Director Saagar K Chandra, who impressed the Telugu audiences with Appatlo Okadundevadu, has delivered a blockbuster movie with Bheemla Nayak featuring Pawan Kalyan and Rana Daggubati in lead roles. On this occasion, we met with the director for a brief interview. Here is the transcript.
How did you get a chance to helm Bheemla Nayak?
Producer Naga Vamsi called and told me about the idea of remaking the Malayalam hit movie, Ayyappanum Koshiyum in Telugu. After multiple discussions, Vamsi asked if I would be interested to helm the project and I said okay immediately. From then we both spoke at large on different ways to commercialize it in Telugu.
What were the challenges you faced while filming the remake?
The first challenge Trivikram and I faced when we decided to remake the movie was, how to make Biju Menon’s character larger than life in Telugu and how to get the whole movie around him. The second was to bring an almost 3-hour film long film to less than 2 hours 30 minutes.
The original was a procedural film and the second half had most of the emotional outburst with 30 minutes around a tit for tat kind of action. We can’t retain people’s attention span for half an hour without the change in the arc. To adapt it to the next level, we made many changes.
What were the new things that made way while making the film?
We didn’t have a textbook kind of filmmaking and made it more natural. We didn’t want to dip the emotion in crucial scenes with multiple cuts so the shots were conceived in such a way. We cut the scenes like giving a lift on the bike and Biju Menon’s walking out of the bus as they won’t work out well in the remake.
Whoever takes the side of good is the hero. So, we ensured it comes out well in Bheemla Nayak’s character. This was challenging as the original was more tilted towards Koshi. I couldn’t get a chance to meet Sachy, the writer of Ayyappanum Koshiyum. Thanks to him for giving such a memorable film.
Working experience with Trivikram?
He is a towering personality and a flawless technician. He lives in a war room before conceptualising a scene. I always looked up to him as a mentor. I learned a lot from him and he is open to discussions. Without Trivikram, Bheemla Nayak wouldn’t have become a blockbuster hit.
What’s Pawan Kalyan’s reaction before and after the shoot?
He told me to direct the movie with a lot of responsibility. I did my best and after watching the final output, he is very happy with it. In the meantime, producer China Babu gave his best support.
How is the journey from Ayyare to Bheemla Nayak?
I was a rookie when I made my first movie, Ayyare. I was clueless about the industry and its way of working. After Appatlo Okadundevadu, the industry opened to me and thus I got a great chance to direct Bheemla Nayak, which is now getting massive responses from everyone.
Is it easy to make an original or adapt a successful movie?
This is a tricky question. Here we dealt with the film as a fresh one and made it conducive to the Telugu audience. So it was a different experience.
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