Throughout my teenage life, I have had a strong urge to work with or under Trivikram Srinivas. This desire may have majorly sprung due to the innocent jabber of friends around me. My topping the class in English sometimes combined with random successful elocution competitions gave my friends this brilliant idea and they constantly mentioned it to me. Silly cute friends, you know. They also tell you that you can become a cardiologist if you have some sort of fan following among your juniors. “You play with people’s hearts”, with a wink.
Phew! That was quite a drift.
So, I have always looked up to Trivikram for his mastery over the way he can combine subtle comedy with human values. But deep inside my heart I knew this dream can never come to reality solely cause of my lack of grasp on my mother tongue, Telugu. (Oh! I am not very proud of it) I make time to watch every movie of his, even if he has just penned down dialogues for the film. Then came along Srinu Vailta. So I had decided that these are my two most favorite directors in Tollywood. Oftentimes, I have thanked God that I wasn’t entirely restricted to an era where only Dasari Narayana Rao and Raghavendra Rao directed films. These people have delivered blockbusters, no doubt, but I would not be the first one condemning the latter’s obsession with women, fruits, and flowers.
Then came along this mortal director whose work reflects the vision of an arrogant devil and the impeccable grace of the superior Gods. S.S. Rajamouli. In a span of 12 years, with eight super hits, this man has left no stone upturned. Years ago, even when I sat down to watch his first film, I knew I would loathe him as he had been disciplined under the worst possible teacher on earth, Mr. Raghavendra Rao himself.
My friends often ask me, the outright feminist that you are, how can you even sit through a Rajamouli film? He just uses his heroines for songs. My answer is, “Power”. I don’t know what it is exactly about this man, but I hate his guts. I hate it that he makes his antagonists so darn powerful thus having to make his protagonists seem like super-heroes. I hate it that he makes meaningless films that simply have expected story lines. And I hate it that he can make crap and get away with it.
But I love this man for his villains. They are ruthless, arrogant, bloody assholes and have an aura of death around them. Titla, Kaatraj, Bikshu Yadav, and Ramineedu. Since he has such unbelievable super-human antagonists, the hero obviously is THE HERO. I still get jitters when I see Prabhas from Chatrapathi or Ravi Teja from Vikramarkudu. I truly believe, Rajamouli can personify a hero to the highest level, and although totally exaggerated, I cannot help but admire his work. He can also take credit for making me feel the desperate need to watch a film starring a Mega family member. Yes, I am talking about Magadheera.
I see men through his eyes. I mean, what are men if they cannot be frustratingly arrogant and powerful. Some guys would like to blame cute actors like Siddhu and films like Bommarillu and Ala Modalaindi for raising the bar for qualifying as a boyfriend. I blame Rajamouli for my great expectations in men. They have to be gory, brutal and barbaric and make my life an action packed film.
There is a myth that after starring in a Rajamouli film, all heroes have to face a series of flops before they can get back into the game. I would like to think that nobody would care about barrels of donkey milk, if you have a spoon of cow milk, the quality, quantity funda, I mean. I have always been jinxed when it comes to watching Rajamouli’s films. Being a regular theater goer, I have never watched even one of his films in the theater till date. And trust me, all his films are a must-watch- in-theater types. Something or the other always pops up. I remember being broke and still wanting to drive for four hours just so that I could watch Magadheera on big screen. I was torn between hating Ram Charan and wanting to spend a 100 bucks to watch him in a theater. Eventually, the Rajamouli jinx took over.
Just after the Magadheera collection craze had subsided, Rajamouli announced that he would cast Sunil, a not very handsome comedian, as the protagonist in his next film. I had no absolute doubt his choice. This man wouldn’t settle for normal victory, you see. But then came the heights of guts. Eega.
His latest flick is the revenge story of a fly. A story where a lover boy is killed, and born again, as a fly and makes life a living hell for his murderer. Stupid story, and an even more stupid cast. Then, again, stupid me. The jinx struck again and it turns out that currently I have no Telugu-speaking friends in town to accompany me to watch the film. I tried to convince my mallu roommate and she thinks I am ridiculously cranky to go watch a maniac fly. I have decided to break the jinx this time. I AM going to watch the film at the nearest theater tomorrow. Alone.
If the cutthroat director has the balls to challenge the audience to watch a stupid fly, I can bet it ought to be super good!