Reporting by Janani K; Photos by Dani Charles. Photos from the audio launch are below the report.
As we walked into the Park Hyatt for the audio and trailer launch of the Telugu dubbed film, Bruce Lee 2: The Fighter, we could spot a host of over-enthusiastic Ram Charan Teja fans. We joined the eager throng, waiting for a glimpse of the ‘Mega Power Star Ram Charan Teja’. (Every hero in the Telugu industry has to have a star tag.) But, we were in for a disappointment. Ram Charan had missed his flight. The event began without the actor, and his fans had to make do with loud cheering every time the guests mentioned him or his father Chiranjeevi.
Everybody else was present. From director Srinu Vaitla to cast members Kona Venkat, Badrakali Prasad, Rakul Preet Singh, Abhishek and Amitash Pradhan. Also present were editor Mohan, Mohan Raja, producer RB Chowdry, Jaguar Thangam, Suresh Krishna, AM Rathnam, Gautham Vasudev Menon, Ragava Lawrence and Vishnuvardhan.
Every speaker was full of praise for Ram Charan Teja. That he hadn’t banked on his father’s popularity. That Chiranjeevi still remained the star. And of course, there were reminiscences of his childhood. Suresh Krishna said, “I did two films with Chiranjeevi. Ram Charan was a child then, and used to visit the sets. He wasn’t interested in films. After several years, I was introduced to Ram Charan again and people told me that he was entering the industry.
I had my doubts about whether he could come out of his father’s shadow. When I watched Magadheera, all my doubts vanished.
What a great performer! Dance, action or performance. He has excelled. I know now that a star has been born.” He added that the Telugu film industry had raised the bar, and Telugu films were being remade in several languages.
The screenings at the event included the making of S Thaman’s ‘Le Chalo’ song was screened, along with three other songs. Each song was greeted with loud hoots and whistles from Ram Charan’s fans. The songs had the typical Thaman touch. Peppy and mellifluous melodies were all over Bruce Lee 2’s album.
Gautham Menon joked that usually heroines were the latecomers, but the Bruce Lee audio launch was witnessing a topsy-turvy situation with the hero missing. On a serious note, he said, “I heard that Ram Charan had been dubbing till 5 am in the morning, which is why he missed the flight.” Both Gautham Menon and Mohan Raja praised Ram Charan for being choosy with his films, and picking films which would appeal to both ‘mass and class audiences’. “Now that he is doing Thani Oruvan, you can get a sense of Ram Charan’s mindset,” he concluded.
Ragava Lawrence compared the event to a family function. He attributed his success to Chiranjeevi, who gave him the opportunity to choreograph for him. He said, “Ram Charan needn’t worry about making it to this event. We are all celebrating on his behalf.” He also had an interesting anecdote to share: “Chiranjeevi was concerned about his son’s dancing abilities. He told me, Ram Charan is making his debut. Keep an eye on his dancing. Chiru gaaru asked if they could let Ram Charan dance for his sister’s sangeet. I told Chiranjeevi that I have confidence in Ram Charan. He asked me, then why is he (Ram Charan) silent? I told him, a tiger will always stay silent. Then he asked me how I would rate Charan’s performance.
I said I would give him 90 on 100. He asked me why not a 100? I said, you are the king of dance and no one could surpass you. Only you could get 100 marks in this field when it comes to dance.”
Ram Charan Teja’s next film is the remake of Thani Oruvan, directed by Surender Reddy. According to Mohan Raja, Ram Charan was the best hero to fill Jayam Ravi’s shoes in Thani Oruvan. He also said that Ram Charan was the first person from the Telugu industry to appreciate Mohan Raja’s work in the film.
Meanwhile, we also found out that stunt director Jaguar Thangam was responsible for securing the rights of Bruce Lee 2 The Fighter in Tamil.