March 16, 2009, Y. Sunita Chowdary
Amma Rajashekar says the suffix in his name is courtesy sentiment. "I love my mother very much so I call myself Amma Rajashekar. In one film my name appeared as Amma Rajashekar and it became a super hit and from then onwards I follow that pattern," says the choreographer from Tamil Nadu. He claims to have completed 1000 films that include Hindi, Telugu, Tamil, Malayalam.
Amma Rajshekar's father Silamba Aramugam was a fight master during the days of NTR. He would go to the sets to see his father work and nurtured an ambition to direct a film. Since directing means to first establish contacts with influential people in films, he found the key to it in becoming a choreographer.
He says turning choreographer and carving a niche for himself in Tamil and Telugu cinema is a blessing. He doesn't allow monotony to set in and feels can compose and choreograph each song differently. "I know the body language of every hero. But for new people, I watch their work and then think on variation."
Ask him why he gave Ileana vulgar dance movements in Khatarnak, he says, "Andhra audience love mass movements. Because Ileana did a class film called Pokiri she was not immediately accepted in Khatarnak. I am sure Nayanatara and Charmme would have carried themselves perfectly and glamourously. I don't think the dance steps in that film were vulgar."
About the dance in Takkari, he adds that it fetched Nitin a very good report as a dancer. "He had worked hard but unfortunately he is not a mature hero. All my steps are being copied by the other dance directors and Nitin is following their instructions. He should start experimenting."
Bheebhatsam has five people playing heroes and even the story is termed as a hero by Amma Rajashekar. Why did he push Shashank away and in the middle of the story, pull his brother in? "I started my career here as a director of Ranam. People know how different my taste and style is. I do direction for the story not the hero. I have made a name for myself after the film and many top heroes ask me to direct, why would I cheat someone like Shashank? I have repeated time and again that there will be five leads."
About Bheebhatsam, he explains it's about the problems that youth falls into and a solution is provided in the end. In life there are three categories of students. Those who sit on the front bench turn out to be studious and intellectuals. Those sitting in the last bench have fun, they comprise of would be cinema people, sport persons and politicians. The guys in the centre neither fall here or there. They try to have fun, they can't, they want to study they can't. They end up being call centre employees. My message is for the youth who sit in the centre bench.
Bheebhatsam is a bilingual and has Yuvan, Amma Rajashekar's brother playing one of the heroes, a character who is useless and waste. Apparently Yuvan provided the story for Ranam. The director signs off saying he loves directing Nayanatara and to some extent Charmme.