Anil Ravipudi has joined the league of big directors, with four films that were huge hits and the fifth one, Sarileru Neekevvaru, looking to follow suit. “There is no pressure on me this time, because superstar Mahesh Babu is the lead actor and he has taken it from me,” says the director. The genres of his films have been very different, but the common factor is entertainment. Sarileru Neekevvaru mixes patriotism with entertainment. “Last year, when I was travelling by train, I met an Army officer on his way to Vijayawada. He was jovial and we talked throughout the journey. That was my inspiration from the 20-minute train episode,” says Anil, referring to a hilarious incident in the film.
According to the director, Jandhyala has been the biggest inspiration in his career. “I grew up watching Jandhyala films. I have watched video cassettes of all his films. He provided healthy comedy. I took inspiration from him to provide entertainment in all my films,” he said.
Acknowledging the role of Nandamuri Kalyan Ram in his career, Anil remembers that he began his journey directing a small film, Pataas, with Kalyan Ram. “If Kalyan Ram hadn’t offered the film to me, I wouldn’t be here today (directing Mahesh Babu). After that, I used all the opportunities that came my way. But I always remember the beginning of my journey and so I can direct a small film and also a big star,” he explained.
Asked whether there was pressure because of the delay in finalisation of the release dates of his film and a rival production, he said “Yes, there was. Because, if two big films are released on the same day, it’s a big revenue loss for both. Now that the problem is solved, I am relieved,” he added.
To a question regarding the competition between the two films, he said, “It’s a healthy competition.” The films are of different genres, he pointed out.
“Trivikram’s way of making cinema and narration are completely different from mine. His films have a classic touch while mine have mass appeal. And in the end, people will only watch whichever film is good,” says Anil....