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Nothing vulgar in 'Manmadhudu-2': Rahul Ravindran

Thursday, August 8, 2019 • Telugu Comments
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Rahul Ravindran awaits the release of 'Manmadhudu-2' on August 9. In this interview, he talks about how the project happened to him, working with Akkineni Nagarjuna, what his convictions are as a director, why Chinmayi Sripada means the world to him and more.

An official remake

Like 'Oopiri', 'Manmadhudu-2' is an official remake. Annapurna Studios follows the best work ethics, they are honest people. Nag sir felt that I would be apt to wield the megaphone.

Rationale behind the title

We cogitated a lot over the title. We attached the number '2' to avoid any confusion. 'Manmadhudu' was a laugh riot. We felt that our film is entertaining and can suck the audience into its world 15 minutes into the movie. So, we dared to go ahead with the title.

An incredible opportunity

Before I came on board, Nag sir had been thinking of the remake for 1.5 years. When he watched 'Chi La Sow', he zeroed in on me. He loved my sensibilities in that movie. When he offered me the remake, I couldn't say no because it was an amazing opportunity. I had no clue that Nag sir would be the hero of the film. It was an incredible opportunity for me, who was just one-film-old.

Comedy rules the roost

The biggest asset for this movie is the comedy quotient. The audience will be laughing throughout. Nag sir believes in the strength of humour. He loved the French original only because of the humour quotient. The ensemble cast fell into place, fortunately.

Long age gaps are commonplace

Take Saif Ali Khan and Kareena Kapoor, for example. Many husbands are way older than their wives. Vice-versa also works. In Hindi, we have seen 'Cheeni Kum' and the recent 'De De Pyar De'.

Nothing vulgar

No scene in the movie is titillating. In French movies, makeout scenes are very natural. I never believe in selling tickets by projecting obscenity. Even the dialogues in 'Manmadhudu-2' are naughty, they are not below-the-belt. In the context of the film, the lines have only a single meaning. They are cute, not vulgar.

Worked on Nag's suggestions

I believe in locking the script efficiently during the pre-production stage. The first draft was written in 24 days or so. Nag sir found it quite classy. But he felt that it should be universalized. I started adding other elements. Kittu Vissapragada (dialogue writer) joined me after third draft or so.

Acting experience counts

Since I have done 13-14 films as an actor, I know how to communicate with my actors. We made the film as a democratic process. We were all open to suggestions. I was very particular about casting Lakshmi garu. It's an honour for me that I got to work with her.

A superb musician

Chaitan Bharadwaj is amazingly sincere, thanks to who we could complete the film faster. His 'Pilla raa' song from 'Rx 100' was a big hit. Nag sir insisted that I rope him in. He is a really sweet boy. 'Naa Lone' is my most favourite song in the movie.

Aesthetic cinematography

I strongly believe in making my film as a good-looking one. My cameraman Sukumar garu has got an amazing sense of colours. He has shot 'Manmadhudu-2' aesthetically. The costume designers have done a great job in choosing the right colours for different characters. The entire story takes place in Portugal. So many films have shown waterfalls, etc. So, there is nothing more to explore in that regard. We have shot in small gullies, we avoided typical locations.

Commitment-phobic hero

Nag sir's character in the film doesn't believe in commitment. Some incidents in his life strip him of his ability to seek long-term relationships. But he respects women.

That's why Samantha

Samantha was chosen for the cameo because we could think only of her when I conceived the scene. Nag sir was not sure whether she would do. By then, I had spoken to her and got her acceptance.

Nothing decided about my next

There is no truth in the news report that I am going to do a multi-starrer with two heroes. Some media reports predate the actual happenings in my life. For example, the news about 'Manmadhudu-2' emerged four days before I knew that I would be directing it.

I don't want to do a love story next. My two films so far are rom-coms. I want to try something else next. I might do a human drama, an actioner, a thriller but not a rom-com. I have 8-9 fully developed ideas. Sometimes, I write the climax or interval block and struggle to write the rest of the script. Ideas get triggered in me when I come across a news report, etc. I have no genre-related restrictions for myself.

Chinmayi is the world

Chinmayi is my emotional support system, much like my parents. No matter how much troubled I am, she makes sure I am de-stressed. My mind calms down whenever I listen to her singing. She is a woman with her own independent thoughts. I can't imagine life without her. We don't talk cinema at home. She is not involved in shoots. Her schedules are nothing like mine. She is far removed from cinema. Music is the only thing she knows.

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