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In his father's footsteps

Madala Ravi is all set to take over the mantle from his illustrious father Madala Ranga Rao


HE CAME from Russia with love. Love towards his native soil and his childhood ambition brought him back to his native land, leaving behind a flourishing medical practice and business ventures related to health care in the land of Lenin. Dr. Ravi Madala is a specialist gastro enterologist. His childhood ambition has been to become an actor like his father, Madala Rangarao who had turned the course of cliché ridden Telugu cinema towards progressive themes with success in the Eighties. Two years ago, Ravi returned to Hyderabad, after a 14-year stay abroad, as a medical student first and then as a practicing doctor and also as Managing Director of a reputed pharmaceutical company in Russia. Besides continuing his medical profession, he monitored closely the changing trends in Telugu cinema, before launching his production company Bharath Productions. Some likeminded friends joined him as partners.

"It is heartening to see the encouragement and the patronage the new talents are getting today," says Ravi sitting in his posh office room in Film Nagar. "I have followed the emerging trends. My film (he is yet to give a title) will have its own path. It will be in tune with my father's ideals but with more technical gloss and in tune with the tastes of the present generation. Me, my director Dhavala Satyam and writer M.V.S. Haranatha Rao sat for almost a year to write a story that defies trends. It will tackle social issues without any slogan shouting. Nor I am making any political statement. It is the saga of a common man and the story is set both in the rural and urban set up.

"You may ask why senior directors like Dhavala Satyam. It was he who introduced me as a child artiste in Yerra Mallelu. People still remember the song Nampally tasion kaada picturised on me. He still has the fire and the commitment towards work, and I always wanted him direct my first movie as a lead actor too. Moreover, he gave many hits with my father right from Yuvatharam Kadilindi (1980)." Speaking about his father's response towards his shift of career, he says, "I am still a practicing doctor. My father always encouraged me. He's happy that I've come back to bear his torch. I was supposed to return to India in 2001, but with the disintegration of Soviet Union the scholarships were abolished. So I had to take up part time job to continue my studies. I worked with a pharmaceutical company as its representative and then rose to become a manager and then went on to become a Managing Director in that field by the time I completed my studies. My job took me to the whole of Europe. Widely travelled in various countries, I observed the life of the common man in those countries too.

I came back to India with a wealth of knowledge about vagaries of life in other societies as well as in India," smiles Ravi. This has come in handy during the story sessions with his director and writer.

"Both my father and my director advised me to be natural before the camera. `Don't act. Just react to the scene assuming you are facing a real situation,' was the only advice they gave. The film also marks the return of my father to films after a self-imposed hibernation for nearly a decade. He will be playing a very dynamic role. We have designed it well. We have recorded the six songs tuned by T.V.S. Raju (of Raj-Koti fame). I am not going to trouble the audiences with lot of slogans and messages or clichéd dialogue. We are narrating a story that belongs to them with its own identity," concludes a confident Ravi.

M.L. NARASIMHAM

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