New Delhi: Mr Cool Akkineni Nagarjuna is confident that his soon-to-be-released film 'Rajanna', which is based on real life incidents, will do well at the box-office. Reiterating the famous dictum that the pen is mightier than the sword, revolutionary poet Suddala Hanmanthu used his power over literary works to inspire the people of Telangana to participate in the communist-led peasant struggle against the oppressive rule of feudal lords and the Nizam back in the 1940s.
So, when his son, Suddala Ashok Teja, narrated his story to story-writer Vijayendra Prasad (director of 'Rajanna'), he decided to weave a story inspired by the dynamic poet and make a film. This is the tale behind the inception of the film 'Rajanna'.
Set in the pre-independence era, the film is set in the district of Adilabad with Nagarjuna stepping into the shoes of a revolutionary poet called 'Rajanna'.
"Rajanna is a freedom fighter, who gathers a group of people, to fight for independence. On India being granted independence, the group members disperse and return home," explains Nagarjuna, continuing, "But, when Rajanna returns home to the Adilabad district, he realises that there is no freedom there — the existing landlords and Razakars were cruel, and the punishments were barbaric."
This is when Rajanna decides to do something about it — not by fighting battles, but by influencing people around him, by instilling a sense of confidence and a fighting spirit that will not back down. However this becomes cause for concern for the landlords and Razakars who conspire to eliminate him, and eventually succeed as well.
But Rajanna has an unborn child. So, after killing him, the Zamindars are on a hunt for the mother who escapes and manages to give birth to a baby girl, whose role is being portrayed by Eney. Post this, the movie follows the journey of Rajanna's child who continues her father's legacy. Nagarjuna however, clarifies that this film is not purely based on real events in history.
"My character of Rajanna is influenced by Suddala Hanmanthu. And the film is mainly influenced by real incidents. So it is partially factual but also partly fictional."
He further shares, "When the story was narrated to me, the first thing that struck me was how much of our freedom we take for granted; a freedom that was worked for so hard is being abused by all of us."
While the film is expected to be very intense, especially in its portrayal of the problems of the people in Telangana, the music of the film itself is very touching and melodious and has been a hit already. "The music totally brings out the culture of Telangana," opines the 52-year old actor.
Talking about his experience during the shoot of the film, Nagarjuna, who also produced the film, recollects, "The experience has been one-of-a-kind. My primary focus to make sure that people don't look at Rajanna as Nagarjuna. And I think I have managed to succeed in that regard."
'Rajanna', which was supposed to hit the screens on December 23, has been advanced to December 22. Ask him why and the two-time National film awardee promptly responds, "It was purely my confidence that made me advance the release date. I am positive that the movie will be loved by everyone and that is why I wanted to give it an extra day in the week," he concludes.
'Rajanna', which is touted to be the actor's biggest film in his 25 years of career, will hit theatres on December 22.