"Na oru dharava sonna, nooru dharava sonna madhiri" (If I say it once, it’s like saying it a 100 times)
This line immortalised in Indian cinema since 1995, is now echoing in theatres across Tamil Nadu to roars of delight from fans. As the Rajinikanth-starrer Baasha, hits the screens in its digitally re-mastered version, The News Minute caught up with its maker, director Suresh Krissna.
Over 20 years back, when Suresh was directing the film, he knew it had all the ingredients to be a super hit - good screenplay, sound editing and the biggest trump card, Superstar Rajinikanth. A formula, which even now is sending audience in a tizzy across 80 theatres across Tamil Nadu. The 144-minute long movie starred Nagma as the heroine and Raghuvaran as the villain. It reportedly earned Rs 250 million which is equivalent to 1 billon in 2016, at the box office.
"I was talking to Rajini yesterday and we just couldn't believe what was happening," says Suresh Krissna. "Both of us just kept repeating that it was like a magic. We are elated and sure the movie will do well. In fact more theatres may start screening it soon," he said.
So, what is it about Baasha, that continues to have audience hooked to the film? "We must all remember that when Rajini first entered films, he was cast a villain. After that, he was doing roles with grey shades to it before he became the hero that we all know and love. For the audience, his character in Baasha, was something refreshing. They were seeing their superstar once again as an anti-hero, as a don of sorts and they loved it. We created a lot of expectation in the first half and met them in the second," says the director.
A team from Prasad EFX have worked on the visual effects of the movie while AS Laxmi of I and 24 fame handled the sound department. A leit motif in the original, which added to the suspense, were the negatives that were interspersed in it and the digitally restored version has paid respect to that. "We did not have the kind of editing software available now, back then. A rock-solid screenplay and creativity at the edit table made up for it. I am glad the negatives have been kept in this version," notes Suresh, who watched the preview show in February. "The other colours have been brought out beautifully in the movie. It is a visual treat,” he says.
The director and the crew of the film are seeing the re-release of this 'cult movie' as a big honour and an appreciation of their efforts. "Even MGR and Shivaji movies were not re-released while they were alive. My friends are saying that the movie is doing very well in theatres across the state. I am honoured to have directed the superstar's best film till date and it is a great feeling to witness this euphoria over the movie once again," sums up the director.