The unlikely scene stealers

Rajkumar Kasireddy who played Chowdhary in the Telugu film Raja Vaaru Rani Gaaru is perplexed. People tell him that they loved the film and have seen it umpteen times, but the film is no longer playing in the theatres. The film made with a shoestring budget, and a bunch of newcomers in the cast and crew was a heartwarming film.

Director Ravi Kiran, actors Yazurved and Raj Kumar are all from Bhadravaram near Rajahmundry in East Godavari. All the characters we saw in the story were a reflection of real people they had been watching and interacting with over the years from their village.

Ask Rajkumar if girls and boys are still so shy in their village, and he is quick to respond, “Of course, there is a dialogue in the film which states that it is easy to express one’s love but if the girl rejects, one should have the courage to brace it. The story runs on that line. The boys from our village still hesitate to express their feelings. Girls still hold books, keep their heads down and walk on the streets to reach college. Guys look for situations where they can catch their attention but still struggle to talk.”

After the film’s release, the villagers back home met Rajkumar and showered him with compliments. They wondered how such a shy and a reserved person like Rajkumar could talk so much and become a highlight of the film. He hasn’t jumped at offers though; he is listening to scripts and will take a call soon.

Rajkumar hails from an agriculturist’s family and loved music; his goal is to be a music director. A B.Sc graduate, he also has a diploma in music from Andhra University, Vizag. Ask him why he didn’t try being a music director for this film and he says candidly, “Mana deggara antha stuff undali kadhandi (I should have so much talent, isn’t it?)” and adds that newcomer Jay Krish did a fantastic job.

Yazurved too didn’t come from a film background. An MBA graduate, he has always been inclined towards acting, perhaps after seeing his uncle who aspired to be one. On one of his visits to Hyderabad, when he was still in high school , Yazurved was asked to do an audition.

He remembers, “They thought I was too young and asked me to come later. I was disappointed and returned home. Director Ravi Kiran who’s my friend, would narrate stories to me when he was in school and would say that a particular story would suit Chiranjeevi, another one for some other hero... I was sure he would be a director some day and give us roles. Meanwhile I returned to Hyderabad when Ravi was directing short films.”

Yazurved stresses that he and Rajkumar did not bag they bagged Raja Vaaru... because they are friends of the director. They are strong characters and were given those parts only because it suited them. He says, “Ravi told us the characters clearly and said if the audience connects to our roles in the first 20 minutes, they will love our roles. True to his words the first half was hilarious, we found the audience enjoying the story. I played Naidu and Rajkumar was Chowdary. I auditioned for director Teja’s Nene Raju Nenu Mantri; it was a small character and got chopped in the editing. Maybe I was destined to debut with this film. We were involved with the pre-production work like location recceand workshops.”

The director and this duo shared a room from the time the script was being developed. Ravi Kiran would explain the character to them and ask them to visualise themselves in those situations. Rajkumar recalls, “He said I shouldn’t imitate anyone and should be mouldable like clay. Ravi was confident of making us act though both of us didn’t have prior acting experience.”

Rajkumar lives with his mother and sister. His mother was confident that he would make it some day and her faith turned true. “She worked hard and sent me money. Now I hope to have a stable career.”

Yazurved signs off, “There wasn’t one person who said the film isn’t good. We didn’t overdo the Godavari dialect. My family is happy with the film and encourages me to continue my journey here. My friends and folks in the village are also proud of me.”

Let's block ads! (Why?)