Sep 22, 2007

In Present Telugu Cinema There Is No Telugu Culture - Shyam Benegal


Shyam Benegal is a director having with principles and named as parallel film director. Director Shyam Benegal is one of the top most directors of India. He was a native of Hyderabad and settled in West Bengal and made many message oriented movies. He won many awards both from people and governments also. He brought the Indian Cinema to the heights and level of international. Hence he has been awarded with a prestigious DADA SAHEB PALKE AWARD by the Indian government. Three decades before he made a film ANUGRAHAM in Telugu which still remains in the memory of cine critics. Telugu literature is very wide and broad. If any one comes with a good story I am ready to make a film and I am waiting for such opportunity said by Shyam Benegal. He is busy in making a Hindi film at Ramoji Film City. In this connection, he had transactions with press.

You have gone far away from Telugu?

I want to come again. If anybody comes forward with good story, definitely I will make a film in Telugu.

Are you not trying to make with your own story in Telugu?

Telugu literature is very wide and great. There are many stories in Telugu. There is no necessary to break our heads for selecting stories. Whatever the stories we have, if we try to modify front to back then we can make many wonders. I do not know reading Telugu and I am waiting for somebody who can translate Telugu and hear me.

What difference you have observed at the time of your film ANUGRAHAM and present changes in Tollywood?

Why not… when I made the films with Vanisri and Amrish Puri Telugu Cinema was not so developed technically. Now they are using modern technology. One more important issue is previously there was strong story based films. Now there are only dances and fast beats, more than that what we can see in present movies. Already Tollywood stopped to make Telugu culture movies.

Do you watch Telugu movies?

I do not remember what movie I saw in the last. However, while changing TV channels, then if it is not interested also it will appear. In this way I came to know about some of Telugu movies.

Malayalam Cinema is getting international identity. But there are no such opportunities for Telugu. Where these failures are affecting?

If I tell in one word, can you show me Telugu culture in Telugu movies? If you remove sound and watch, then can any Telugu people say it is Telugu film? but Malayalam Cinema is not like that. It protects its identity. There is no wrong in developing into the heights of Hollywood. But it is not fair and correct to pour all the water from pale by seeing the clouds.

Parallel cinema means Bengali and Malayalee alone comes to memory. What is the reason?

There are many literates in that states. They do not like one hero, or one heroine, or one item song. Even they are not interested to watch stereo type cinemas also. They watch the reality on the screen. Hence, whatever cinemas we make in that languages we are getting tremendous inspiration from there.

Do you have confidence in the films which are not near to commercial values and mass in becoming successful?

There is no guarantee to say that those who are making films, filling with mass masala are becoming success! However, I never thought to earn enormous money from mass by watching my movies. My aim is to highlight the issues of middle class of cities. I am very happy if my concept understands to them that’s all.

Cinema means it is a entertaining art. However, you will discuss the issues seriously. How far it is fair? How will you define by yourself?

As a director if I am confident and successful in exposing about the issues and create thinking capacity in the minds of the people, then whatever field I have chosen I feel it is correct.

Do you mean to say you are making the films not for money, but for awards?

If my cinema is good then awards will come their by own. In regards of money also automatically comes to me. Hence I want to keep interest in my work. Each and every small mistake I try to rectify and work hard to get the perfect results.

When you got DADA SAHEB PALKE AWARD some people say it is the identity got for parallel cinema. What is your opinion on this?

It is very happy, but I do not express any interest or see the difference between the parallel cinema and commercial cinema in getting any award. This is my style that’s all. I feel happy to say that the government might have respected my hardships and offered the said award.

When anybody watches the physique of present heroines then male will get impotent very soon said by Akkineni Nageshwara Rao recently. What do you say?

It is absolutely true. When there is strength & stuff in story, then there is no necessary to expose the physique of ladies. In the past if there is a scene of heroine becomes wet in covering complete sari also there was lot of comments on that. However, can you see any heroine wears saris? Further, if the story is good and constructive, then there is no necessary of exposing nakedly and half nakedly and embracing and kissing between hero and heroines.

What do you say about the increase of production cost on making cinemas? Is it for good or bad?

Definitely it is for good only. When we are spending enormous budget on making cinemas and in return when we are getting profits, then spending extra crores there is no wrong in that. Nevertheless today’s young directors are creating wonders on the screen. In my view I feel it is not bad.

Can you say actually on which way our Indian cinema is going?

I can say it is going in better way. Day by day cinema is going on developing. The income of Cine Industry is growing at least 25 percentages every year. It is encouraging is it not?

Who is a beautiful lady in your view?

My first place goes to Madhuri Dixit. Then Jayaprada, Hemamalini. At present i.e. in this generation Kareena Kapoor.

What is your life’s aim?

Until the last breath I want to go on direct the films. Now also I am making one film with Amrutha Rao. After completing this I want to make a film on the life history of VEERENDRA CHATOPADHYAYA. Making films basing on the life stories of national leaders get a lot of thrilling and satisfaction to me.