Bruce Lee - The Fighter

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Bruce Lee - The Fighter
Bruce Lee Telugu film poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Sreenu Vaitla
Produced by DVV Danayya
Written by
Starring
Music by S. Thaman
Cinematography Manoj Paramahamsa
Edited by M. R. Varma
Production
company
Release date
  • 16 October 2015 (2015-10-16)
Running time
151 minutes
Country India
Language Telugu

Bruce Lee - The Fighter (also known as Bruce Lee) is a 2015 Indian Telugu-language action comedy film directed by Sreenu Vaitla, starring Ram Charan and Rakul Preet Singh in the lead roles which is produced by DVV Danayya under the banner DVV Entertainments. Kona Venkat and Gopimohan co-wrote the film's script and dialogues while Vaitla himself penned the screenplay. S. Thaman composed the film's soundtrack. Manoj Paramahamsa took charge of the film's cinematography. The film was dubbed into Hindi (in 2016 for television release on Zee Cinema on 18 March), Tamil and Malayalam under the same name. The film received mixed to negative reviews and failed at the box office with less distributor shares.[1]

Plot[edit]

Karthik and Kavya are the children of Rama Chandra Rao (Rao Ramesh). Rama Chandra Rao wants to make Karthik into a collector. The only problem is that Kavya wants to become a collector as well, but Rama Chandra Rao cannot afford to pay for both of their studies. Because of this, Karthik deliberately fails in his exams so that his sister can join Delhi Public School in order to become a collector. The only one aware of his sacrifice is his uncle (Tanikella Bharani).

Years later, Karthik a.k.a. Bruce Lee (Ram Charan) is a stuntman working under stuntmaster Dangerous David (Jaya Prakash Reddy) and Kavya (Kriti Kharbanda) is still the smart girl she was. Once, Bruce Lee goes in the middle of a shooting to a hotel to save his friend's sister who was being kidnapped. Riya (Rakul Preet Singh), a game designer, who came there to meet a police officer (Satyam Rajesh) for marriage, sees Bruce Lee in his police costume and mistakes him for a brave officer. She becomes a fan of him and rejects the other police officer because he is corrupted. Some days later, Bruce Lee finds out that Riya uploaded the video of him fighting in a police costume on Facebook. When he goes to meet her, he falls in love with and finds out that she is designing a video game called SuperCop based on him. From then Riya spends time with him continuously, while Karthik is still afraid of revealing his identity as he fears she might go away from him. Meanwhile, a terrorist attack occurs in a hotel. Karthik's elder brother, Ravi (Ravi Prakash) and commissioner Marthand (Sayaji Shinde) confirm that it was a terrorist attack. Later, Ravi finds evidence to prove that it was not a terrorist attack but an attempt to kill 2 rival businessmen by Deepak Raj (Arun Vijay). He goes to Marthand, but Marthand is actually corrupt and turns Ravi into Deepak Raj who knocks him unconscious. Meanwhile, Riya keeps getting Bruce Lee into fights thinking that he is an undercover cop. In the meantime, Kavya writes her final exams needed to become a collector and while she is returning, Deepak drugs her forcefully and arrests her to trick Ram Gopal (Nagendra Babu), someone trying to get him in jail, to think that it was his daughter. Bruce Lee knows of this and beats up Deepak, sending him into a coma, and returns in time for Kavya's engagement with Rahul (Amitash Pradhaan), the son of Jayaraj (Sampath Raj) and Vasundhra (Nadhiya) who are bosses of Rama Chandra Rao. It's shown to us that Deepak is the first son of Jayaraj with an unofficial wife, Malini (Tisca Chopra). A couple of days later, Riya takes Karthik, who she thinks is still a police officer, to meet her family. Her father is IB Chief Bharadwaj (Mukesh Rishi) who knows Bruce Lee's real profession and his background and they both start a mission to capture Jayaraj and Deepak. Following the plan, he joins Jayaraj's company as his assistant and uses Suzuki Subramanyam (Brahmanandam), an undercover cop, to reveal Jayaraj's secrets to Vasundhara, causing her to leave him. Meanwhile, Deepak captures Bruce Lee and shoots him. Later, Jayaraj, with his men, try to kill Vasundhara, Rahul and Kavya. Bruce Lee comes back as he was aware of all of Deepak's plans. This is because they had replaced G. Ramji (Jaya Prakash Reddy), a corrupt inspector under Deepak's payroll and David's lookalike with David himself. Karthik was actually wearing a bulletproof vest under his shirt and there were blood bombs in the vest. Deepak's shots caused the bombs to burst. In the ensuring fight, Bruce Lee kills Deepak and takes his body to Jayaraj, revealing to Jayaraj who he actually is. In revenge, Jayaraj kidnaps Riya and stabs Rama Chandra Rao in front of his eyes after he tells him all about Bruce Lee's sacrifices for his family. Bruce Lee admits his father in the hospital and calls Megastar Chiranjeevi (Chiranjeevi) who is in shooting for his 150th movie to help Riya. Chiranjeevi goes and beats up the goons and saves Riya. In the meantime Suzuki arrests Jayaraj finishing his last mission before he retires and his first ever success that he got after being admitted into the police force. At the last scene of the film, During a celebration, Riya asks Karthik to fill up a form and become an actual police officer, to which everyone starts laughing.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

Development[edit]

Sreenu Vaitla narrated a storyline to Ram Charan in late March 2014 and post the latter's approval, Vaitla planned to start work on the film's script after completing Aagadu (2014).[2] DVV Danayya, who produced Ram Charan's Naayak (2013), announced in late July 2014 that he would produce this film under the banner Universal Media and the pre-production works would begin soon. The production was expected to start in November 2014.[3] The film was shelved post the release of Aagadu and was revived in late October 2014.[4] After returning from a holiday in Kerala, Charan gave his nod in early December 2014 and Vaitla was busy giving final touches to the script which was said to be a fast-paced action comedy.[5]

Charan informed the media that the film's production would commence in February 2015.[6] My Name is Raju, a phrase picked up from the popular song of Jagadeka Veerudu Atiloka Sundari (1990) starring Chiranjeevi and Sridevi, was considered as the film's title.[7][8] The makers announced that the film would be a family drama and would be bankrolled by Danayya under his new banner DVV Entertainments.[9] The film was launched officially on 5 March 2015 at Danayya's office in Hyderabad.[10] The film was said to be inspired from the basic plot of the Telugu film Vijetha (1985).[11] The makers contemplated to title the film as Bruce Lee in mid May 2015 considering the protagonist's character being a stuntman acting as a body double for actors,[12] which was confirmed in late August 2015.[13]

Casting[edit]

Samantha Ruth Prabhu (left) was initially considered for one of the female lead roles, but Rakul Preet Singh (right) ended up being engaged for the same.

Post the release of 1: Nenokkadine (2014) and before the release of Lingaa (2014), its female leads Kriti Sanon and Sonakshi Sinha were rumored to sign this film as the female leads.[14][15][16] Shruti Haasan was approached in late July 2014 to play the female lead.[17] Her inclusion was almost confirmed, considering her previous collaboration with Charan in Yevadu (2014).[18] Both DVV Danayya and Ram Charan reportedly insisted Vaitla to cast Prakash Raj in a crucial role with whom Vaitla had differences in the past.[19] A source from the film's unit told IANS on 1 January 2015 that Samantha Ruth Prabhu was finalised as one of the female leads and the second female lead was yet to be decided.[20]

Vaitla was reported to abstain from casting Brahmanandam in this film making it his fourth film not featuring Brahmanandam after Nee Kosam (1999), Sontham (2002) and Anandamanandamaye (2004).[21] Gopimohan later confirmed Brahmanandam's inclusion in the film adding that the character written for him would be one of the highlights of the film.[22] Vaitla reportedly wanted to re-shoot Brahmanandam's scenes with N. Santhanam for the Tamil dubbed version similar to the act of S. S. Rajamouli for the casting of Eega (2012) as Chiranjeevi suggested to replace Brahmanandam with Santhanam.[23]

Samantha was replaced by Rakul Preet Singh at the same time. While the lack of dates to accommodate was cited as one reason,[24] budgetary reasons were cited as the other reason.[25] Vaitla considered Ramya Krishnan, Tulasi and Jeevitha from Telugu cinema and also searched for yesteryear heroines in Tamil and Kannada cinema for the role of Charan's mother which was very crucial for the film's story.[26] Kriti Kharbanda made a comeback to Telugu cinema with this film after the makers narrated her character sketch and the film's story.[27] The second female lead was yet to be finalised.[28] Nadhiya and Kashmira Shah were confirmed as a part of the film's cast in early June 2015.[29] Impressed by his performance in Velaiyilla Pattathari (2014), the makers cast Amitash Pradhaan to play a supporting role marking his Telugu debut.[30] Similarly, Tamil Actor Arun Vijay was chosen to play the film's lead antagonist making his debut in Telugu after the makers were impressed with his performance in Yennai Arindhaal.[31] Brahmaji's inclusion in the film's cast was confirmed in late June 2015.[32] Rao Ramesh confirmed his inclusion in the film's cast in early August 2015 before leaving for Bangkok for the film's shoot.[33] Days later, Prudhviraj confirmed his inclusion in the film's cast.[34] On 20 August 2015, Vaitla confirmed that Chiranjeevi would make a cameo appearance in the film.[35] He added that Chiranjeevi would appear for fifteen minutes in the film.[36] Tisca Chopra was signed to play a supporting role marking her debut in Telugu cinema.[37]

Characters and appearance[edit]

While Ram Charan (left) plays the role of an action choreographer, Kriti Kharbandha (right) plays his sister, a courageous girl-next-door.

Charan hired Priyanka Chopra's trainer Samir Jaura in mid July 2014 to get into shape for this film by following an intensive training program designed by Jaura lasting for four-five months along with a strict diet. Jaura reached Hyderabad and accompanied Charan to the film sets where he worked out before or after the shoot of Govindudu Andarivadele (2014).[38][39] Vaitla said in an interview that he wanted to put Charan's comic skills to the fore with this film, adding that the film would have a "good blend of humour and punch dialogues".[40]

He was later confirmed to be seen as an action choreographer sporting a rugged look for which he had to shed weight by following a tough fitness regimen for four hours a day at his farmhouse in Bangalore.[41] For further training, he left to Bangkok in mid April 2015 where he trained with Jaika stunt team.[42] Action choreographer Kecha Khamphakdee supervised his training which consisted mainly of mixed martial arts.[43] Videos showing Charan's kick boxing training sessions were released by Jaika Stunt team on 23 April 2015.[44] He also began learning Karate for his role since mid May 2015.[45] For the role, he sported a tattoo of Bruce Lee on his hand.[36]

Kriti Kharbanda was signed in on to play Charan's sister in the film.[27] Danayya said that her character would be an important one in the film.[28] She said in an interview that she would play a courageous girl-next-door and added that she was asked by Vaitla to be herself and extremely talkative.[46] Vaitla envisioned a middle aged woman running a manufacturing firm as Charan's mother in the film.[26] Amitash Pradhan was signed to play a businessman. While Nadhiya plays his mother, Kriti would play his love interest. He added that his role would be a positive one, unlike his character in Velaiyilla Pattathari.[47] Brahmaji would play the role of a lead actor sporting different attires throughout the film to whom Charan would be seen as a body double sporting the same attires.[48] Arun Vijay called his character a powerful one and would sport a stylish look.[49] Rao Ramesh played the role of Charan's father in the film.[33] During the promotions of Kick 2 (2015), Rakul Preet Singh said that she would play the role of a graphic designer in this film.[50] Chopra was signed to play the role of a "strong woman, a very wealthy and stylish one at that".[37]

Crew[edit]

Vaitla was rumored to collaborate with the writer duo Kona Venkat-Gopimohan for this film with whom he had differences in the past.[51] Kona Venkat-Gopimohan were working on the film's script in United States in late November 2014.[52] S. Thaman and Sameer Reddy were reported to be the music director and cinematographer of the film respectively.[53] Kona Venkat confirmed that he would be working with Vaitla again for this film after Charan convinced him to put aside their personal differences adding that he discussed the script with Vaitla and got an approval from Charan.[54]

Gopimohan confirmed the same adding that this film's script would have no traces of their past works.[22] Anirudh Ravichander was signed in on to compose the film's music marking his debut in Telugu cinema and also making this film the third Charan's film to have music composed by a Tamil music composer.[a][55] He met Charan at his house in Hyderabad in early February 2015 and Danayya, Vaitla and others were also present during the meeting. He accepted to be a part of the film after liking the film's script.[56]

Manoj Paramahamsa was signed in on as the film's director of photography.[57] The makers announced that Kona Venkat would pen the dialogues and co-write the film's script along with Gopimohan while Vaitla himself would pen the film's screenplay.[58] Anirudh walked out of the project in late March 2015 and was subsequently replaced by S. Thaman who collaborated with Vaitla for Dookudu (2011), Baadshah (2013) and Aagadu (2014).[59] Thaman confirmed the same through his Twitter page later.[60]

Filming[edit]

Principal photography began on 16 March 2015 at Hyderabad and the film's principal cast participated in the shoot.[61] In late April 2015, Rakul Preet Singh's manager told media that she has allotted 15 days per month for the upcoming three months for this film's shoot.[62] Charan was reported to join the film's sets on 27 April 2015 after returning from Bangkok.[63] That schedule was dropped and a fresh schedule began from 21 May 2015 to shoot two duets on Charan and Rakul Preet Singh in Spain till 30 May 2015.[64] The next schedule began from 3 June 2015 at Hydeabad which was announced last till the completion of the film's shoot.[29]

Initially, few action sequences were shot in the old city area of Hyderabad.[65] On 15 June 2015, Charan revealed through his official Facebook page that filming of two songs, interval fight sequences and a few scenes have been completed till then.[66] After a month, the makers revealed that 40% of the film's shoot is complete.[67] Filming continued at Bangkok where crucial scenes on the film's principal cast were shot till 12 August 2015.[68] The next schedule began at Hyderabad from the next day.[69] The song Mega Meter was shot at Hyderabad in late September 2015.[70] Charan participated in the song's shoot for 17 hours continuously and despite being injured in her back while rehearsing, Rakul Preet Singh completed her portions in the song in three days.[71]

By then, the film's principal photography was wrapped up except for two songs and patchwork. Post-production activities were carried out in tandem.[72] Chiranjeevi joined the film's sets on 28 September 2015,[73] and completed filming for his cameo appearance in three days.[74] Charan and Rakul Preet Singh participated in the shoot of the song Bruce Lee for 24 hours continuously. Upon its completion, principal photography was wrapped up on 6 October 2015. By then, Charan completed dubbing for his character in the film's first half and completed the rest in two days.[75] The film was shot in 110 working days with 15 working hours per day, thus turning the fastest big budget Telugu film featuring a big star cast in the recent times.[76]

Soundtrack[edit]

Telugu track listing
No.TitleSinger(s)Length
1."Run"Saisharan , Nivaz4.19
2."Ria"Rabbit Mac , Deepak5.43
3."Kung Fu Kumari"Deepak, Ramya Behara5.06
4."Lehchalo"S. Thaman , Megha4.30
5."Bruce Lee"Simha, Sameera Bharadwaj4.42
Total length:22.1
Tamil track listing
Tamil audio is owned by Mango Music.
No.TitleSinger(s)Length
1."Run"Jagadeesh4.19
2."Ria"Vallavan4.03
3."Kung Fu Kumari"Saritha Ram, MRG Pravin4.27
4."Lehchalo"Vallavan, Haripriya4.30
5."Bruce Lee"Saritha Ram, MRG Praveen4.42
Total length:22.1

Release[edit]

Danayya planned to release the film on 15 October 2015, a week ahead of Dusherra,[77] clashing with Mahesh Babu's Brahmotsavam[78] and Nandamuri Balakrishna's Dictator, his 99th film as an actor.[79] The overseas theatrical distribution rights were acquired by Great India Films in mid July 2015.[80] The television broadcast rights of the original and Hindi dubbed versions were acquired by Zee TV. Zee Music acquired the marketing rights of the film's soundtrack.[81] On 8 September 2015, Danayya confirmed 16 October 2015 as the film's release date.[82] Due to a few action sequences, the film was passed with a "U/A" certificate instead of a "U" by the Central Board of Film Certification.[83]

Reception[edit]

The film received mediocre reviews from critics.[1] Bangalore Mirror noted that it "is strictly passable fare where Srinu Vaitla fails to really entertain us convincingly".[84] India Today wrote "There are films which exactly pan out in a way you predict they would, without any disarray, and still they don't disappoint you. Bruce Lee The Fighter fits that bill".[85]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Harris Jayaraj and Yuvan Shankar Raja composed music for Charan's films Orange (2010) and Govindudu Andarivadele (2014) in the past respectively.[55]

References[edit]

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