Director Anil Ravipudi’s upcoming film Sarileru Neekevvaru features superstar Mahesh Babu. Incidentally, the director is celebrating his birthday on Saturday at Pollachi with the unit members. “The best birthday gift for me is the film’s teaser, which I am sure everyone will like,” he shares.
Celebrations apart, usually when a star plays the protagonist, many factors such as expectations, fans and business calculations add to the pressures around the box-office release. We ask Anil how he managed to take in all of them. “I never felt any pressure because Mahesh made me feel so comfortable, I was left to concentrate on my work,” he says.
Anil had delivered a blockbuster, F2, earlier this year and he is confident that the story would repeat for next 2020 Sankranti too.
But Anil is one of those filmmakers who consider every work of his as his first. “After Mahesh Babu accepted my film, this one felt like a debut film for me, and it wiped out from my mind my earlier films. I work hard and put all my efforts to impress audiences who show up to my film’s first show,” he says.
The F2 director then talks about taking criticism positively. “I always respect criticism and consider every film a learning experience,” he says, adding that if he was to analyse why a film became a super success, he wouldn’t be able to move ahead. “In the initial stage of my career, I did that, trying to figure out why a film was a hit. But later I realised that money generated is only because the audiences like it,” adds the director.
Sarileru Neekevvaru also has the popular actress from the ’80s–’90s, Vijayshanthi. Anil tells us that her role in the film is very dignified. “I met her couple of years back. When I narrated the story to her, she accepted the role. She is a huge added-advantage to the film,” he says.
Talking about the train episode, which has garnered a lot of hype around it, Anil says, “The scene is about an Army soldier, Ajay Krishna, travelling to Kurnool by train and what happens in the train; it has turned out superbly.”