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Family-friendly 'Bro' boasts high-quality visuals: Samuthirakani


Director-actor Samuthirakani awaits the release of 'Bro' this July 28. This big-ticket release is his first outing with Power Star Pawan Kalyan. Also led by Sai Dharam Tej, the fantasy comedy is produced by People Media Factory's TG Vishwa Prasad. In this interview, Samuthirakani says that the story arc of 'Bro' is relatable. A family-friendly movie, the film has music by SS Thaman and has the Ketika Sharma-Priya Prakash Varrier duo in key roles.

I have risen from being a small artist to being the director of a superstar's movie. 'Bro' is my 15th movie as a filmmaker. It was in 1994 that I started out as an Assistant Director. I have always viewed hits and misses with equanimity. It was with the support of singer-producer SPB Charan that I directed my debut, 'Unnai Charanadaindhen' (in the early 2000s). He believed in my talent despite an established actor whom we approached not showing interest in my script.

Bro's original version, 'Vinodhaya Sitham', changed my career. The scale of my movies has naturally gone up. The Tamil original was an OTT release. 'Bro', on the other hand, is a big-screen experience whose sound design and other technical qualities are special.

I played God of Time in 'Vinodhaya Sitham' because no major artist was willing to play the role. It was a covid-time project. Trivikram anna encouraged me to narrate 'Bro' the way I wanted to. After he told me Pawan Kalyan sir will play God of Time, it came as a surprise. Kalyan sir came on board after a 10-minute narration by Trivikram anna changed the whole screenplay. It was a new script we were looking at. I thank anna for entrusting me with this huge responsibility. We had worked together only once before - on 'Ala Vaikunthapurramuloo'. I heard that Sunil (actor) gave positive feedback about me to Trivikram anna after working with me on 'Shambo Shiva Shambo' in 2009.

Kalyan sir's portions were completed in just 21 working days. He was fast-paced and was ever-eager to complete his portions on time. He would come to set fully prepared. I believe that if you plan to convey a noble message through your film, everything will somehow fall into place. The Telugu remake is way better than the Tamil original. We had to make content-related changes to suit Power Star's image.

I encourage my assistants and writing team to come to me with frank feedback. That's my style of working. I will be remaking 'Bro' in multiple languages in the coming years. 'Gopala Gopala' and 'Bro' are different in many ways. Kalyan sir's character is several shades different in the two movies.

Time (the character) shouldn't be touched by anyone. Markandeya aka Mark (played by Sai Tej) doesn't touch him until the last scene.

Right into the 13th minute of the movie, Kalyan sir's character makes a rocking entry. By the time I narrated the story to him, I was ready to start the shoot anytime. I could have commenced the shoot right on the next day if he wanted. The actual shoot started on the third day of giving him the narration! I told him to be on set even for half a day so that we get an energetic start to the day. Every day, at the start, I would tell him in detail everything what he would wear, the dialogues he would mouth, etc. Kalyan sir observed fasting and went vegetarian completely during the shoot since his is a divine character in the movie.

The treatment is perfect and witty. Visually, the film is extraordinary. The total working days were 53 in number. We didn't waste a single second. Nobody who is wowed by the quality of the visuals will believe that we wrapped up the shoot so fast. The quality is up to the level of a film shot for at least 115 working days.

'Bro' is a clean film with no political overtones. It is true that the end credits of the Tamil original had some political touch. 'Bro' is different.

Thaman's music is really superb. The BGM left me teary-eyed. It happened for the first time in my career. Be it the editing (Naveen Nooli), art direction (AS Prakash) or the cinematography (Sujith Vaassudev), everything came out extremely well.  

Updated on July 24, 2023