Monday, May 29, 2023
Home » Entertainment » Tollywood » January 17, 2023

Golden Globe is a perfect wedding anniversary gift: RRR choreographer Prem Rakshit

DECCAN CHRONICLE | Sashidhar Adivi

Published on: January 17, 2023 | Updated on: January 17, 2023

Prem Rakshit with wife Rajalakshmi and son Parikshith. (Photo: DC)

By now, there’s hardly any film buff in the world who doesn’t know about the Naatu Naatu song from RRR which won music composer MM Keeravani the Golden Globe for ‘Best Original Song’. One of the main reasons why the song transcended boundaries and bagged global acclaim was choreographer Prem Rakshit’s brilliant dance moves.

Shot on two superstars - Ram Charan and Jr NTR - who are fabulous dancers, Prem’s choreography made the song a visual feast.

Prem was on the sets of his upcoming film Dasara when the news broke that Naatu Naatu had won Golden Globe. "I got the message on my mobile phone. I did not understand it initially. As I kept re-reading the message there was a flurry of congratulatory messages about the award. It was so overwhelming," says Prem, thanking Rajamouli for giving him the opportunity.

Emotional moment

"I got emotional. I didn't even know how to react because I never expected such a huge award for our country. I was speechless. I didn’t know what was happening around; I broke down and I took a small break from work," shares Prem.

Rajamouli had asked Prem to join the RRR team for the Oscars campaign and other award ceremonies, but the choreographer couldn’t make it as he had prior commitments apart from visa issues.

When the song won the Golden Globe, Rama (Rajamouli’s wife) called Prem and expressed happiness. "She immediately gave the phone to Rajamouli Sir. The moment I heard his voice expressing delight I became teary-eyed. Rajamouli Sir is my guru. Both he and Rama garu always prayed for my success," reveals Prem, who is glad that he had lived up to their expectations.

Prem says films are a collaborative effort. "Keeravani Sir’s beautiful renditions coupled with Chandrabose garu’s goosebump-raising lyrics perfectly fit in with Rajamouli Sir’s vision. And of course, Charan anna and Tarak anna made the song a visual feast," he adds.  

According to Prem, the most challenging part of the song was to come up with unique dance moves that would be a blend of two different styles. He had to portray Charan and Tarak (Jr NTR) as equally energetic but in their own styles because one could not look less complex than the other. "Both of them have their own styles so bringing the two styles together and putting them into one unique form was quite a task," he says, adding that it took multiple rehearsals and retakes to bring the song to where it stands now.

Perfect anniversary gift

But what makes the Naatu Naatu song so special? Prem believes that the energetic number was not a forced inclusion, but was seamlessly woven into the narrative.

It was shot and rehearsed for 20 days with 500 background artistes from Ukraine, and Prem says composing dance moves for the peppy number was a memorable experience. He remembers that Rajamouli, Ram Charan and Jr NTR kept asking him what more could be done to better the song despite rehearsing for several hours. "Such is their passion for cinema and that’s what drove me to strive for excellence," he shares.

"It is everything," was Prem’s succinct reply when we asked him what this award meant to him. "It was a perfect wedding anniversary gift. I couldn’t have given my wife a better gift. January 20th is my 15th marriage anniversary, and I dedicate the award to my wife who supported me a lot along with my parents," beams the choreographer.

Covid-19 plays spoilsport

A day after the RRR team landed in Ukraine to shoot for Naatu Naatu song in 2021, Prem got a call that his wife was down with Covid-19. While he already had a monumental task of composing dance moves for two superstars, he also had to cope with worry about his wife’s wellbeing. He was shaken and he was clearly losing focus.

"Keeravani garu’s sons Kaala Bhairava and Simha constantly followed up on my wife’s health and kept updating me. They instilled confidence in her. They connected me to her over the phone, and we were constantly talking. I gave her confidence that she would recover and all would be fine," recalls Prem, adding  that Rajamouli’s wife Rama too was a pillar of support to him.