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Interview of director Ramesh Varma about 'Khiladi'

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'Khiladi', starring Ravi Teja in the lead, is directed by Ramesh Varma. In this interview, the filmmaker talks about the film, working with Ravi Teja, his future projects, and more.

Humans are after money and 'Khiladi' explores this theme. It talks about the place of money in the lives of two characters. Revealing anything more will spoil the excitement. It's true that Ravi Teja is playing a dual role in the thriller. He has never played such novel characters before.

I have worked as a designer on scores of movies. It took me time to turn into a filmmaker.

'Khiladi' has been made on a budget of Rs 55 Cr, which makes it the costliest movie in Ravi Teja's career. He prioritized this project after listening to the story. After 'Rakshasudu', I thought of the story of this movie. Let me clarify that 'Khiladi' is not a remake of any Tamil movie. The interval block is somewhat similar to a Tamil movie named 'Sethuranga Vettai 2'. Otherwise, it's a straight film in every respect.

'Khiladi' is suited only for Ravi Teja's image. Not many actors would be ready to play a role with negative roles. There is a character with positive shades as well in the story.

There is an element of child sentiment, but it is not like what we have seen in 'Vikramarkudu'. The male protagonist's character believes that he can achieve anything in life if he has no attachments. The female leads come into play for a reason. Their characters are not forced. The characters played by Anasuya, Vennela Kishore and Murali Sharma are also very relevant. Anasuya has played an orthodox Brahmin in the movie.

The entire talkie is over already. Three songs are pending to be shot. Two of them will be shot in foreign countries. We have shot 'Khiladi' in Hyderabad, Dubai and various other locations. The prison scenes in the movie have a length of 20 minutes. Most of the crucial scenes unfold in the backdrop of the prison. There is a duet to satisfy the fans. Otherwise, the songs are all there for a reason. Nothing is forced. Devi Sri Prasad's music has shaped up really well.

A few media houses have claimed that changes have been made to 'Khiladi' after the release of 'Krack'. It's not true at all. What has changed is the budget and that's because of the pandemic. Sometimes, the shooting time is getting extended.

I wanted to remake 'Race' (Hindi) with Ravi Teja as one of the heroes. By then, I had worked on 'Ride'. Back then, I didn't have much knowledge.

'Rakshasudu 2' will go on the floors in 2022. The script is locked. The pan-India film will be made on a huge scale.

I and director Maruthi are planning to produce a movie together. The talks are still on. A writer will be debuting as a director. We liked the story, which has a place for two heroes and two heroines. It's not a multi-starrer, though. One of the characters will be played by Varalaxmi Sarathkumar.

Updated on August 21, 2021