The success of ‘Pushpa: The Rise’ in the Hindi markets has come as a revelation for the film’s director Sukumar, who admits he had cold feet about doing the film for an audience above Vindhya.
After seeing the film’s performance in the Hindi markets, Sukumar is now mentally ready to steer the megaphone for more Hindi films.
Interestingly, it was the ace director SS Rajamouli ‘Baahubali’ fame, which helped Sukumar overcome his hesitation.
“I realized that audiences can watch south-based movies on satellite channels or YouTube, but I didn’t think Hindi audiences would come to theaters to watch the film. Then somehow Rajamouli Garu came to know and called me. Yours. Have a good package. I know your story. Definitely it will work. Pitch the film, we’ll see what happens. He said that. Then I said okay,” Sukumar recalls.
The shooting of the film started in March 2020 but had to be stopped due to the lockdown due to Kovid. Shooting resumed in December, but with almost the entire crew being affected by Covid, production came to a halt again and continued in rapids and bursts.
Sukumar feels that the complete package of ‘Pushpa: The Rise’ has given it the traction to face other big-ticket releases like ’83’.
“I want to give complete entertainment. All emotions – fun, love, fighting, everything. We call it a commercial film because we have to attract all the audience with it. When we write a business story, the director must feel like a supernatural being. Because if you watch Hollywood movies, love story is love story, thriller is thriller, horror is horror. They do not mix the two styles. Here 5-6 modes are being mixed and giving an element, it should look like one. So it’s a big exercise when writing a story. So I think it attracted the audience,” he explains.
For Sukumar, the idea of a two-part film never worked out initially. It was during the editing phase that he decided to go for the second part.
“When we were editing this film, ‘Baahubali 2’ and ‘KGF’ were going on. We started our editing in the middle of these films. There was a pandemic when I started editing. I thought it was too long and we couldn’t have a story for such a long period. By then filmmakers too had gained confidence after watching ‘Baahubali 2’ and ‘KGF’. ‘Pushpa’ was a thought in two installments.”
The film brings another surprise, with cinematography executed by Miroslav Kuba Brozek of Poland. With his regular cinematographer Ratnavelu busy with other projects, Sukumar opened his eyes, partly because other cinematographers were also busy, and partly because he set out to look at the typical rural and pastoral cinematic canvas. wanted, for which he was spreading. Pushpa: The Rise’. But with the two of them not being fluent in English, there was sign language between them on the sets.
“He’s from Poland. He doesn’t even know English. I don’t speak English. We communicate through sign language. He doesn’t speak English properly, I don’t. Somehow we adjusted and he’s a wonderful cinematographer. He Doesn’t speak Telugu, when the scene is behind, he doesn’t even know the length of the scene. But his grip is like that. Natural.”
The shooting of ‘Pushpa: The Rule’ is set to begin in March this year, signed by Sukumar.
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