Ram Charan on Sukumar's Rangasthalam: It made me appreciate and celebrate rural lifestyle
Ram Charan thanked Rangasthalam director Sukumar for giving him an opportunity to truly experience life in a village.
The team of upcoming Telugu rural drama Rangasthalam came together on the auspicious occasion of Ugadi festival on 18 May for the film’s pre-release event in Vishakhapatnam. The film, directed by Sukumar, features Ram Charan in his maiden rural avatar and the actor thoroughly enjoyed the experience of slipping into the shoes of a villager with a hearing impairment. Rangasthalam, produced by Mythri Movie Makers, also stars Samantha Akkineni, Aadi Pinisetty, Jagapathi Babu, Prakash Raj and Anasuya Bharadwaj among others in pivotal roles.
Speaking at the event, Ram Charan thanked director Sukumar for giving him an opportunity to truly experience life in a village. Shot predominantly against a rural set up in Godavari district, Charan said the film made him appreciate rural lifestyle. “Except for a couple of times as a kid when I visited the sets of my dad’s films in some villages, I have never spent quality time in a village. Rangasthalam gave me the opportunity to appreciate and celebrate what it means to live in a village. Life is so peaceful in a village and we can’t find pure and clean people anywhere else. I kept thinking how much we miss staying in the cities. I need to thank team Rangasthalam and director Sukumar for this life-changing experience and I should admit I discovered a new Ram Charan in this process.”
Charan heaped praise on his producers for their conviction in this project. “We shot for over a year. The support of my producers has been unparalleled. They managed to pull off such a big project without even a minor hassle.”
Paired with Samantha for the first time in his career, Charan said she helped him deliver a more compelling performance. “She’s a very good co-star and her presence only helped me to be a better performer. I’m really thankful to her.”
Charan went on a veggie diet, shed a few kilos and grew a thick beard for his role. He said he enjoyed his look so much, “I didn’t feel like shaving for many days even after we completed shooting. I loved my bearded look. I believe Rangasthalam will make my parents proud.”
Megastar Chiranjeevi presided over the event as its chief guest. Having watched the rushes of the film, he couldn’t stop gushing about Sukumar. “After I watched the film, I called Sukumar home and hugged him in happiness. So many village-based films come and go but I haven’t seen anything as pure as Rangasthalam in a long time. When he pitched the story, I wasn’t sure if he could capture the essence of village lifestyle, but I was spellbound after I saw the film. From capturing the local politics to portraying clean, pure rural emotions, he’s done a spending job of recreating the village flavour. It was only possible because he was born and raised in a village and nobody else could understand the rural lifestyle the way he could. It’s an arresting film and I’m sure it’ll mesmerise the audience.”
Talking about his son, the proud father said, “As an artist, I feel jealous of Ram Charan for being part of this project. As a father, all I have for him is pride. When Sukumar told me Charan would play a character with hearing impairment, I wasn’t sure how it’ll be received. Sukumar assured me that he’ll make the character as entertaining as possible and I’m glad he delivered it. I believe Rangasthalam will take Charan to his next level in his career.”
Showering praise on the art work of Ramakrishna and his wife, Chiranjeevi said that a great art director will never make us realise the difference between sets and reality. “While important portions of the film were shot in Godavari district, the entire village portion was shot in a huge set built in Jubilee Hills, Hyderabad. When you see the film, you feel like the film was shot in a real village.”
Chiranjeevi said he and his wife Surekha were in tears after they watched the film. “Surekha couldn’t control her emotions. She went and hugged Charan and both of us were so proud of him.”
Speaking on the occasion, director Sukumar said he couldn’t think of anyone else in Ram Charan’s character after he started shooting with him. “After the first shot on the first day, everyone on the sets clapped for him. I couldn’t believe he could get into the character so quickly and effortlessly.”
Sukumar also thanked Chiranjeevi for his words of confidence. “When he called me home and appreciated wholeheartedly after watching the film, I was so moved by his words.”
Rangasthalam, slated for release on 30 March, marks the first time collaboration of Ram Charan and Sukumar. The film has music by Devi Sri Prasad.
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