Bharat Ane Nenu already has blockbuster vibes: Mahesh Babu

Wednesday, April 18, 2018 - 18:45

Ahead of the release of 'Bharat Ane Nenu' on April 20, Mahesh Babu in this interview talks about the film, whether he is okay to experimenting more in future, his disinterest in politics, imitating his father, and more.  

Expectations from 'BAN' are very high.  To add to it, you people have been describing it in glorious terms.  Tell us about how you saw it in the beginning and how you are seeing it 1.5 years since work on the project began?

This is one of my best films ever.  The blockbuster vibes are there in the air already.  I was scared when Koratala Siva garu told me it's the story of a Chief Minister.  I am a complete stranger to politics.  That's why it was scary.  I must say that doing the film has been a learning experience.  It doesn't mean I am going to be in politics.  (Smiles).  

I could overcome my initial nervousness because of the director's clear vision and character design.  There are so many good scenes in the movie that 'BAN' could have been made in two parts.  

Since you mentioned the word politics, what's your take after doing a film like 'BAN'?

Politics is a huge responsibility.  By working with Koratala Siva garu, I have become more aware of it over the last 1.5 years.   A Chief Minister is not about having a large convoy, heavy security, etc.  Politics is about responsibility.  That's what I have learned.  

Coming to 'BAN', expectations from its dialogues are different.  Can we expect political satires?

As an actor, it was difficult for me because political dialogues are not the same as everyday language that we use.  We can't talk casually in a political film.  So, this was a first for me.  As for satires, there are none in the movie.  'BAN' is an honest, straightforward entertainer.  

It's rumoured that you listened to the speeches of NTR, Chandrababu Naidu and YSR in preparing for the role.  Is it true?

I watched only one person's speeches.  It's Jayadev Galla garu's addresses in the Parliament.  Actually, the idea was to keep everything fresh.  

After initial nervousness, at what stages did you feel the film will become a big hit?

Right from the beinning, I have been very confident about this product.  I went through several phases of high upon, for example, listening to the 'Song of Bharat'.  It's one of the best songs in my career, much like 'Vacchadayyo Saami'.  Shooting in the true-to-life Assembly set is another moment when I experienced a hit.  Whether or not they had something to shoot for that day, everybody would be present on the sets. 

You also have duets like 'O Vasumathi'.  You have also done fights in the movie.  How was that in a political entertianer?

That's the challenge.  How to make a political film as an entertainer.  The vision lied in making a CM fight, making him dance!  'BAN' is a commercial entertainer which has its own takeaways for people as citizens.  

Takeaways for people as citizens?  That's interesting.  Could you please elaborate?

Our film drives home the message that we have to be responsible.  Of course, there are many more things as well.  My feeling si that the audience will start getting more and more interested in politics after watching 'BAN'.  

Since Koratala Siva is said to be sympathetic towards Communists, does 'BAN' profess the Communist ideology, either subtly or otherwise?

Right from the beginning, we have seen saying only one thing about BAN's ideology.  It relates to keeping your promise.  (Apart from this, there is no other ideology in the film).  

Having traveled with a well-meaning film like 'BAN', what's your take on our political class?  Are they serious about solving our society's problems?

Politics is not a joke.  Ours is a vast country.  The politic al leadership has been doing things to set things right.  (Mahesh suggests that there indeed are many problems, though).

Just under the influence of 'BAN', are you going to campaign for any party in 2019?  Who would you choose as your most favourite CM?  

In all likelihood, I will be holidaying with my family next Summer.  (Smiles).  As for favourite CM, why do you want me to drag into a controversy?

Are your kids imitating Bharat at home?

Political dialogues are not easy to be repeated by children.  They are listening to the songs, though.  I spent time with my family for one week recently abroad.  It was my way of coming out of the 'BAN' connection!  

'BAN' is releasing, incidentally, on your mother Indira Devi's birthday.  Are you sentimental about it?

It's a blessing.  I hadn't realized it until my sister told me so.  

Coming to 'Oath of Bharat', your voice is very much like Superstar Krishna's in it.  Was it conscious?

It was not conscious.  Someone wrote that it must be a digitally altered one!  Having watched Nanna garu's movies over the years, I ended up sounding like him in the 'Oath' without any conscious effort.  There are movies that of Nanna garu which I have watched something like 10 times.  So, it all plays at the subconscious level.  

Tell us about your costumes in the movie.  There are many variations in the promo videos. 

Bharat lives in abroad in the first few minutes of the film.  He wears one type of costumes there.  When he is in India, the costumes change.  Depending on the phase of his life, they change.  

Why Kiara Advani?

Koratala garu wanted to cast a new face as the CM's girlfriend.  We liked her in 'MS Dhoni'.  That's why we zeroed in on her.

The other day, NTR was lauding you for doing so many experimental films.  How do you see it?

I would say that I have got no more patience for experimentation.  I won't be doing them any longer.  My fans may beat me if I experiment more. (Smiles).  It was a joint decision of us to invite NTR for the event.  I am glad he came.  

'BAN' is coming at a time when 'Rangasthalam' has become a blockbuster.  What do you talk with Ram Charan when you meet him?

I am glad it became such a big hit.  When I and Ram Charan meet, we talk anything but cinema.