SS Rajamouli’s filmmaking style is composed on an epic scale. There is a super element in his stories. Take RRR for example, the film is about revolutionaries, but it is of an epic scale. He sometimes oscillates between real historical events and epic mythology. He works like this. He is a wonderful storyteller. And I think such a film is remembered. For example, take a film like Sholay. You remember the scenes of Sholay, you remember the impact of the scenes. And this is Rajamouli. Watch the opening scene of RRR. You know that the rebellion took place after the arrest of Lala Lajpat Rai. Read this too – Avatar Wins Oscar: Avatar: The Way of Water dominated the Oscars, received the award for the Visual Effects category This could have been a big rebellion. So a man walks out, and then you see the situation. And those who threw stones, the police drag them and beat them. There is a huge crowd of people. And he drags that one man by holding him. And seeing that sequence, you start gasping. This is his skill, he takes the audience there first. His stories consist of nine rasas. They choose the wonderful juice; Even on the scene of tragedy, he surprises the audience. It is amazing that I see Veer Ras. Everything has an effect. So if you say whose film needs to be released in cinema halls, then you have only Rajamouli to say ‘100% yes’. His films have to be seen in the cinema hall. There is choreography in Rajamouli’s turmoil I think there is choreography in his turmoil too. There was a sequence of the truck that I am driving, and we had to take it in the British Raj. When I went for the shoot, there were a large number of people on the set. From lead actors to junior artistes, from action guys to production design guys, from juniors to all kinds of people. Their number was around 2000. It was a night sequence. It took about 20 nights to do this scene. He is a masterful organizer of revolution and artfully choreographs a story to tell. Read this too- This Drishyam actress had a crush on Hrithik Roshan, was heartbroken after hearing the news of their marriage. When she narrated the story to me, it was the story of two revolutionaries. They were both in obscurity, there was no record of them. As the producer of Komaram Bheem and Alluri he took the character of Ram Charan from history and then he made a story which is an epic. So I think he has got that skill. He is the source of his life and stories. His greatest strength, I think, is to use all-around talent on a set. Once I had a wonderful conversation with him. We were going to shoot a small sequence and we went to his office and there was a beautiful backyard because he doesn’t sit in one place. He keeps roaming here and there. Here he said, "As a filmmaker, I try to bring all kinds of talent with me. Because I cannot have all the talents at once."
Rajamouli has a wealth of information I think he has a wealth of information. He thinks a lot before coming on the set. I don’t think he takes anything lightly. He works very hard. Drama is inherent in his story telling style. He is a wonderful storyteller. They don’t have to make excuses to tell the story. He is very decisive and organized. And I tell you, even in the midst of great turmoil, they have the things they want. He works really hard. He just wants to see what he wants and finally when it becomes an act, there is perfection in it. He is never comfortable with a shot. He wants another, he wants what is in his mind. He also wants a certain pace or body language. He was concerned about my body language and it made me very happy. To be honest, by the time RRR was made, we all knew about Rajamouli, I think all the actors in this country wanted to be a part of it. After the international success of RRR, I am sure international actors would also like to be a part of his films. I got a call for ‘RRR’ and they said "Rajamouli sir wants to meet you." And they sent me a ticket and I went there and then I got my hair cut and my moustache. Everyone was a little shocked to see me. Ram Charan was present there and he is very lovely. They said, "I was told that you are coming, so I wanted to meet you because we have seen your films." I am sure all of them must have seen ‘Satya’. Rajamouli sir was very cool about it, and all he said was, "I had called you", said with a smile "I want you to be a part of the film." And it made everything very easy. I don’t know if I should tell or not, but everyone should know that he told me this story that he is actually going to make another short film. And his wife said to him, "You are not ready for these movies. You have to do something big." And that’s how he wrote this film and he made this film. I remember from the airport I bought a pen for him and presented it to him, he had a smile on his face. I said, "You tell stories, so write more stories. Maybe one page, maybe just the title." It just took us 45 minutes or an hour to play the part that he wanted. He wanted me to play the role of an elderly man from the Gond tribe. The way he tells the story of the scene, there are many other scenes in it. Some scenes are cut or edited. But while narrating the story to me, he had as much interest as Jr. NTR had. When he is working, his relationship with his actors is amazing. He is serious when he works, but later jokes around. Although, till then I did not interact much with him, but when we were doing the truck sequence, we did interact with him a lot. and I said, "What could the British soldiers be thinking? What can come out of this? You know, wild animals, tigers and so on. How is this possible? I remember we were on set and he said, "I want to create an impact. The bigger the impact, the greater the success of the film. And so what people don’t expect, that’s where it starts, and that’s their imagination."
It is not a matter of logic. His whole work is about effect. We shot it but when we saw it in the cinema hall, I was taken aback for a second. We shot in Bulgaria and we didn’t know why he was taking us to Bulgaria. And then we realized that because of the lockdown, we want to shoot the jungle sequence there. He wanted tall trees and he wanted us to be on trees. It was interesting because it was very cold there. And we had to be topless. It is difficult to climb trees in the jungle and then perform stunts. I remember we had to live on trees for some time. We realized what it is to make a film. A person is putting his ambitions in the film and then there is an attempt to make that ambition possible. I saw this quality in him. He wants to create something that challenges himself more than the actors. There are many rules of how a film should be made. I think he breaks all the rules and tells the story he wants to. Such a story that first affects them. I think Rajamouli sir has opened the doors for everyone. Lagaan was a huge success as a foreign film nomination. But in today’s time you need some inspiration to take a big leap. It also helps to raise the name of our country and RRR has done just that. And so it is a historic achievement and the horizon has now widened. I think Rajamouli sir will now make a film for Hollywood. Some big studio will sponsor it. We saw James Cameron talking to her. Telling them that if you are thinking of making a film here, then we can talk. This is the story behind the song Natu-Natu The song Natu-Natu is not just music, there is a story behind it. It is like ‘Lagaan’, in this we beat the British and their game. We beat them, we beat the British at their own game. This is shown in this song. We should put songs in our films because our songs are complete in themselves. We have such a huge music industry and so much money is invested in producing and shooting a song. I think it’s a great insight and what do you call it, experience, which has been an award winning one. This award must have given us confidence. It is the belief that we are Indians. Once when we were having a conversation about films, filmmakers, he said, "It doesn’t matter what kind of story you’re telling, but what matters is impact."
— The author is a well known actor and has worked with SS Rajamouli in RRR
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