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Post-Bandipotu was a painful time for me: Indraganti

Post-Bandipotu was a painful time for me: Indraganti
Highlights

Following the super success of \'Gentleman\', versatile director Mohan Krishna Indraganti is ready with his next offering \'Ami Thumi\' which promises to be a laugh-riot, and is scheduled for  a release in June. The \'Ashta Chamma\' director spoke to our senior reporter Sridhar Adivi about the film and his experiences of late.

Following the super success of 'Gentleman', versatile director Mohan Krishna Indraganti is ready with his next offering 'Ami Thumi' which promises to be a laugh-riot, and is scheduled for a release in June. The 'Ashta Chamma' director spoke to our senior reporter Sridhar Adivi about the film and his experiences of late.

How would you categorise 'Ami Thumi' as?
It's a screwball comedy with farcical humor. Such kinds of movies are very rare in Tollywood. Kamal Haasan did many such films in Tamil such as 'Panchatantram'. Even 'Ashta Chamma' had shades of a screwball comedy but there was romance in the film whereas in 'Ami Thumi' the lead characters are shown as already being in love. So, it deals more with the incidents that arise between them.

After 'Gentleman', one would have expected you to come out with another star-studded flick.
I believed in the script of 'Ami Thumi' and it did not need stars but good performers. I am very proud of the film and I had written it a long time back. The actors justified my faith in them as well.

After 'Magadheera', SS Rajamouli made 'Maryada Ramannna' and after 'Gentleman' you are coming out with 'Ami Thumi'. Is it to offset the pressure created by huge success?
Absolutely not! No filmmaker would attempt a project unless he is really passionate about it. After 'Magadheera', any star would have been willing to do 'Maryada Ramanna' but I think Rajamouli made that film because he found the right actor in Sunil for that script at that time. Similarly, I made 'Ami Thumi' because I found the right actors and I wanted to tell this story.

What is special about 'Ami Thumi'?
The women characters have a slight edge over the male ones. Besides, the heroine of the film speaks in a pure Telangana dialect which I think is a rarity in Tollywood films. The last such role which comes to mind is that of Vijayashanti in 'Mondi Mogudu Penki Pellam'. Even Srinivas Avasarala and Tanikella Bharani speak in a Telangana dialect in this film. I am introducing another Telugu girl Aditi Myakal with this film. The three women in this flick come from three different social backgrounds and completely different attitudes towards life.

Srinivas Avasarala was in 'Ashta Chamma' and 'Gentleman'. Is he a lucky charm for you?
I love repeating the people I've worked with. Srinu is a brilliant actor. Then, there is Tanikella Bharani who is very special to me and figures in all my movies. Vennela Kishore through this film has been a great discovery for me. I am not superstitious or sentimental.

How about 'Eesha'? She has done three films to date and they all happen to be in your direction?
I prefer Telugu girls as the female leads in my films. In six of my eight films (including 'Ami Thumi'), the heroine has been a Telugu girl. As for Eesha, she is a brilliant actress and as I've said, I love repeating the people I've worked with. Whether they are doing other projects as well is not my concern but incidentally, she is playing the lead in Sukumar's 'Darshakudu' too.

Take us through your phase after 'Bandipotu' failed at the box-office
Post-Bandipotu, was a very painful period for me. Audiences expected it to be an 'Ashta Chamma' kind of a movie and weren't prepared for a caper. So, they were disappointed. I think we did not prepare them properly for the film and have to take responsibility for the disconnect. But I was lucky that I still had producers approaching me after 'Bandipotu', who believed in my ability.

Did Nani do 'Gentleman' out of gratitude for 'Ashta Chamma'?
That is a huge misconception! The industry doesn't work that way. I love Nani and he has immense respect for me. I narrated the script of 'Gentleman' to him after 'Yevade Subrahmanyam' and before 'Bhale Bhale Magadivooy' was yet to release. He agreed to do 'Gentleman' only because he liked the script. In fact, he was just coming out of a bad patch with 'Yevade Subrahmanyam' at that time. Today, I can easily make another movie with Nani given the kind of form he is in and he might agree to it out of his affection for me. But Nani and I were always clear that we would do a film only if we were excited by it and not for any other reason.

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