Justifying the ‘buzz’

Given the buzz (pun intended) surrounding Eega, its director S.S. Rajamouli is surprisingly calm ahead of its release. “I am having mixed feelings as our team has given its best shot. Actually, these insecure moments come just two to three days prior to the release as we don’t have anything to do then. It’s like waiting for the results after an exam,” says Rajamouli who is No. 1 in the industry after successive hits like Yamadonga, Magadheera and Maryadaramanna.

The hype surrounding Eega is expected as the film has a fly as the lead character. Talking about the film’s protagonist dying and coming back as a fly to exact revenge, we cannot help but wonder how much was spent on the movie’s special effects. The film’s budget was expanded from Rs 2 crore to Rs 25 crore and rumour has it that the animation work alone cost Rs 10 crore.

“I thought of making an experimental animated film but once the script shaped up, the budget was expanded, but nowhere near the figures you mention. We have spent Rs 5 crore for visual effects which is moderate. I had the film’s idea for the last 15 years after I heard a story of a fly from my father Vijayendra Prasad but it happened only now,” he explains.

With film-maker RGV wondering how anyone could make a film on a fly which was more than two minutes long, Rajamouli says, “RGV is a good friend but you should watch the film to justify its length. It was a challenge because we had to merge live action with the animated character; it’s a first-of-its-kind in Indian cinema.” The director also clarifies that the fly does not have any super powers. “I would rather call it a super-smart creature which carries the spirit on its sleeve — I may be tiny and you may be big, but I will still smash you,” he says.

Rajamouli feels that he got the best possible cast in Samantha, Nani and Sudheep. “We prepared the script and then chose the actors who would fit in, unlike my other films which was the other way round.” We also caught up with actor Nani and the first question we asked the star was what made him accept the “special appearance” in Eega. “As soon as I heard the script, I wanted to be part of this novel effort which will be a trendsetter in more ways than one,” he says.

But won’t a guest appearance hurt his career? “I don’t think so, since more than the footage, it’s the impact of the role that’s important. I don’t like to hang around on screen for two-and-a-half hours doing nothing interesting,” he adds. The 10-minute role will give him limited time to romance Samantha. “We have our share of cute moments, but I’ll be doing a proper romantic film Yeto Vellipoyindi Manasu with Samantha, so no big regrets,” he smiles.

The film is also releasing in Tamil Nadu where it was sold for a whopping Rs 5 crore. Could this different genre help him expand his fan base in Kollywood? “I have made my space in Kollywood but this film is not to enhance my popularity. Rather, it’s about Telugu talent being showcased to Tamil movie buffs,” he informs.