Despite coming from a family of movie moguls, there’s always an air of mystery surrounding Rana Daggubati. Unlike his peers in the industry with mighty familial connections, Rana always seems to be in the background, going about his work - quietly and efficiently.
He revels in new challenges, picks the subjects close to his heart, and then takes his time to mould it into perfection. From playing the mighty Bhallaladeva in Baahubali, Rana makes an unprecedented switch to play a Naval officer in the upcoming trilingual Ghazi, which is being touted as India’s first underwater/war-at-sea film. The film is based on true events that took place during the Indo-Pak war in 1971.
“We felt like we were building something. Most of the information related to the war is classified. So we had to use basic information to recreate it on-screen. We used a hydraulic set, which is half on water and half on land. For the Pakistani submarine, we created another parallel set,” Rana shares.
And while Rana admits that even though Ghazi is inspired by true events, it’s a fictionalised version, he points out that dealing with such a subject brought about its own challenges.
“It was a challenge because this is something that has not been done before. We have seen a lot of films being made on the army and of wars on land. But this was the first time we were shooting a war film at sea. There is a completely different protocol in the Navy and the rules are different. For instance, naval officers are not allowed to take showers - only the cook is allowed to shower,” he points out.
And while the trailer of Ghazi has already created an unprecedented buzz, film-goers already have one eye on the big film this summer, Baahubali: The Conclusion, a sequel to one of Indian cinema’s biggest hits, Baahubali: The Beginning. Rana assures us that this film will be even bigger than the first part.
“The second part is more dramatic with more elaborate war-scenes and great visual effects. It will be a visual treat for the audience with a bit more drama, “the actor informs.
With great power comes greater responsibility, and Rana explains that the success of the first part was taken positively by the team of Baahubali, rather than getting them worried about having to deal with added pressure for the sequel.
“More than pressure, it gave us strength. Because we set out to do something which nobody was doing in Indian cinema at that point. Of course, we could afford better technicians and better visual effects supervisors but the success of Baahubali gave validity to the hard work that we put in,” explains the 32-year-old.
Rana, who made his Bollywood debut with Dum Maaro Dum in 2011, is unsure about when he’ll do a full-fledged Bollywood film next. “It really depends. For instance, Ghazi is a national subject so we’re also releasing it in Hindi. My foray into Bollywood or any other language depends on the subject of the film,” Rana adds.