The recognition SS Rajamouli's lavishly mounted RRR has brought to Indian cinema is nothing but a moment of pride for the country, says actor Rana Daggubati. After working with Rajamouli on the Indian epic drama Baahubali, Daggubati described the filmmaker as a “visionary” who brought the center of the world to Indian films.
“It's amazing that Rajamouli as a filmmaker and visionary is constantly pushing the boundaries of cinema. He just blurred all the lines, he did it in our country, he did it to the world. Overall, it will be a great time for films in India,” said the actor.
“In a way, it's just extreme pride, every time there are pictures of them (Team RRR) or they're talking on stage, it's just extremely high for me because I feel like I'm a part of that victory because I'm so close to everybody,” he said. Since its worldwide release in five languages last year, RRR has been setting new records.
Starring Ram Charan and Jr NTR, it is the first Indian film in over two decades to be nominated for an Oscar. The film is up for an Oscar for Best Original Song for its rousing Telugu score Naatu Naatu, which has already won a Golden Globe – the first Indian song to do so. Naatu Naatu singers Rahul Sipligunj and Kaala Bhairava are all set to perform the Oscar-nominated song at the upcoming awards ceremony in Los Angeles on March 12.
Daggubati, also a childhood friend of RRR star Ram Charan, is delighted with the rise of Telugu cinema, but said the industry too has had its anxious moments. “I remember in Telugu we used to be worried when Tamil dubbed films were coming because the great Mr. Rajini's 'Robot' or Mr. Shankar's films were coming, and we felt like a small industry.
“But the only way to compete is to create a cinema that is bigger and bigger. And we didn't know that much about Kannada cinema until 'KGF' and 'Kantara' landed. So everyone has their time and everyone reappears and creates great stories,” he said.
Considering the rise of south cinema in recent years, the 38-year-old actor said it is just a phase that will pass.
“Hindi cinema has given us cinema that no one else has, whether it is the romantic world or the song and dance that they have created, or they have created extreme niche genres and all this has happened because Hindi cinema has existed.
“It just takes a different turn, and it happens every time, and it happens in every industry and at some point you have to compete,” he added. Daggubati is gearing up for the release of his web series Rana Naidu in which he will be seen opposite his actor-uncle Venkatesh.
The Netflix crime drama, which is an official adaptation of the popular American drama series Ray Donovan, will premiere on March 10.