‘I think of a fly with affection, it’s given me fame and acclaim’
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SS Rajamouli's film Makkhi (Eega in Telugu) has a fly as a protagonist. The director talks of bridging the north-south divide and why flies don't bother him anymore.
The idea of making a housefly a protagonist in a love-revenge drama seems bizarre. How did you chance upon it?
My father is a treasure trove of stories, having written scripts for over 25 films. He told me a story of a lover who is reborn as a fly to take revenge on the man who killed him. The scenes he narrated were funny and that story stayed with me. When I started making movies, I earned a reputation of making star-centred commercial films. I wanted to do a small film and that's when I thought of this story for Eega (Makkhi in Hindi).
Was it always the fly or did you think of any other insect as the protagonist?
It was always the fly, because that's the story my father told me and secondly, because even the biggest, most successful man gets tormented and irritated by a fly. There was no contest, really.
After making this film, did you have nightmares about flies?
(Laughs) I didn't have nightmares, but yes, I do think about flies a lot. When I'm eating, if a fly comes, I don't flinch as I used to. I think of it affectionately, it's because of this creature that I've got such fame and acclaim. If it wants a morsel of my food, what's the big deal?
The film has special VFX (visual effects) and animation sequences. What was the toughest sequence to crack?
The challenging bit was to get the look of the fly right. A fly is repulsive, it is but a reddish-blackish dot with ugly texture and hair, and it buzzes about. We tried to give it human emotions to make it look interesting.