Geetha Govindam director on casting Vijay Deverakonda: Like Arjun Reddy, my film is also a love story

Hemanth Kumar

Aug,17 2018 08:32:16 IST

Less than a week prior to the release of Vijay Deverakonda and Rashmika Mandanna-starrer Geetha Govindam, the team was shocked to know that few scenes from the film were leaked on the internet. And not too long ago, there was considerable backlash when Vijay released a song, ‘What The F’, on the internet and the actor was criticised for his vocals. Amidst all this, the film’s director Parasuram had other things on his mind.

Vijay Deverakonda and Rashmika Mandanna in a still from Geetha Govindam/Image from YouTube.

Vijay Deverakonda and Rashmika Mandanna in a still from Geetha Govindam/Image from YouTube.

Ask him if he is worried about the impact that Vijay’s macho-image, especially post Arjun Reddy, would have an impact on Geetha Govindam, his answer is a resounding ‘no’. The controversy over the lyrics of ‘What the F’, which was later changed to ‘What the Life’, did not bother him either. “I know I have made a clean film. There is nothing to be worried about,” Parasuram said. Having already spent close to two years on this film, perhaps he too knew that it was a film that could change his career. His gut feeling about casting Vijay and Rashmika, and the script itself, could not be truer. The film has already hit the bull’s eye at the box office and it is poised to be a huge hit as per early estimates.

“Vijay came onboard this project much before Arjun Reddy had released. It was Pellichoopulu which convinced me and the producers to cast him in Geetha Govindam. I didn’t think too much about how his onscreen image post Arjun Reddy will have an impact on our film. If you really think about it, even Arjun Reddy was an intense love story which was narrated in a realistic manner. And Geetha Govindam too is a love story, although Vijay is shown with a different attitude,” Parasuram says as a matter of fact.

The characters are inspired from the story of Lord Krishna and Radha. It is their journey that shapes the story of Geetha Govindam. “Vijay Govind, an assistant professor, has a certain ideology about what kind of girl he wants to get married to, and so does Geetha, who’s an IT employee. However, I didn’t want the film to be a clash between their ideologies. When I initially envisioned the story, the whole idea was to make a fun film, and I spent almost a year on the script. Allu Arvind and Bunny Vas had plenty of inputs, and in hindsight, that helped me a lot while making the film,” Parasuram reveals.

The team spent several months to cast the lead actress. At one point of time, Lavanya Tripathi was almost on board, before Rashmika was finalised for the lead role. Parasuram quips, “I must have narrated the story to almost all the top actresses in South India (laughs), but nothing worked out. You can’t blame anyone for their decisions. I’m sure they would have wanted to work with a bigger actor or a top director. Geetha is a strong character in the film and when I finally met Rashmika, I saw how interested she was to do the role while I was narrating the script. She had done a fabulous job in the film.”

More than a month before Geetha Govindam released, one of the songs from the movie, 'Inkem Inkem Kavale' sung by Sid Sriram, went viral on the internet and it spawned several cover versions from fans in recent times. Parasuram credits music composer Gopi Sunder for delivering a chartbusting soundtrack, saying, “Gopi is extremely patient and creative with his work, and that’s the reason why the output was so good. The content of the film has to be really good to inspire everyone, including music directors, singers and lyricists, to deliver something outstanding. All of us got lucky with this film.”

It’s been a decade since Parasuram, popularly known in Telugu film industry as Bujji, made his debut as a director. However, he has not scored a massive hit yet, until Geetha Govindam. “I’ve a different take on my career. When I came to Hyderabad, I had Rs 700 in my pocket. I have already earned that and whatever I have right now is a bonus for me. Besides, I’m in a much better state when I compare how my life was when I came to the industry in the early 2000s. I don’t really have big dreams and I’m quite content with what I’m doing,” he says.

The director is expected to make yet another film for Geetha Arts, the production house behind Geetha Govindam and Srirasthu Shubamasthu, apart from another film for Mythri Moviemakers. He confesses that he has been bouncing off ideas to Allu Arjun for a while now, although it is anybody’s guess if the two will work together in near future. “He really loved the script of Geetha Govindam. I’ve shared a few ideas with him. If he really likes something, I would definitely work on it. However, at the moment, nothing is confirmed. The thing is, with most big stars, you never know what is going to click. More than your idea, they should be in that frame of mind to do a film or dabble with a genre, similar to what you narrate them. You can’t force few things to happen in the industry. Every big success is an accident. You can’t replicate it again. I strongly believe in this idea,” Parasuram signs off.

Updated Date: Aug 17, 2018 08:32 AM