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7 Days 6 Nights is a family film; it's not just for youth: MS Raju

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'7 Days 6 Nights' is slated to hit the cinemas on June 24. The rom-com stars Sumanth Ashwin, Meher Chahal, Rohan and Krithika Shetty in lead roles. In this interview, MS Raju talks about the nature of the film, why he thinks its collections are going to skyrocket gradually, what is to be expected from him, and more.

I watch not only new films but also old ones, which tended to have strong characters. While great films are being made even in this day and age, old films had a certain uniqueness. After 'Dirty Hari', I happened to catch Raj Kapoor's Hindi film 'Barsaat'. In that film, Raj Kapoor is in a state of low-key depression. Even a psychiatrist can't figure him out. He is sort of whimsical. His friend is fun-loving. I was inspired by that film to write '7 Days 6 Nights'. (In 'Barsaat', two friends with opposite personalities, the rich but sensitive Pran and the womanizing Gopal both have affairs with two mountain girls while holidaying in the valley of Kashmir, says Wikipedia).

Any film should have a conflict plot point or the protagonist needs to be determined to do something. My experience over the years and thinking drew me to writing a story like '7 Days 6 Nights'. I am expecting the film to grow from strength to strength at the box office as days pass.

While writing the movie, I headed to Goa (since the movie is set in Goa) all alone in my four-wheeler. I kept on wandering for 4-5 days although it was strenuous and my age didn't permit the physical stress. It was fun travelling with people of different social backgrounds and age groups. Passion is what drew me to do that.

For the audience to want to see my movies, they have to be convinced that the content is strong. Nobody is going to watch my movie just because my name is associated with it.

My previous directorial 'Dirty Hari' would have been a sure-shot hit had it been released in theatres. I had read so many books while writing that film. I had to keep myself updated. I get along with my son's friends. I like to notice how today's youngsters behave and talk.

The nature of the story of '7 Days..' changes at the interval point. A good twist can make wonders to a film. We have seen larger-than-life heroes and villains in countless numbers of movies. '7 Days..' is a natural, believable movie and it is going to attract the family audience, too, after a positive 'word of mouth' emerges. I am confident but not over-confident. To begin with, youngsters will head to theatres. Based on their feedback, the footfalls will grow from Saturday. Going by the buzz in trade circles, my movie surely has got some craze. Exhibitors are showing interest.

I have worked with newcomers like Rohan and Meher on '7 Days'. I have always afforded all artists, right from Mahesh Babu and Prabhas down to newcomers, the same amount of respect. Rohan has done strong situational comedy in the film. The emotional drive of the film is going to involve the audience fully. When I made 'Okkadu' and 'Varsham', 'Manasantha Nuvve' and 'Nuvvostanante Nenoddantana', I knew what I was doing. The same goes for '7 Days..'.

I am mindful of the film's budget. While the visual quality has to be maintained, I can't go overboard. I shot '7 Days..' in exotic locations and with aesthetic backdrops. The background score, too, is special.

My relationship with my son is professional when we are on set. He grew up observing my work. 'Tuneena Tuneega', his first film, was a wrong move. Giants like Raj Kapoor and Rakesh Roshan have worked with their sons in Bollywood. They too must have been very professional.

'Dirty Hari' had to be an adult film. After all, there was an element of an extra-marital affair in it. It was a bold move from me. '7 Days..' is youthful. There is a thin line of difference between vulgarity and peppy entertainment. Even in 'Dirty Hari', I didn't inject any element without a reason. There is no extra kissing scene. I am mindful that I have to make films for the changed audience's tastes. I can't be following the filmmaking sensibilities of the Subhash Ghai era.

These days, youngsters want to be independent and take their own decisions. The nature of the conversations between women and women has undergone some change.

My next film is 'Sathi', which stars Sumanth Ashwin and Meher in the lead roles. It is a mystery thriller that tells the story of a husband and a wife. They come from a lower-middle-class family who live in a small town in Andhra Pradesh. When an incident takes place while they are on a pilgrimage, they make a strong decision.

After 'Sathi', I will be doing a series of big films. I am planning a sequel to one of the movies I produced. It will be made on a huge scale and will be released in 14 languages.  

Updated on June 22, 2022