Panjaa (2011) - Movie Description - Yuvan Shankar Raja

Panjaa Audio CD Cover
In November 2010 sources reported that director Vishnuvardhan would direct a film featuring Pawan Kalyan in the lead role, to be produced by Neelima Nagesh and Shobu Yarlagadda. Vishnnuvardhan, following the release of his 2009 film Sarvam, which fared poorly at the box office, had been working on two scripts - the other one being the prequel to the 2007 version of Billa - but was unable to start either project due to unavailable dates of Pawan Kalyan and Ajith Kumar. He had planned to shoot both projects simultaneously from March 2011 on, but since that was not possible, he was forced to drop one of the projects, with Vishnuvardhan eventually deciding to direct this film. Reports also claimed that Krish, director of critically acclaimed films Gamyam (2008) and Vedam (2010), would pen the dialogues for the film, besides revealing that it would feature two female leads. It turned out that Abburi Ravi was roped in to write the dialogues, while the screenplay was provided by Rahul Koda.

While former Miss India Sarah-Jane Dias was signed for one of the two female lead characters, making her Telugu film debut, Jiah Khan, and Shazahn Padamsee, who starred in Orange opposite Ram Charan Tej, were considered for the other role. However, eventually Mumbai-based model Anjali Lavania, best known for her appearances in the Kingfisher calendar and several other advertisements, was finalised for the second character. Director-actor Sesh Adivi was roped in for an antagonist role, while Abburi Ravi was confirmed as the dialogue writer, in spite of earlier reports that suggested otherwise. Yuvan Shankar Raja and A. Sreekar Prasad, Vishnuvardhan's norm associates, were signed to score the music and handle the editing department, respectively, while P. S. Vinod was selected as the cinematographer in place of Nirav Shah who had worked on Vishnuvardhan's previous projects. Action sequences were choreographed by Shyam Kaushal, a noted stunt co-ordinator in Bollywood films, while Sunil Babu was chosen as the art director. Vishnuvardhan's wife, Anu Vardhan worked as the costume designer. Pawan Kalyan was given a "much stylish look" for this film.

Principal photography was expected to start from April 15, 2011, with the scenes during the first schedule being shot in Kolkata, West Bengal. Filming eventually began on May 6 in Kolkata, where the major part of the film was shot. The Kolkata schedule was completed by late June 2011, and the following month, filming was held in Pollachi, Tamil Nadu, which was followed by schedules in Karaikudi, Tamil Nadu, and across Kerala. A song sequence featuring Pawan Kalyan and Sarah Jane was shot at the Ramoji Film City in Hyderabad in September under the choreography of Firoz Khan. From October 10, the last song picturized on Anjali Lavania was canned in a Hyderabad studio. Anjali performed belly dance in the song, which was chreographed by Geeta Kapoor, best known for work in the song "Sheila Ki Jawani" from the Hindi film Tees Maar Khan.

The film was launched under the working title The Shadow, with the team indicating that the title may be changed. In the following months, several titles including Kaali, Thilak, Power and Patel, were considered. The official title was revealed as Panjaa by the producers during Dussera. Panjaa is planned to be dubbed and released in Tamil as well. Initial reports suggested that Ajith Kumar would provide his voice for Pawan Kalyan, which was dismissed by the actor several days later.


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