Ever since the first look of ‘Yatra’, the biopic of former Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, YS Rajasekhara Reddy, with Malayalam superstar Mammmotty stepping into the shoes of YSR, was released way back in April, the expectations on the film have been visibly high. The latest we hear about the Mahi V Raghav directorial, structured as a road movie, is that it will roll from Wednesday in Hyderabad with a start-to-finish schedule. Speaking exclusively to telugu360.com, one of the producers of the film, Vijay Chilla (the other being Shashi Devireddy), shared what’s in store for him and his team.
He avers that Mammootty, who bears an uncanny resemblance to the late Congress politician, will join the sets at Saradhi Studios, Hyderabad on day one itself. “We’ll be shooting in Saradhi for a few days, post which majority of the portions will be shot in the city outskirts. The idea is to wrap up the whole shoot in 75-80 working days with weekends reserved for off days. The shoot will shift to districts like Mahbubnagar and Warangal in August,” he reveals, admitting that it is difficult to recreate the era of 2003 as the biopic will primarily focus on the grueling near 1500 km padayatra that YSR undertook to understand the day to day struggles of the people. “The teams of VFX and production design have their task cut out,” he smiles.
Last seen in a Telugu film over two decades ago, Mammootty, he says, is required extensively for the drama save for five-seven days. “He feels that this is the right film for his comeback. He is positive and excited about doing a Telugu film. Mahi has shown him the videos of YSR and he has also done his own prep. Mahi has also told him what we are looking at and how we are going to treat the film,” Vijay informs, adding that the Malayalam legend is accommodative and is very receptive to ideas.
Vijay has also got a strong technical team in place for Mahi. “It would be shot by Sathyan Sooran, who shot Karthi-starrer ‘Khakee’, while K, who rendered tunes for our ‘Anando Brahma’, is on board for the music.”
With biopic on NTR, Ram Charan’s next with Boyapati Sreenu and possibly Mahesh’s film with Dil Raju and Aswini Dutt too slotted for Sankranti, one wonders if ‘Yatra’ would make it to the festive date. But Vijay is quick to reiterate that it would, at any cost. “It is not about competition. It’s a date we locked long back. In fact, the day we released the first look poster, we’ve declared that we are coming for Sankranti and there won’t be any change with regards to it. The shoot will be through by September, leaving us good three months for post-production,” he asserts.
On a different note, Vijay is happy with the success of ‘Sammohanam’, which stars his bestie Sudheer Babu with whom he made ‘Bhale Manchi Roju’ earlier. “I’m enjoying his success. It was a flawless performance from his end. I’m really happy for him and Indraganti Mohana Krishna garu,” he shares.