‘Premam‘, directed by Chandoo Mondeti and starring Naga Chaitanya in the lead role, came as a Dasara gift from Sitara Entertainment’s Suryadevara Nagavamsi. In 10 days, it has collected a share of Rs. 21 cr. A success meet was held in a city hotel today. The event was graced by the evergreen ‘Greeku Veerudu’, Akkineni Nagarjuna.
Nagarjuna said, “I am very happy that ‘Premam‘ has become this big a success. As soon as I watched it, I knew it will be a big hit for sure. I congratulated Chandoo Mondeti immediately. While returning to home, I tweeted that I was very happy. On reading the tweet, many people asked me if I was happy because of ‘Premam‘ or because I was going to home. I told them I was happy because I watched ‘Premam‘. I had tears in my eyes while watching the climax scene wherein Shruti Haasan looks at Chaitanya on eating a particular sweet. ‘Premam‘ is a very feel-good movie. One needs a lot of guts to make a movie like this. Chandoo made the movie keeping in mind the Telugu nativity.”
The proud father further said, “Many people ask me as to why ‘Shiva’ shouldn’t be remade with Chaitu or Akhil. ‘Shiva’ can’t be repeated. A ‘Chandramukhi’ can’t be done as it is. Our comedy, our songs, our culture are unique. Keeping all this in mind, Chandoo retained the soul and made this remake. Several people took potshots when ‘Premam’ was sought to be remade. Of course, our people, too, would do that if someone were to remake a Telugu classic. But, as Chaitu said, the intention was never to better the original.”
Nag was all praise for his son’s acting. “My father wouldn’t praise me because he felt he shouldn’t do so as a father. But I would like to praise my son. Chaitanya has done a wonderful job. It was at the same age as his that I got to do ‘Githanjali’. I did what I could have at that age. I think Chaitu has done his best at his age. The audience are going to watch ‘Premam‘ on TV many times. Since Chandoo is my fan, he wrote the dialogues very well. The ‘cycle chain’ line has been getting a very good response. The production values are remarkable. As a line by my character goes in the last scene: What more can a father ask for except his son’s success.’ It’s my feeling, too.”
Naga Chaitanya said, “It was producer Vamsi who first told me about ‘Premam’. I had watched the film and so, I gave the nod. He didn’t want us to hurry up keeping a deadline in mind. It’s only our conviction that the film came out very well that mattered. It takes a lot of guts to remake a classic like this. Chandoo recreated it without spoiling the soul. Chandoo has given me a big gift. Entertainment was brought out very well through Praveen, Srinivasa Reddy, Brahmaji and Narra.”
The film’s presenter PD Prasad said, “It was an adventure to remake ‘Premam’. We have got a share of Rs. 21 cr for the first 10 days. Even in the third week, we are adding new screens. We have released it even in Kerala. It’s great that the film is running to packed houses for all three shows there. Our film is running successfully in Chennai as well. We are going to add six more screens there. We thank the audience and Akkineni fans for this grand success.”
Director Chandoo Mondeti said, “We thank the audience for this big hit. People are asking me if the teenage portions of Chaitanya were shot five years ago. From this, you can gauge how much he must have worked hard for the role. I feel it’s the best compliment. I thank Nagarjuna garu and Venkatesh garu for acting in ‘Premam‘.”