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Interview with JD Chakri
Date: February 4, 2009, Hyderabad
jd chakri

JD Chakri doesn’t like to mince his words while talking about his latest film Siddham which is slated for the release on 12 February. He is extremely hypocritical some times and brutally honest in the rest of the interview. Here is a candid interview with JD Chakri -

Homam is a rip-off of The Departed (Infernal Affairs) and Siddham looks like to be inspired by Ab Tak Chappan. Why do you need references? Why can’t you come up with your own subject?
When I was a kid my mother told me to read about Mahatma Gandhi and follow him. I took Mahatma as my reference. It is always good to take reference of good things. That is the reason why I took Infernal affairs as reference for Homam. You should watch Siddham to know if it is inspired by Ab tak Chappan or not. I think I made justice to Siddham even if I could give 50% of output compared to Ab Tak Chappan.

Don’t you think there is something called Intellectual Property Rights for a film? Did you pay the makers of Infernal Affairs while making Homam film. Why didn’t you give an acknowledgement about inspiration in the title cards of Homam?
I can give acknowledgement to one film if I am inspired by only one film. If I had to list down my reference films, it would take another two hours of the screen time

Homam is more like a Kichdi and you tried to cater to all kinds of audiences. But Siddham appears more like a serious film with a consistent tone to it? Can you do justice to Siddham?
A man has many roles to play in real life. He is a son to the mother, a brother to sibling, and a husband to wife and a father to a kid. For Homam I was like a son and for Siddham I am like a father. I was a brat for Homam and I am like a responsible director for Siddham.

Why are you working only with Jagapati Babu?
I cast Jagapati Babu for Homam because I had no other choice. I cast Jagapati Babu for Siddham because I don’t want to take a chance. Nobody else were willing to work for Homam and Jagapati Babu was only choice I had for that film. I could get other heroes for Siddham, but I don’t want to take chance with them for this film.

As an audience which film would you prefer? Homam or Siddham?
As an entertainment buff I love watching entertaining films. I loved Homam. But Siddham is more of my kind of film.

Tell us about Sindhu Menon?
Are you asking about ‘Sindhu Menon’ or ‘Sindhu Men On’?

You got to tell us good and bad things about her even if you are On?
A manager of actresses came and shown me photos of her. I heard that she acted in Chandamama. But I didn’t watch it because it is directed by my best friend Krishna Vamsi (Chakri asked me to underline “best friend”).

Why didn’t you watch your best friend’s film?
Because Krishna Vamsi is my best friend.

Ok let’s get back to Sindhu?
When she first met me, she came running into my office and said Hi. I loved her energy. I told her that I am making a serious film like Satya, Shiva, Ab Tak Chappan etc. She accepted the film even before I narrated her story. She is a livewire on the sets.

Did you have problems with Sindhu Menon just like you had problems with Mamata Mohandas for Homam?
Ram Gopal Varma told me not to have an affair with the heroine you are directing because it is going to make your life miserable. Hence there will not be any affair related problems for me with heroines. But I had a severe problem with her phone. She is a phone freak and her mobile keeps ringing all the time. If there is good news in that phone, she shows that happiness in the scenes she enacts. There was a serious scene in the film and she got a call and that was good news. She started giving happy emotions for a sad scene. Sindhu Menon is my friend, but her phone is my enemy.

How did you get hold of Kiran Kumar and made him produce another film with you?
We have some many producers coming to film industry from real estate background. And they intention is to get some good publicity and enjoy the fame film industry offers. But Kiran is a passionate guy who wants to make good cinema. He shies away from publicity and trusts his technicians.

We were having a party at Jagapati Babu’s house and Ram Gopal Varma told me the story idea of Siddham and asked me to develop it. The next day Kiran left to USA. In six days I developed the entire script. Every one of us is excited about it and wanted to start the project. Kiran asked us to go ahead and we started the film and shot it for 15 days without physical presence of the producer. It shows the kind of planning and organizing skills Kiran posses.

Why did Ramu gave you a story? If it is good enough he would have directed or produced himself?
Instead of praising the magnanimity of Ramu, you are getting cynical about his intentions. Nenu adigindo leka adukkundo cheppaledu kada! (giggles)

You were supposed to make Marana Homam with Pakistan backdrop as the sequel of Homam. Why did you start Siddham?
We thought about (Marana Homam film) shooting in Pakistan. But they did not give us that chance. Pakistanis came to India and shot (bullets) at us. Jokes apart, we did not get written permission from the authorities.

Tell us the story of Siddham?
When I was kid my mother (Dr. Kovela Santha) narrated me the story of Ramayana. She started telling me how principled and disciplined devotee Ravana was and then ended the story with Rama killing Ravana. Later on I realized that she told me Ramayana by highlighting Ravana from Ravana’s point of view. I call it as different screenplay. Siddham is also about narrating Ramayana from Ravana’s point view.

How different is Siddham compared to any other cop films made in Telugu so far? And convince me why I should watch the film?

1. Hero in this film does not take anything personal. He does his duty as a profession. He does not hate bad people at personal level. My sister Vyjayanthi tells me that we think more about our enemies than our friends. It means that we respect our enemies. Our hero in this film too gives respect and dignity to the bad guy while executing his killing job.

2. This film is not about killing. It is about the agony a cop goes through before and after killing a criminal. May be, it is easy to die. But it is very difficult to kill.

3. There are no comedy tracks and no songs in the film. But there is very good entertainment.

4. We had done away with fights in climax. Climax in this film is purely conversational and intense.

You have seen the trailer and heard my views on the films. Don’t you think Siddham makes an interesting watch?? (smiles profusely)

What are the other projects you are doing?
I am acting in a Tamil film titled Sarvam. It is being directed by Vishnu Vardham who directed Billa. It is produced by Ayngaran films banner.

click here for the first internet interview of JD Chakri on internet

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