The highly anticipated film ‘Ramabanam,’ produced by People Media Factory, is finally set to hit the screens on May 5, 2023. With a star-studded ensemble cast featuring Gopichand, Jagapathi Babu, Dimple Hayati, Khushbu, Sachin Khedekar, Nasser, Ali, Raja Ravindra, Vennela Kishore, Saptagiri, Kashi Vishwanath, Satya, Getup Srinu, Sameer, and Tarun Arora, the movie promises to offer a great cinematic experience packed with all the essential commercial elements. The music, composed by the talented Mickey J Meyer, has already soared to the top of the charts. The trailer and promos have created a buzz among the audience, making it one of the most eagerly awaited releases of the year.
Here are the excerpts from Gopichand’s interaction with media.
Does Ramabanam have a connection with Lakshyam 2?
Not really. Sriwass likes titles with two letters – Lakshyam, Loukhyam etc. When he was deliberating about the title, then Balakrishna suggested ‘Ramabanam’ in Unstoppable show. We found it really good and apt and finalized it.
On working with Jagapathi Babu
Over the past 20 years, every time I've met Jagapathi Babu, I've referred to him as ‘brother,’ and our strong bond has only strengthened our on-screen chemistry. He has an open heart and speaks his mind. He doesn't hide his thoughts or emotions and is always genuine. As an actor, he is intense and can bring a lot of depth and nuance to his roles. I have learned a lot from him and enjoyed our collaboration. ‘Ramabanam’ portrays the story of two brothers who share common goals but have distinct approaches, with a powerful message presented in a commercial film format. Our film aims to create social awareness and inspire change.
On associating with Sriwass for the third time
We are proud to say that we have had a successful track record with our previous films, Lakshyam and Loukyam. With Ramabanam, we wanted to elevate the experience for the audience by combining family drama and action in a unique way. Our team took an ample amount of time to carefully plan and strategize every aspect of the film to ensure that we delivered a well-rounded and entertaining experience. From the script to the casting, music, and production, we left no stone unturned in our efforts to create a film that appeals to a wide range of audiences. We believe that the end result is a film that is packed with all the essential elements that audiences look for in a commercial film, while also conveying an important social message in a subtle yet effective manner. We are confident that our audience will enjoy the film and appreciate the efforts that have gone into making it.
On changing preferences of Telugu movie audience
Despite the changing preferences of the audience, the emotions of love, care, and affection towards a mother or a brother will remain the same. Brother emotions are the core of our movie, Ramabanam. We believe that good content is the key to attracting audiences. When we succeed in engaging the audience in our film, they become invested in the characters and the story. Nowadays, audiences are open to watching films from various genres, and as filmmakers, we strive to present stories that have a unique backdrop and perspective. While the basic themes may be similar, it is the treatment and approach that make each movie stand out.
On family audience not watching films in theatres and how Ramabanam attracts them
It usually takes some time for family audiences to start showing up at the theaters. Typically, we see them begin to come in from the second day of release and gradually increase in numbers as word of mouth spreads.
On the trend of watching movies on OTT and categorizing a film as theatre watch or OTT watch. How Ramabanam is confident of bringing audience to theatres?
A trailer is the first impression of the film on the audience. If the trailer connects with the audience, it generates interest in the film, and they are more likely to watch it in theatres rather than on OTT platforms. A well-crafted trailer can pique the audience's curiosity and compel them to experience the movie on the big screen, providing a unique and immersive cinematic experience. Hence, it is essential to create a trailer that effectively conveys the essence of the film and engages the audience. I strongly believe the trailer of Ramabanam speaks volume about what’s in store and that brings the audience to cinemas.
On adapting to films with two heroes
In Lakshyam, both heroes had equal importance in the story. Also, in Ramabanam, the character played by Jagapathi Babu is a pivotal one. At the end of the day, the story is the real hero and we can't request for unnecessary changes to make our role longer. It's important to respect the narrative and ensure that every character plays their part to the best of their ability.
Did the lack of success of Seetimarr leave you in a dilemma when choosing future film projects?
It's difficult to predict the success of a film during its production. Even when we put in our best efforts and create a good film, it may not necessarily translate into commercial success. In such cases, we need to reflect on what went wrong and learn from it. I am happy that in my career I did only good films and never did any bad film.
On working with Khushbu
I have immense admiration for Khushbu as a great actor. I have been a fan of her work since my college days and have watched a lot of her films. On the sets of our film, she was very friendly and jolly, which made the working environment very pleasant. As actors, we got into a perfect sync, and I could react very well to her scenes.
On handling the pressure as a hero
Filmmaking is not just an art, but also a business, and the success of a film has a significant impact on the livelihood of many individuals associated with it. Therefore, there is always an inherent pressure on the hero to deliver a successful film.
Comedy is the highpoint of Loukyam, can we expect good comedy in Ramabanam?
While Loukyam was primarily focused on comedy, Ramabanam strikes a balance between all essential elements. It features the right proportion of action, comedy, and family emotions, making it a complete package for the audience.
Heroes are expected to perform various roles, and it's a challenge to excel in all of them. So, what is that one thing that you feel you connect with the most, and where you feel you can give your best performance?
For me, connecting with the character and emotion is crucial in any film. In Ramabanam, the brother's emotion was particularly significant, and I felt a strong connection to it when Bhupati Raja narrated the story for 90 minutes. When I can connect with the character and their emotions, I'm confident that the film will shape out well.
On the character in Ramabanam
My character in the film is a devout follower of Rama but also has the courage to question him when necessary. He has a unique perspective, which adds a layer of depth to the character.
On the movies Sahasam and Okkadunnadu becoming successful in present times
Both are well made films, and they are relevant anytime. We can change the backdrop of Okkadunnadu and make a new film. We can also plan a sequel to Sahasam and it might work. Now the audience are exploring a lot of films across genres and languages, and there is a room for experimentation. Few films that didn’t work in the past, can very well connect with the audience now.
On Ramabanam getting good openings and you retaining the image of a mass hero
It's difficult for me to predict whether a movie will be successful or not as it's ultimately the audience's perception that matters. Of course, everyone in the film industry wants a super hit, but as an actor, I try not to focus too much on the outcome and instead concentrate on giving my best performance. Right now, I feel comfortable and confident about my work.
On giving opportunities to first time directors
I strongly believe in talent and storytelling ability of a person. I have always been open to giving opportunities to new and upcoming directors over the past 15 years, and I will continue to do so in the future. It is important to encourage fresh talent and bring new ideas to the table.
On doing a villain role opposite Prabhas or other heroes
Sure, if I come across an interesting opportunity, I am open to playing a villain role again. However, I would prefer if the role is strong and impactful like the ones I played during my initial days in the industry. I believe that the character should have depth and contribute significantly to the story.
On continuing the legacy of your father
Carrying my father's legacy forward with Eetharam Films is important to me. However, finding good stories has been a challenge. Recently, I came across a storyline that caught my attention, but I am still in the process of evaluating how it will be developed into a full-fledged script.
About the producers of Ramabanam
The producers of Ramabanam are very kind-hearted and I often advise them that it's not always good to be too kind in the film industry. However, I appreciate their generosity and it's a pleasure to work with such producers who value the craft of filmmaking.
On working with Dimple Hayathi
It was a great experience working with Dimple Hayathi. She is an extremely talented actress and brought a lot to the table. We had a great chemistry on screen. Overall, it was a wonderful experience working with her.
Why should audience watch Ramabanam?
The primary purpose of watching films is to escape from the outside world and immerse oneself in a larger-than-life experience on the big screen. In my opinion, Ramabanam successfully achieves this goal and transports the audience to another world.