National Award-winning editor KL Praveen says working on superstar Rajinikanth-starrer Kabali earned him a lot of respect. He also said that the Tamil gangster drama is the most relaxed project he has worked on in recent times.
"Working on 'Kabali' earned me a lot of respect. When I worked on Ajith Kumar's 'Mankatha', people referred to me as 'Mankatha' editor. And now I'm being called as 'Kabali' editor. It's very special because I never thought I'll get to work on his (Rajinikanth's) film," Praveen told IANS.
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Working on the project also earned Praveen nationwide recognition. The film's first teaser, which he had cut, has so far clocked over 25 million views on YouTube.
"After the teaser went viral, I received a lot of calls from Bollywood. I was even offered a big Hindi project, but I couldn't accept it because I was busy with 'Kabali'. Appreciation poured in from all quarters and it still keeps coming in," he said.
Admitting to have been nervous at the beginning of the project, he said the superstar himself made everybody comfortable.
"'Kabali' is easily the most relaxed project I worked on in the last few months. When Rajini sir watched the first cut and appreciated each and every one of us, it boosted our morale. He made us feel confident. Since he liked the film so much, we didn't care much about what others might say," he said.
Directed by Pa Ranjith, Kabali is the story of a gangster's shot at redemption and how he fights for equal pay rights for Tamilians in Malaysia.
"As much as it's a gangster film, it's equally emotional," said Praveen, adding audiences shouldn't expect another Baasha.
"Unlike 'Baasha' and 'Thalapathy', this is a straightforward film about a man who has lost 25 years in prison. If you walk in not expecting another 'Baasha', you'll love the film. It's a Rajinikanth film sans any cliches one usually associates with his films," he said.
According to Praveen, Ranjith's realistic treatment of the script is what makes Kabali stand out from other gangster films.
"He is known for his realistic approach to his stories. Even Rajini sir admitted that 'Kabali' is a Ranjith's film all the way. It means a lot when such a comment comes from the superstar himself. It was after watching Ranjith's 'Madras' that Rajini sir expressed his interest to work with him," he added.
The film also stars Radhika Apte, and Praveen is all praise for her.
"It's very unfortunate that Radhika's Tamil films so far have been bad. However, Ranjith spotted her acting talent from her Hindi films and wanted her on board. She was extraordinary in the film. It takes a lot of effort for a co-actor to score over Rajinikanth in his film. Radhika was fabulous in some of her scenes," he said.