Actor Vijay Deverakonda’s Taxiwaala will hit screens on November 17. Directed by Rahul Sankrityan and backed by Geetha Arts 2, UV Creations and SKN, the movie was recently leaked online. But despite all odds, Vijay and the team are confident about the film’s success. Ahead of Taxiwaala’s release, the young actor interacted with the media. Here are the excerpts:
Q. After the average theatrical run of NOTA, you are back with Taxiwaala. Do you have any pressure?
There is no pressure on me and I’m totally relaxed, except about the piracy issue of Taxiwaala. I am quite tired with the process of giving interviews for Geetha Govindam and NOTA. But, after looking at the social media posts of our cinematographer Sujith Sarang regarding the film’s leak, I felt very sad and decided to talk about the issue. It is not just about leak, it’s more about the efforts of the team and their careers.
If there was a leak of my movie Pelli Choopulu, there wouldn’t be Arjun Reddy and there wouldn’t be a career for me as well. Luckily, it did not happen then and I am here today. I felt the same for my Taxiwaala team as well. Although I’ve spoken about the film’s leak at the audio launch, since three days, the piracy sites have been sharing the raw version of our movie, that too with a sorry message! That is insensitive and it is very clear that the handlers of the piracy sites don’t bother about the careers of others.
Q. Even your previous outing Geetha Govindam got leaked before its release. Do you think that someone is doing it intentionally?
I don’t know why it is happening only with my films. Six years back, I had no movies. There was always a tension about my career and that was such a horrible space. Today, I have movies and they are getting pirated. I can afford to compensate and safeguard myself and my team, if something goes wrong with my film. I have admiration and love from the audience as well. So, I decided to do the best for our film’s success.
Q. Did you take any measures to stop the piracy sites from leaking your film?
According to the posts and messages of the piracy sites, our film reached major piracy sites two months back. They also said that they would post the film’s rough copy after the movie release. But, they have done it now due to the availability of the film in some other piracy sites.
Basically, it’s hard to control these piracy sites and all these are running from overseas servers. Though our anti-piracy team is removing the piracy links, the sites are putting them again within hours in different slots. So, as an anti-piracy thing, we can only slow down the number of downloads. Probably, removing them permanently might not be possible. It has to be done at the government level and it will only stop completely, if we stop the domains related to piracy. Luckily, the people who liked me have taken up the issue to some extent. These piracy sites are like invisible enemies.
Q. Do you feel the piracy issue affects the film’s success?
Our cinema will work irrespective of the piracy. Tickets in Hyderabad have completely been sold out for the first day and it shows that there is one section of people which is very supportive of cinema. So, once they see the film, a talk will generate. Earlier, I didn’t believe in the audience expectations. But, my notion has changed now. I still believe that a good film has to work. Taxiwaala is not a big masala film and it runs on a particular concept.
Q. What did you learn from NOTA, which was not a box office success?
I learnt that I have to monitor the films I do from start to finish. Because of the number of films I do, I couldn’t be a part of NOTA fully. I saw NOTA one day before its release. I am trying to do one film at a time. But, it is not possible because of the number of scripts reaching me. And sometimes my films are not matching the expectations due to time constraint.
Q. When did Rahul Sankrityan approach you with Taxiwaala?
Taxiwaala is the first story I agreed to do after the release of Pelli Choopulu. I felt that this would be the best choice to return to the theaters after Arjun Reddy. Taxiwaala is a film with lot of entertainment. It has the elements of comedy, science-fiction and horror. It is a family film and can be seen with children too.
Q. Malavika Nair has a crucial role in Taxiwaala. But she hasn’t been seen in the teasers and trailers. Why?
Malavika Nair has an important role in the film. So, it is difficult to show her character in the trailer. Her role helped the movie a lot. I thank her for being a part of the film.
Q. What are your expectations from Taxiwaala in terms of box office collections?
In my personal view, Taxiwaala is not a film that will make a big collection like Geetha Govindam. It is a film that will do a business, five times its budget.