Everyone’s talking about Hanu Raghavapudi’s debut film Andhala Rakshasi these days. Its lead actors – Naveen, Rahul and Lavanya tell us more about the film, which Hanu says is a love story between the sun, the earth and the moon.
Every year, there’s at least one Telugu film featuring new comers which catches our attention and makes us wait for the film with bated breath. Going by the buzz which Hanu Raghavapudi’s debut film Andhala Rakshasi has created, it wouldn’t be entirely wrong to say that it might very well be the biggest surprise of the year so far. There have always been films which have entertained the audience, but quite rarely does a Telugu film remind you of that intoxicating smell just before the rains. The film is set in 1991, which Hanu Raghavapudi says is the age of innocence. We met the film’s lead cast — Naveen Chandra, Rahul Ravindran and Lavanya Tripathi to know what makes the film so irresistible.
“There’s a lot of yearning, longing and love because the film is set in a pre-liberalisation era. It was the age of innocence. Post globalisation, people’s outlook has changed a lot. Now, it’s important how much money you earn, which brand of car you own and so on. The whole script would have changed had the story been set in present era,” Rahul says.
For Lavanya, her role in Andhala Rakshasi was a once in a lifetime opportunity. “I was on cloud nine after I listened to the script. I could relate a lot to my character, (Midhuna) and it didn’t take me long to get into her shoes. Besides, it really helped that Hanu incorporated a lot of my body language into my character in the film. All three characters have so much power in them but still they don’t dominate each other,” she says.
Naveen Chandra, who plays Surya in the film, adds, “You have no clue how patient Lavanya was during the costume trials and she runs a lot in the film. I don’t think any other heroine has run so much, sometimes even bare foot, in a film.” All three of them burst into laughter and for a while, they try to remind each other of several incidents on the sets of the film which they’ll cherish for a long time.
“I didn’t speak much to Lavanya initially because I was shy. It was tough initially because my character Surya is supposed to be extremely vibrant in the film,” Naveen says.
So, how did he come over it? “Hanu asked me to travel in local buses and go to places where a lot of women buy clothes to observe their mannerisms. After two weeks, he made me stay in a flat which was completely covered with posters of Midhuna. I wrote three quotes ‘Surya Loves Midhuna’, ‘Surya Lives for Midhuna’, ‘Surya Dies for Midhuna’ and after few days I got so much into my character that the rest of the shooting was a breeze,” Naveen recalls.
“Oye…don’t forget that incident when you freaked me out completely,” Lavanya interrupts. “Oh…wait. What’s this incident? I didn’t know this,”
Rahul shares her excitement. So what happened?
“It was Hanu’s idea to make me overcome my shyness when I am acting with Lavanya. One night, he asked me to go knock on her door and enact a scene with all my emotions. She had no clue that this was all part of a plan and before she could say something, I told all my dialogues. Thank God Hanu was right around the corner to save me, otherwise Lavanya would have complained that I had gone bonkers,” Naveen adds.
The film has been described as a love story between the sun, the moon and the earth.
However, Rahul assures us that there’s no confusion. “The story is not driven by that concept, but the characters are. Surya, like the Sun, needs no permission to go where he wants and there’s a blast of energy when he’s around. My character, Gautham is like the moon. He’s very pleasant, calm and never tells you what he feels. He just reflects what the others
feel. Midhuna is like the girl-next-door. She’s still a child at heart. Like gravity, she attracts people towards her. There’s lot of life in her and anyone can fall in love with her,” Rahul signs off.
About the Author (Author Profile)
Hemanth writes primarily about Telugu cinema, although he finds inspiration from the works of filmmakers like Woody Allen. Apart from writing, he spends most of his time on Twitter discussing about cinema, travel and life in Hyderabad.