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'Ramarao On Duty' is engaging with larger-than-life elements: Sarath Mandava

Tuesday, July 26, 2022 • Telugu Comments
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Ramarao On Duty is engaging with larger-than-life elements: Sarath Mandava

Ahead of the theatrical release of 'Ramarao On Duty' on July 29, debutant director Sarath Mandava is confident that Ravi Teja's characterization, the unique story, and the film's other commercial elements are going to draw the audience to theatres. In this interview, catch him also talk about why he thinks live updates are a menace.

The film co-stars Divyansha Kaushik and Rajisha Vijayan as the heroines. The director says that the latter came on board only after being told that no scene of hers would be edited out. He is also glad to have got to work with actor Venu Thottempudi, whose 'Swayamvaram' and other movies were big hits in the late 1990s.

Ramarao On Duty is engaging with larger-than-life elements: Sarath Mandava

What is Ravi Teja doing in the film? What is his 'duty'?

'Ramarao On Duty' is a larger-than-life investigative thriller. A case of missing persons is usually handled by the police department or the crime branch. But in my film, a civil officer does it. Why he does so has been narrated in an exciting fashion. After Ravi Teja garu accepted the film, the span of the story was improved.

The audience expect entertainment from Ravi Teja's movies. But 'Ramarao On Duty' seems to be high on action.

Entertainment is not about humour or comedy alone. Anything that engages the audience has to be deemed as entertainment. The story itself is quite unique. There is nothing in this movie that you have already seen in Ravi Teja garu's filmography before. Even the title has been chosen because Ramarao is the kind of name that doesn't need an introduction. A poll once said that NT Rama Rao garu is the No. 1 Telugu personality ever. Jr NTR garu, who shares the same name, is a big hero. KTR garu is a great leader with the same name.

Tell us about the action part.

There are various story-driven fights in the movie and they have been done by five different stunt masters. Usually, fight masters don't agree to do such a thing. I requested them and they accepted.

Ramarao On Duty is engaging with larger-than-life elements: Sarath Mandava

Sam CS has composed the music. What made you choose him?

I loved his work in 'Vikram Vedha' and 'Kaithi'. When I told Ravi Teja garu about my intent to rope him in, he was delighted.

Like in many commercial movies, this movie, too, has got an item song. Tell us about that.

'Kuluku Bhajana' is quite popular in Seema. I have borrowed from that practice to conceive the item song 'Naa Peru Seesa'. Chandrabose garu, the lyricist, liked the concept.

What do you think has 'Ramarao On Duty' got to engage the audience?

I believe the story is the biggest strength of the movie. I have not deviated from the central plot. The story is like a temple whose sanctity can't be disrupted once the script is locked. Right and wrong ways of doing something are in our hands. The result, hit or flop, is uncontrollable.

The other day, you asked the audience not to be swayed by reviews that float on social media. Why did you do so?

A movie takes a massive amount of effort to be made. There is no objection if someone critiques a movie after understanding its content fully. Reviews are essential. I like them, so much so, I find them educational. But it's not proper to review a movie while watching it. Clips are posted and shots are reviewed! How can you spread negativity before a product has reached all audiences?

Ramarao On Duty is engaging with larger-than-life elements: Sarath Mandava

In the age of sequels, is 'Ramarao On Duty' going to have a sequel?

I have not thought about any sequel to it as of now. But if someone evinces interest in a sequel, I will surely share my creative ideas with him.

As a director, which genre is your comfort genre?

I don't know what is my comfort genre. Unless I take up a genre, I won't be able to say it. But the Sekhar Kammula genre is something I am weak in. I find it very hard to deal with soft emotions. I prefer to work on action and thriller genres more. You can do an action movie without a single fight. By the way, I have penned a story that typically falls in the Rajkumar Hirani zone.

What are your upcoming projects?

Nothing has been planned as yet. My focus is entirely on 'Ramarao On Duty'.

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