Entertainment with a message

Entertainment with a message

Entertainment with a message, When Venkatesh first saw ‘OMG – Oh My God!’ it was the film’s concept that took him by surprise. “I felt such stories should be told to people.

When Venkatesh first saw ‘OMG – Oh My God!’ it was the film’s concept that took him by surprise. “I felt such stories should be told to people. And when a message is given with a quotient of entertainment, without any preaching, what more could one ask for?” says the actor, speaking about why he chose to star in the Telugu remake of the film, ‘Gopala Gopala’.

Ask what he likes about his character, he is quick to reply, “The graph of my character – the transition from a non-believer to a believer – is beautiful. All of us go through this at some point and that is why I connected to it. Not that I was a non-believer, but there’s always a time during our ups and downs when thought of God moves away from us and then later we realise that he is not somewhere else but deep within us.”

And the cherry on the cake for Venkatesh was the opportunity to work with good friend Pawan Kalyan. “We’ve been considering working together for the past 10 years and I’m glad things finally fell in place for this film. We have a connection in a spiritual way and I think the film was a perfect platform for us to come together,” he shares. Admittedly he is all praise for Pawan’s portrayal of Lord Krishna in the film. “To be God on screen, one’s body language needs to be divine. There’s a perfect look that is required. And I think he has done a fabulous job. He made great efforts to get into the skin of the character.”

Besides Pawan Kalyan, Venkatesh has earlier starred in films with Mahesh Babu and Ram and he says he has no qualms about being part of multi-starrers. “When everyone has well-defined characters, there is nothing negative about these films,” he avers, while adding jokingly, “I wish we can do a film like ‘Avengers’ where 10 of the big stars come together and we have a poster with everyone on it! Just visualise it. Isn’t that amazing?”

Venky, as he’s popularly addressed by his fans, feels that when there is comfort between the actors, it is amazing for the camaraderie. “When we are comfortable with each other, there is no artificiality in the emotions. It looks real and comes out spontaneously,” he states.

As we speak of that, two of his three multi-starrers are remakes – ‘Gopala Gopala’ being one of them. Is that a conscious decision of Venkatesh? “Well, I wouldn’t look at it that way. It may be a remake but in the end, it is a good story. And since we are trying to reach out to audiences of the Telugu diaspora, why not be a part of the film?” he says with surprise in his voice.

So is the Telugu audience ready for a film like ‘Gopala Gopala’ that explores the controversial subject of religion? “I think they are. Because when a film like ‘PK’ was well received, it is a sign that the viewers have begun to accept novelty and new ideas. Moreover, we have taken extra care that no sentiments are hurt through our film.”
On a departing note, he adds, “Many people fear God. But through this film, our message is that one should be God loving not God fearing. We treat him as something way beyond but what we need to realise is he is in your heart.”

Before he signs off, we take a jiffy to ask him about what’s next after the film. “I have signed no films now. I am going to travel for a while… somewhere in India only. Also, I have some prior personal commitments so I won’t be able to make time to attend the cricket World Cup. Not even CCL.”

By: Pranita Jonnalagedda

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