Two of the most-revered stalwarts of this generation — director Mani Ratnam and music composer AR Rahman — were in the city of pearls for the audio release of their upcoming breezy romantic entertainer Cheliya. During the press interaction, Rahman calls Mani Ratnam his brother and says that travelling with him for over 25 years has been remarkable.
“Mani Ratnam is my good friend and he is more than a brother. We have known each other for 25 years and it has been a wonderful journey. Whenever I work for the Telugu version of a Tamil film, people always have a strong liking towards that version. They say the lyrics in Telugu are unique and sound grander than that of the original. That’s why I call Telugu the sweetest of all the languages.”
Rahman also showered praises on Baahubali for attaining global recognition. “Baahubali turned heads at international level and it has showed the potential of the Telugu cinema to the world. I hope Telugu filmmakers will make at least four Baahubalis a year.”
Mani Ratnam’s Telugu speech left everyone in splits. On a lighter note, the director joked, “My Telugu is broken, but my film is good at it. I take this opportunity to thank Sirivennela Seetharama Sastry for providing soulful lyrics and Rahman for captivating tunes,” he adds.
Cheliya is a love story narrated in the backdrop of the Indian Air Force. The film showcases the quest of an unusual young man, who falls head-over-heels for a beautiful woman.
Karthi terms it a challenging film and feels nostalgic about working with Mani Ratnam again. “I assisted Mani Ratnam in the direction department and now I play the lead in his film. It was he who taught me about filmmaking and it feels exciting to learn the nuances of acting from my mentor. After Paruthiveeran, it is the most challenging role in my career. I feel proud to play a fighter pilot in the film and the role helped me understand the efforts and hardships our Indian Air Force puts in their job.”
Also spotted at the event were lyricist Sirivennela Seetharama Sastry, actor Aditi Rao Hydari, actor Suhasini Mani Ratnam and director Vamshi Paidipally, who hosted the event in the absence of Dil Raju.
Produced by Dil Raju, Cheliya is set to release on April 7 in Telugu and Tamil.