‘Jathi Ratnalu’ is all set to hit the screens on March 11. Starring Naveen Polishetty, Faria Abdullah, Priyadarshi and Rahul Ramakrishna, the film is a satirical comedy. In this interview, director Anudeep KV talks about why chose the genre, teaming up with Nag Ashwin (the ‘Mahanati’ director is the film’s producer) and more.
What is your background? How did this film fall into place?
I hail from Sangareddy. After graduation, I happened to do a short film named ‘Missed Call’, something that intensified my desire to try cinema. I went on to work as an Assistant Director for ‘Uyyala Jampala’.
As for ‘Jathi Ratnalu’, it happened to me because Nag Ashwin watched a ten-year short-film of mine. He felt that I can stage a satirical comedy well. I am glad that he gave me the offer although my first feature film, ‘Pittagoda’ (2016), flopped at the box-office.
What is ‘Jathi Ratnalu’ about?
It the tale of three dumb men who get trapped in a heinous crime. They are naive and innocent. As the trailer suggests, you will find loads of situational comedy in it. The characters are serious, but like Charlie Chaplin, they make the audience laugh. I have been influenced by the people in Sangareddy in writing the film.
The casting is the film’s USP. How did it happen?
It was Nag Ashwin who asked me to enlist Naveen Polishetty. As for Priyadarshi and Rahul Ramakrishna, they have done films together in the past. But nobody else could have played the parts better than them. So, we went along with them. Debutante Faria Abdullah has played a key role. Besides the four characters, every other character is relevant to the story.
For example, Brahmanandam garu’s character, which is that of a judge, was elaborated after he came on board. I was energized to stretch the character because he was playing it.
The story sittings involved not just me but also Nag Ashwin and another writer, Samar. We exchanged ideas for the collaboration.
The film was completed almost before the lockdown of 2020. Did you not get OTT offers?
Of course, we had an OTT offer from Amazon Prime, which was huge. But we stuck to guns. We never felt any pressure during the lockdown to release the film at the earliest.
The songs, which are three in number, are sounding new. Tell us about them.
It was, once again, Nag Ashwin who wanted Radhan to be on board. The songs suit the narration and genre of the story. There was scope only for three songs.
It seems Nag Ashwin was instrumental in the making of the film. Isn’t it?
He loves comedies a great deal. I feel laughter is the heightened form of emotion. During the making of the film, we were convinced that the film was shaping up really well. ‘Jathi Ratnalu’ is a satire. When a message is delivered in the form of a satirical comedy, it lands well. People are not offended.
Nag Ashwin is an egoless person who doesn’t want his director to do what he wants. The final call used to be taken only by me.
What about your upcoming movies?
I have readied a handful of stories. I would like to make a comedy where martial arts is the motif. Ashwini Dutt garu’s banner could produce it with a young hero as the lead. I am not good at horrors and violent cinema. Aside from the two genres, I would like to do all other genres in the coming years.
Your closing remarks?
‘Pittagoda’ went wrong because of execution. ‘Jathi Ratnalu’ has come out really well. Everyone is confident. It was great working with the ‘Agent Sai Srinivas Athreya’ actor. He is the kind of actor who wouldn’t sleep unless you send him the scene before a day.