Director Kalyan Kumar is quite positive about his sophomore feature Gulaebaghavali, a black comedy which stars the multi-talented Prabhu Deva in the lead role. Gulaebaghavali is a dark horse amid other two Pongal releases – Suriya’s Thaanaa Serndha Koottam and Vikram’s Sketch – which are driven by star power.
Kalyan’s directorial debut Kadha Solla Porom, which majorly featured kids in lead roles, didn’t fare well at the box office and he is now raring to see how audiences receive his second film.
Gulaebaghavali is the title of famous yesteryear film of late actor and ex-Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, MG Ramachandran directed by TR Ramanna.
Asked about the similarities, Kalyan said, “Yes, our film has some connections with the old MGR title. Both the films have travel as an important element of the story, and both are adventure-based scripts. My film is a con-thriller, and the story is about the incidents that happen while four separate gangs hunt for a treasure trove. We shot for seventy-five days in the borders of Andhra Pradesh border, Karnataka, Pondicherry, Coimbatore, and ECR.”
Kalyan says he had the image of Prabhu Deva in mind while writing the script.
“I decided the lead cast during the scripting phase itself, and I wanted to bring the Prabhu Deva sir that we saw a decade back on screen now. Though I decided to cast him in the lead role, I was quite terrified about the narration. I have not met him before, and I even practiced for the storytelling. When I started to narrate, I could sense his involvement. As I proceeded with the session and the way he enjoyed the narration, I was confident about my script. When he gave his nod and asked to start the shoot as soon as possible, it was more like a godsend,” recalled Kalyan about his first meeting with Prabhu Deva.
The songs of Gulaebaghavali composed by the musician duo Vivek Siva and Mervin Solomon have received rave reviews from music lovers, especially the foot-tapping ‘Guleba’ track which features Prabhu Deva’s vintage moves.
“Prabhu Deva sir is like a phoenix bird. He and his dance never age. Nothing has changed in a decade, the way I admired him on-screen while watching Gentleman songs is the same way today’s youngsters admire him in Chalmaar or Guleba. And his performance will always be subtle yet outstanding, like in Minsaara Kanavu. When we discuss a shot and start rolling, he will do something spontaneously and give his own touch to make it more lively,” said Kalyan.
Kalyan says the team meticulously worked to construct a grand set for the Guleba track to make it a memorable song for Prabhu Deva. “The backdrop of Guleba song is the replica of Babylon’s hanging gardens but with cars. It took more than thirty days to build that set with a budget of Rs. 2 crores. Guleba will be Prabhu Deva sir’s introduction song. Johnny master from Tollywood choreographed the song with inputs from Prabhu Deva sir. The CG also took considerable time and budget,” reveals Kalyan.
Gulaebaghavali has Hansika Motwani paired opposite Prabhu Deva for the first time in her career. Kalyan says her role in the film will not be a typical song-and-dance character. “Gulaebaghavali will be a special film for Hansika. Her character and performance in this movie will stand out compared to the other films where she mostly played the bubbly-heroine types. Unlike her other films, she has screen presence throughout the movie. The script demanded a cute girl. Also, she has done some stunts and pulled off the dark comedy sequences too. Hansika has applied herself well to the role. She plays a pub dancer-cum-thief in the film,” Kalyan said, adding that the romance track in the film would not be cinematic but very realistic.
Veteran actress Revathy, who was last seen in Dhanush’s directorial debut Power Paandi, plays a pivotal role in the film. “I’m a fan of Revathy mam’s performances. Be it Aan Paavam or Arangetra Velai, her girl-next-door looks and ‘un-ornamental’ performance are something that still stands unique. When we were shooting, her performance everytime would surpass my expectations manifold. She comes in multiple roles in the story, and her character is something I don’t want to reveal now,” said Kalyan.
Gulaebaghavali is produced by KJR Studios, who bankrolled Nayanthara’s social drama Aramm last year. The movie is all set to hit the screens worldwide tomorrow, 12 January.
Published Date: Jan 11, 2018 13:13 PM | Updated Date: Jan 11, 2018 13:13 PM