Taking it slow
Despite being flooded with offers after the success of his maiden directorial venture ‘Venkatadri Express’, Merlapaka Gandhi took it slow as he was...
Despite being flooded with offers after the success of his maiden directorial venture ‘Venkatadri Express’, Merlapaka Gandhi took it slow as he was waiting for the right actor and production house to commence his second effort. Luckily, Sharwanand endorsed his script.
“He was the one who suggested that UV Creations should consider this film,” recalls Gandhi. “It is a racy romantic comedy which traces Raja’s (Sharwanand) journey and the conflicts he faces and is intertwined with his love story with Amulya (Surabhi).
Once in every 15-20 minutes, a new character enters the narrative, and changes the dimension of the overall proceedings. The film’s screenplay has the essence of ‘Vantage Point’, in terms of how the events unfold in quick successions.” Admittedly, the actor had a gala time collaborating with Sharwanand. “He is very comfortable to work with and is a director’s delight. He was willing to give multiple takes for a shot.”
Shot in Hyderabad, Visakhapatnam, Nellore, Ongole and Kavali over a period of 54 days, the film releases this week, thereby competing with some highly anticipated films like ‘Nannaku Prematho’, ‘Dictator’ and ‘Soggade Chinni Nayana’. Does he think it’s the right move considering that his is a medium-budget movie and doesn’t boast of BO marauders? “The producers believed in the content and are releasing the film,” he states matter-of-factly.
Son of Telugu novelist Merlapaka Murali, Gandhi admits to being poor at writing romance, which is considered his dad’s bastion. “My father’s writings are laced with romance while I’m more into comedy. We keep quarrelling over it as he wants me to sprinkle my films with romance. Nonetheless, he is my bouncing board.”
Ask Gandhi what his father had to say about his debut film and he responds, “He was initially apprehensive about the possibility of success because he thought the film was devoid of romance. But after he saw the film, he realised that I can actually make a film. He is extremely confident about ‘Express Raja’ now.”