. We have seen him in mass films like 'Gabbar Singh'. This is the first time he has played a lawyer.
Going by the advance bookings and the buzz around 'Vakeel Saab', looks like box-office magic is going to happen. Let's see. I am not over-excited. Even in the US, where the virus is rampant, the bookings are mind-blowing. Films like 'Jathi Ratnalu' have taken huge openings. The audience knows what to watch. With advance bookings being a regular thing, one can understand whether a movie will become a hit or not.
I have worked with almost all Tollywood heroes in my career. I enjoyed distributing 'Toli Prema' back in the late 1990s. It will always be close to my heart. That's why the dream of working with Kalyan garu was etched very strongly in my mind.
It feels special to have made a soulful film with my dream hero. Prabhas, Mahesh Babu and Jr NTR have done unique films under my banner. They are all soulful movies. I don't work with a hero with any or every subject just because I have their dates.
The virus shouldn't stop our lives. All that we can do is mask up and use the sanitizer. 'Vakeel Saab' is the first star-hero movie in 15 months. Initially, some sections might not be interested in watching the movie because of the pandemic. But if the talk is good, their plan will change!
I don't think the 50% occupancy limit will be imposed in the Telugu States anytime soon. The situation is under control. Theatres have been instructed not to allow audiences if they are not wearing the face mask.
'Ramana' was remade as 'Tagore' in Telugu. Vijaykanth garu's Tamil original was just good. The Telugu remake was superb because of Chiranjeevi garu. So, I don't mind remaking a movie if magic can be created. No audience would back off just because they know the story.
I have only one thing to say. Watch the movie on April 9 and you will know. My judgment has gone right most of the time. You won't see 'VS' as a known story. There is so much depth in the story, the hero's attitude, the scenes, the emotions.
Thaman took a lot of responsibility to give his best. After a classic like 'Ala Vaikunthapurramuloo', he had set high standards for himself.