After a three-year sabbatical Gunasekhar is back to celluloid story telling with Universal Media's Varudu starring Allu Arjun and newcomer Bhanu in the lead. Well known for his penchant for technical fineness, Gunasekhar is at the sprawling studio floor at Annapurna Studios where he personally supervises the lavish set created by art director Ashok before he starts shoot on the last song, on the hero, heroine and a host of group dancers. An expensive set is erected at the Ramanaidu Studios too to film for Veturi Sundarama Murthy's lyric - ‘Rela re rela re rela re rela re…Khammam dhaati vachesaka gummam thokki thalupeyyala… Orugalle odinchaaka vayyarale dhulipeyyala' rendered by Karthik and Geetha Madhuri to Mani Sharma's peppy tune, choreographed by ‘Amma' Rajasekhar.
In a casting coup of sort, producer D.V.V. Danayya has signed popular Tamil actor Arya to play the antagonist. Interestingly, ‘Bunny' as Allu Arjun is known to his fans and in film circles is a popular hero in Kerala through his films dubbed in Malayalam. Arya hails from Kerala. With Varudu, Bunny is expected to reach a large section of Tamil audience too. “In fact, the character demanded an actor of Arya's looks and calibre to play the role,” you are told.
Gunasekhar goes for minute details on every craft of filmmaking and sketches even the costumes before he finalises with the stylist and the costume designers. You have seen Bunny's stylish makeover in a role marked with split personality syndrome in Arya 2. Varudu takes the ‘stylish' star to the next level in acting showcasing his prowess besides entertaining you with his bubbly antics and dancing skills. Bhanu hails from Bengaluru and makes her debut in Telugu films.
Set against a large number of families of which the protagonist belongs to one, the story, according to the producer takes you on a roller coaster ride of entertainment laced with Gunasekhar's subtle style of action blocks. “One can view all the subtleties of a Gunasekhar screenplay in the family drama replete with romance, humour and melodrama. The action sequences will (fights: ‘Stunt' Siva) leave a mark.” One can agree as one has witnessed them earlier in the director's big hit, Okkadu.
Interestingly, about a hundred real life families appear on the screen along with their family members as part of the huge set up along with popular actors Suhasini, Vinaya Prasad, Naresh, Ashish Vidyardhi, Sayaji Shinde, ‘Ahuti' Prasad, Brahmaji and Brahmanandam just to name a few. Veteran director Singeetham Srinivasa Rao who had played cameos in a couple of films earlier makes his debut in a full length role.
As you are briefed these details, ace lens man R.D. Rajasekhar with his assistants have a look at the sets discussing the details with the director. “Mani Sharma's tunes and RR is a major plus point. He is at his best and the songs will haunt melody lovers for a long time to come.”
To know how Varudu travels through the journey, taking you along, to reach his bride crisscrossing the hurdles created by the antagonists, you have to wait till March 26, the said date on which the film hits the marquee.