Fight Master V Venkat says that the nature and quality of action in 'Bhagavanth Kesari' are unique. In this interview, he talks about working with Nandamuri Balakrishna, moulding ideas to suit his body language, and more.
The film, directed by Anil Ravipudi, will head to the theatres on October 19.
Anil Ravipudi has shown Balayya garu in a new, refreshing way so that 'Bhagavanth Kesari' stands out from his previous movies. Slow-motion action and all are routine. In 'BK', the action in the first half and that in the second half can be differentiated from each other. There are no gravity-defying fights. You will see a Hollywoodian flavour. There is raciness in the way the action takes place. More than fighters and side artists, you will sense the hard work put in by Balayya garu. His fastness and swiftness have been used in a 24-frames setting.
The fights are in step with the characterization of Balayya garu. Multiple sets (about 7-8) were erected for the action scenes. The hero in this film only thrashes and assaults baddies but he never kills them. The brief was that he doesn't kill anyone. The style of editing also helped in ushering in a new Balakrishna. The action scenes are crispy because the story is what is paramount.
Balayya garu has done all kinds of fights. How do you show variety? I had to watch his movies and think up new styles after analyzing his body language.
I have previously done 'Veera Simha Reddy' and 'Paisaa Vasool' with Balayya garu. The former helped me get a grip on his style. 'BK' has given me more confidence. I now understand his body language thoroughly.
The climax fight involves Arjun Ramphal. He is a physically-handicapped person in the film. It wouldn't look good if such a man is mauled by the hero. So, in the climax, he takes off his shirt to flaunt his ripped body. And we made the antagonist assault the hero on repeat. Balayya garu understood the logic and didn't question our creative choice.
The locations for fights are chosen keeping in mind the emotional arc of the fight sequence. The action director coordinates with the art director. The cinematographer, the fighters team, the art department, and the director engage in discussions.
The audience expect larger-than-life action in films. There is no limit to how much budget can be spent on action scenes. Camera equipment, etc. have become expensive. A 1000-frames shot takes one hour to be set up. Knowing practical realities, the producers are not minding to spend a bomb.
'Extraction' and 'The Gray Man' on Netflix are among my recent favourites in terms of how the action shots were uninterrupted and continuous. There were no cuts in those action scenes.