Success, especially in movies, never comes easy. A big hit can be a fluke but when someone delivers hit after hit, it is time for us to sit up and take stock. Clocking three blockbusters in row, actor Prithviraj, who has been around for 13 years in the industry, proves he is cut out for success. The awe climbs a step higher when we know that the directors of these three films were debutants. The directors R S Vimal, Nadir Shah and Sachi chat up with Chandrakanth Viswanath on Prithviraj - the man, his judgment, dedication and hardwork while they made their first film.
R S Vimal
Director, Ennu Ninte Moideen, September 18
I had no experience as a film maker when I approached Prithvi with my documentary in 2007. After watching it, he asked me how I was going to work on the screenplay for the feature film. I took nearly five years to finish the script and four-and-a-half hours to read it before him. He hugged me when I completed and said congratulations, not once but thrice. My producer was with me and he asked how can someone congratulate even before a movie was complete. I am sure that he was convinced of the project and its success the moment he heard it.
I had heard many things about actors intervening, especially if the director is a debutant. Prithvi joined the film 30 days after we commenced shooting and I was prepared with my digital story board and had no confusion. So he had no doubts with my style of working.
He is a brilliant and intelligent actor. Naturally, my second film is with him too. Not only because I am comfortable with him but also the character suits him too.
Director, Amar Akabr Anthony, October 16
“I have nothing special to do in this. But the film will be a super hit and I want to be apart of a successful movie,” Prithvi told me after listening to the script. I had no close relationship with him till I approached him with the project. It was producer Alwyn Antony who took me to him. He asked me the budget and the days for shooting. I said five crore and 50 days. His reply was instant: “If you want a decent film with the subject as it in my mind, it will cost at least `7 crores and 70 days.”
When completed, the movie cost `6.70 crore n 65 days. Such is his judgment about a project he is involved. Someone had asked Prithvi why he was doing a film directed by Dileep’s best friend because Dileep would done it if Nadirshah had talent. Prithvi’s reply was that Nadirshah took this subject for his first film and had the courage to make it with three heroes. After dubbing, Prithvi told me you made the film three times better than I imagined. And your brilliance lies in how many films you avoid after this.
Director, Anarkkali, Novemeber 13
When you approach Prithvi with a project, his main consideration is not the persons. He is little worried about how close you are with him, but how close are you with the subject and the project. He will look for a novel element and what is in store for him to perform. As far as I know, he will ask for the complete script.
While shooting Anarkali in Lakshadweep, we had so many restrictions in luxurious stay and vehicle. So seven actors, including Prithvi, had to stay at the same house and normally he used to come to sets on bike. He had no airs of a star. He was trained by professional divers for the underwater scenes. However, there was an element of risk when you go down. But Prithvi, whose swimming experience was limited to pools, went beyond 30 meters underwater for the character. It shows his dedication. He has a better knowledge about film making than many of us and hence he may ask doubts. If you can give a convincing reply, he is okay with it.