South Indian actor Ravi Teja is not a big-ticket actor like Chiranjeevi, Pawan Kalyan, Ram Charan, Allu Arjun, NTR Jr, Balakrishna, Maheshbabu or Mohanbabu. But whenever a new film of his is released, other big budget movies shy away.
Though he has tasted a few failures in his 20-year career, Teja, who is called the Mass Maharaja (King of the Masses), promises a total entertainer every time his new film hits screens. His common-man looks, coupled with strong dialogue delivery, comic timing and action sequences, makes him a star in his own right. Teja’s ‘Disco Raja’, which has been in the making for more than a year and half, released in the UAE on January 24. Here are six things to know about the film:
Every new film of ‘Mass Maharaja’ creates a lot of interest and high expectations. He is back with ‘Disco Raja’ two years after his ‘Amar Akbar Anthony’ in which he did a triple role. His latest outing is a sci-fic entertainer directed by Vi Anand. In it, the protagonist is working on a medical project and forwards his research to the Indian Council of Medical Research. The council rejects his project and denies him permission to continue researching for the project. Despite this setback, he manages to gain the financial support of a few corporate giants. Whether he will be able to find what he is looking for is the theme of this film.
Prequel or sequel?
At a pre-release event, Teja said he “greatly enjoyed working for this film and I really hope and strongly feel you will equally enjoy watching the movie.”
The film is set against a retro background and the present time as well. “When Anand narrated the characterisation I really liked it because I grew up looking at such characters in real life during the late 70s and early 80s. That’s the reason why I enjoyed doing this film. If everything goes well there will be a prequel or a sequel to Disco Raja,” Teja said at the event.
Three female leads
The film has an impressive cast from the Telugu, Hindi, Kannada and Tamil film industries. Teja, who started his career as an assistant director and made his debut as an actor in 1990, has acted in more than 30 films and has mostly worked with two female leads in his movies. For the first time he is acting with three heroines — Nabha Natesh, Payal Rajput and Tanya Hope — in ‘Disco Raja’.
Natesh, who featured in the 2019 hit ‘iSmart Shankar’ alongside Ram Pothineni, in Teja’s words “has a splendid role as a hilarious character in ‘Disco Raja’”. She made her acting debut at the age of 19, opposite Kannada actor Shiva Rajkumar in the 2015 film ‘Vajrakaya’.
Rajput started her television career and in 2017 she debuted in the Punjabi film industry. In Telugu cinema she has notably acted in ‘NTR Kathanayakudu’, ‘Venky Mama’ and ‘RDX Love’.
Hope started as a model and became Miss India Kolkata in 2015, debuting the following year as an actress in the Telugu film ‘Appatlo Okadundevadu’. She has an important role in ‘Disco Raja’.
The drama’s cast also includes Ramki (of ‘Sindhurapoova’), Shishir Sharma, Sunil, Vennela Kishore and Annapurna. Bobby Simha plays the role of the villain.
The film’s music is composed by Thaman, collaborating with Teja for the 11th time. SP Balasubrahmanyam is back with a melodious retro number ‘Nuvvu Naatho Emmannavo’ with lyrics by Sirivennala Seetharama Sastry. For lyricist Ramajogayya Sastry’s ‘Dilli Wala’, sung by Geetha Madhuri, Aditya Iyengar and Rahul Nambiar, Thaman has given an EDM touch.
With a film with such a title, the ‘Disco King’ Bhappi Lahiri can’t be missed. He has sung the disco number ‘Rum Pum Bum’. Teja who, too, has turned a singer for his earlier movies, joins Lahiri in this peppy number.
Architect-turned-filmmaker Vi Anand, who worked with AR Murugadoss as an assistant director, made his directorial debut in Telugu with ‘Hrudayam Ekkada Unnadi’ in 2014 and the same year made a sci-fi drama ‘Appuchi Gramam’ in Tamil. In the same genre, he made ‘Okka Khsanam’ with Allu Sirish and Seerat Kapoor. So it’s no wonder he chose a sci-fi theme again with Teja in mind.
While sci-fi seems to be his forte, Anand had also directed a supernatural romantic thriller ‘Ekkadiki Pothavu Chinnavada’ with Nikhil Siddharth and Hebah Patel, and an action entertainer ‘Tiger’ starring Sundeep Kishan.
The teasers and trailers promise rich visuals by cinematographer Karthik Gattamneni and the footage edited by Navin Nooli. A film that straddles two eras poses a tough challenge for the art director. Nagendra Prasad’s set designs and use of props seem apt going by the promo clips.
Don’t miss it!
‘Disco Raja’ releases in the UAE on January 24. Watch the trailer below: