Director Venu Sriram looks as composed as any other senior auteur ahead of the release of Power Star Pawan Kalyan’s Vakeel Saab. The knack of imagining the Power Star in the role that won laurels didn’t happen overnight. As expectations run high with unassumingly high stakes, Vakeel Saab will be a test not just for Pawan Kalyan but also for Venu Sriram.
With the experience of two movies Oh My Friend and Nani-starrer Middle Class Abbayi (MCA), which was a runaway hit at the box office, Venu Sriram says he derived the confidence from his movie MCA which has the ingredients of a perfect commercial family entertainer.
How difficult was it to direct Pawan Kalyan for the project which demands a lot of authenticity?
The story narration was done to him in four sittings. He knows when to make me pause. Without going into exaggeration, it should please audiences. At the same time, it should also match the fandom and popularity that he amassed as a Power Star. So, the changes were taking place constantly in the script. Kalyan garu has a different stream of audiences so the writing table had to work constantly every single day to get the desired output. Adhering to the core storyline of women empowerment and fair justice, the screen space has been equally divided rather solely highlighting the Power Star.
Was there any pressure in terms of matching expectations of the Power Star?
Like every film has its own challenges, Vakeel Saab, too, had a lot. But in the end, I was satisfied with directing one of the biggest stars in south India. Everytime he comes on to the film sets, my face lits up with a smile because of the confidence that he gives. Because he is aware of every bit of the project.
Do you think Vakeel Saab is a perfect comeback for Pawan Kalyan?
Vakeel Saab is probably the perfect comeback after his stint in politics. What more massy could one expect than advocating women empowerment. Massy doesn’t have to mean he bashes up thugs. For his stature, I think it doesn’t suit him to go on shaking leg for romantic tunes. He surpassed that phase. There couldn’t have been a more responsible film than Vakeel Saab. This film would widen his reach further.
How did you zero in on the title Vakeel Saab?
‘Maguva’ was the first title that came to us. A song has been penned on the word describing the importance of their role in the society. Then came Lawyer Saab. Rather than showing entirely the story of Pink, I thought I should bring in a few changes, make it a montage look with dialogues, make it a little musical.