Malayalam cinema took maximum advantage of OTT: SS Rajamouli

Rajamouli said that Malayalam cinema took the maximum advantage of OTT. Earlier only a niche audience knew Malayalam cinema but after COVID Telugus even in small towns have become fans of Malayalam actors, he added

SS Rajamouli with the lead actors of his new film, RRR, in Chennai

Popular director S S Rajamouli, who is currently in Chennai for a pre-release event of the Tamil film version of his new magnum opus, RRR, confessed that the “story” of his films always drove him to choose his actors. Though he would love to work with superstars like Rajnikanth, Mohanlal or Amitabh Bachchan, he said that his stories had to suit these actors.

In an interaction with the media in Chennai, Rajamouli said, “The story of a film is the most important and comes first. The script demands which actors fit the bill. I look at the characters and then decide who is the best actor to play the role. The story should lead the film, or else I won’t be a honest filmmaker.” Rajamouli also admitted that his next film will be with Telugu superstar Mahesh Babu. Though, he has made RRR in two languages- Tamil and Telugu, he admitted wryly that his thinking is in Telugu and he could not change that.

India’s most sought-after director, whose ‘Bahubaali’ broke box-office records, is all fired up about the release of his new film, which he believes will strike the same “emotional” chord that his earlier blockbuster had done.

Set in the pre-indepence period during the 1920s, RRR (Raththam Ranam Rowthiram) tells the fictional story of Telugu freedom fighters Alluri Sitarama Raju and Komaram Bheem. “The moment I completed writing the story, I decided to cast Ramcharan and NTR for their respective roles,” explained Rajamouli, who felt that both actors could pull of the “brotherhood” bond required in the film. Though both the freedom fighters never met in real life, Rajamouli was fascinated by the fact that they had lived in the same period and left home in their 20s.


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“It was so surprising to learn that two people had led the same kind of life. Those historic personalities did not meet in real life. How would it be had they met each other. That’s the basic idea of RRR,” said Rajamouli, who had spent one and half years working on the post-production of this film.

“It was challenging for me to give equal screen space to Ramcharan, NTR and Alia Bhatt. But my story has done it,” he added.

Rajamouli also acknowledged his debt to Chennai which taught him cinema. “No matter how big we are, it will always be scary to go back to the school where we studied. Chennai is like that for me. Chennai taught me cinema,” he said. On the popularity of OTT, the director said that OTT had already become popular before COVID. But COVID gave it a push and it was Malayalam cinema that took the maximum advantage of OTT. “Earlier only a niche audience knew Malayalam cinema but after COVID Telugus even in small towns became fans of Malayalam actors,” he pointed out.

Meanwhile, NTR Junior said that any actor can act in any language pointing out that Vijay Master was a huge hit in Telugu. “One day a great Indian movie will be made in India, in which we can all act,” he said. While actor Ram Charan praised Rajamouli sketching each and every character in a clear manner knowing well how it should appear on screen. “He has recreated historic heroes in this film,” said the actor, who was born in Chennai.

Alia Bhat too echoed the idea of acting in pan-India films. “I don’t want to restrict myself only to Bollywood movies,” she said.