How many times have we heard directors say, "I'm a big fan of Mahesh Babu, Ram Charan, NTR Jr etc" or "ee cinema collectionla varsham kuripisthundi," (loosely translates into; the film will cause collections to rain at the box office), and "herolo oka kotha konam kanipisthundi," (the film will showcase an unseen side of the hero)...yadda yadda yadda! Err, almost all the time, isn't it?
And it isn't just the filmmakers who are prone to such repetitions, so to speak. Our heroes and heroines too have their set of favourite stock phrases. "This role is something very different from everything I've done earlier," is a big favourite among our stars. "I thank the director for writing such a good character," is another oft said line. Whether it's NTR Jr, Allu Arjun, Balakrishna or Prabhas — everyone repeats combination and permutations of the above mentioned lines. The ladies are almost always talking about how the role was "close to my real-life character" or "this is a very special film," and "character has a lot of scope for performance,"... and the likes.
EVERYTHING IS TAILOR-MADE
In Tollywood, there's little doubt that most film scripts are 'tailor-made' to suit a hero's image, instead of the other way round. And there are several instances where filmmakers have quoted 'body language' and 'image' as the defining factors of a hero's characterisation in the film. "We moulded the storyline to suit the actor's body language in mind and hence, it's a tailor-made role for him," Boyapati Sreenu said about Balakrishna's charactersation in Legend.
Director Gopichand Mallineni said, "I designed the character keeping Ram's body language, and he'll be playing an energetic character," about Ram's next film Pandaga Chesko. Director KS Ravindranath ala Bobby had similar things to say about his upcoming Ravi Teja starrer, and ditto with Srinu Vaitla, about Mahesh's next action entertainer. If all movies are 'tailor-made' for the heroes, keeping in mind their 'image', what's so 'interesting' and 'different' about the role in the first place?
PRIDE AND BONHOMIE
The actors are invariably 'proud' about the scripts that mana directors approach them with. Sample these. "I'm really proud to be part of 1 Nenokkadine. This kind of film hasn't been done before in Telugu," Mahesh Babu was quoted as saying. Ram Charan too walked the same line recently, saying, "When Vamsi Paidipally first narrated the script, I was impressed with the concept, since I was listening to it for the first time." Talking about Mirchi, Prabhas said, "Koratala Siva first narrated to me the climax and interval episode and I loved it.The script has all the commercial elements."
And the directors too are not far behind.Many a time, the actors apparently hugged the filmmakers after listening to the scripts. "When I first narrated the plot line to the hero for five minutes, he hugged me and said we are doing it," said Meher Ramesh about NTR Jr in the movie Shakthi. And the rest is history. So much love and happiness around... But does it all translate into good movies?
ALL THAT TRAVEL
Travel forms an integral part of the whole 'filmmaking and promotional process'. Seriously. "Nenu hero gari tho katha kosam two years travel chesam (The hero and I travelled together for the past two years for this script)".Every movie function, be it an audio or trailer launch, success meet or just about any promotional event, has begun to sound the same, with Tollywood folks mouthing tried-and-tested, complimentary lines. Whether they mean it or not is anybody's guess. Hyderabad Times gives you the low down on what they say and what they really mean. So, you hear about 'travel' all the time and no press conference is complete without a reference to how much the writer-director-producer trio have 'travelled'. To put it simply, it's the duration which they would have spent working on the film. But 'travelling' together does not necessarily mean you have the perfect script.
The next time you hear a director or a producer specify the word 'full meals' or 'Vindhu Bhojanam' in their speeches, don't mistake it for food. In the film industry, almost every action romantic family entertainer worth its salt is expected to have all the navarasas and when all of them come together, it becomes a 'full meals'. In other words, this means the film has something for everyone: mass and class, youth and family and so on.However, as a side note, be wary of films which are termed as 'fans ki full meals laantidhi' (this film will be 'full meals' for fans), because more often than not, the film ends up being a khichdi of epic proportions.
SO DOWN-TO-EARTH When talking about our heroes, mana leading ladies pull out all stops to throw in adjectives like "humble", "thorough gentleman", "very supportive co-star" and so on. "He is a great actor and a fantastic human being, very downto- earth. Mahesh made it very easy for me," Kriti Sanon said about working with Mahesh Babu. "Although he's a big star, he was down-to-earth, very supportive and made me feel extremely comfortable on the sets," said Sonal Chauhan about working with Balayya in Legend. "I don't understand Telugu but my director Mallikarjun and Kalyanram have been helping me with my dialogues. He is very down-to-earth and fortunately, I'm not taking too many takes to get my lines right," said Vanya Mishra about working with Kalyanram in Sher.
Ok, your co-star being humble and down-toearth will not affect the fate of your film at the BO. And the last time we checked, isn't being humble a virtue all human beings should follow?