He is not a very big name in Telugu film industry. But, he held the appreciation of one and all; and most widely from the critics. He is Madan, the script writer of close-to-audiences' heart film Aa Naluguru, ripping the reality of human situations in their ugly shades with artistic exposure. The elite section of Tollywood talked much about this earthly subject with its ignominy against a noble human soul, defining it as a terrific point in day-to-day life. With the early lead striking the right chord, Madan proceeded to become a director. He clinched the deal with Pellaina Kothalo and it turned out to be a cool hit. Afresh, this brilliant young director embarked on yet another romantic entertainer – Gunde Jhallumandi, set for release on September 12, 2008. In an exclusive and passionate interview to Idlebrain.com, Madan tells about the selection of heroine, confusion in teenage love, technical values etc.
Which aspect of Pellaina Kothalo clicked well with the crowds?
We have taken the contemporary problem of the lifestyle of neo rich couple. Lot of people identified with the subject. And movie was a well-made one.
If you do postmortem, what are the aspect you could have improved on?
We could have added 20% more production values to the film. There is separate comedy thread of Brahmanandam in the film. Though it worked in the film, as a writer I am against having separate comedy theater that is not linked to the primary story line. Though it does not fit in the screenplay, we had to keep it for relief.
Tell us why you titled your latest film as Gunde Jhallumandi?
The teenage is an age where you have little childlike stupidity, inferiority/superiority complexes, identity crisis, over ambitious attitude, unrealistic goals, over enthusiasm, confusion. Gunde Jhallumandi explores that sweet stupidity and confusion in teenage.
I read that Einstein used to have two cats. And he prepared two holes for the cage. One big one and one small one. Big one is meant for the big cat and small one is meant for the small cat. The small cat could also use the big hole. Even the most intelligent and brilliant scientist like Einstein could make such cute stupid things. What about the teenagers?
'Gunde Jhallumandi' title is generally used for a sensation that happens to us in a matter of a second. This thing happens generally for scary things. But some time, Gunde Jhallumandi happens from the romantic angle too. If that happens, it is going to be a sweet moment that can be cherished for the entire life time. Every human being goes through this 'Gunde Jhallumandi' (romantic feeling) moment a few times in their life time. There is also an underlying unknown fear when you enter the love zone. This film also explores that angle.
A couple in a bus inspired you to come up with Pellaina Kothalo film. What inspired you to make Gunde Jhallumandi?
Gunde Jhallumandi talks about the lies and obsessive stupidity in teenage life. Everybody, including me, goes through it. We always fantasize about romance in our college time. Gunde Jhallumandi is all about collective feelings of youth psychology towards romance.
How did you arrive at casting of Gunde Jhallumandi?
I knew Uday Kiran for two years before Pellaina Kothalo happened. I narrated him a couple of scripts and he chose Gunde Jhallumandi. We narrated it to Paruchuri Prasad and I knew it for the past six years. He liked it immensely.
It was cumbersome process to select heroine. I went to Mumbai for a month and screen tested 25 girls. I was vexed with the situation and was returning to airport to catch Hyderabad flight. That is when I got a call from a model coordinator called Chirag. He asked me to have a look at a girl. I told him that I was returning to airport. He asked me to stop at a Barista coffee shop on the way to the airport and have a look at the girl. He introduced me to Aditi Sharma who won Zee Star Hunt in 2006. She did a couple of Hindi films 'Khanna & Iyear' and Subhash Ghai's 'Black & White'. I had seen her show reel on the laptop and left to Hyderabad. After landing in Hyderabad, I called her and asked her to pack her bags and come to Hyderabad to act in 'Gunde Jhallumandi'. She turned out to be a brilliant actress. It is very difficult to act with comedians and getting it right for heroines. Aditi Sharma appeared and acted just like a Telugu girl in this film.
This film also has Jaya Prakahs Reddy, Ahuti Prasad, Srinivasa Reddy, Ajay, Venu Madhav, Surekha Vani doing the vital characters.
I am introducing Jaya Prabhakar Reddy (associate of cinematographer S Gopal Reddy) and Vidya as cinematographer and choreographer respectively.
Is there any novel screenplay in the film?
I will not say that I had done experimentation about screenplay. But screenplay in the film is novel.
Tell us about music of Gunde Jhallumandi?
Cinematographer S Gopal Reddy introduced me to MM Keeravani. MM Keeravani said that his favorite song is 'Chelivo Chilipi Kalavo' in Pellain Kothalo. He is a kind of music director who does not like regular dances and commercial stuff. He told me that he would read the script first before giving a nod. He also said that he would need seven days to complete reading as he prefers reading in parts. He got so much interested in the script that he completed it in a day and told me that he is doing the film.
For a song I was explaining the 'Red Violin' reference and he immediately opened his laptop and shown the 'Red Violin' bit I was talking about from his collection. It shows that we think on the same lines. All the six songs in this film are situational songs. He has done musical experiment in 'Ila Endukavutundi' (climax song). It is a challenging task to direct that song. I am very proud of that song.
He told us in advance not to announce the release date. He said that he don't want to be pressurized during the background music (BGM) composition. He took 26 days to do BGM. He asked us to announce the release date only after completing the Re-recording (RR) of the film. The RR in this film is as good as songs. We are planning to release the RR of the film in CD format after movie's release.
After seeing Keeravani's tremendous interest on the film, our confidence levels went high. I would like to quote a paragraph from Abdul Kalam's 'Wings of Fire'. When journalists asked ISRO chairman in Srihari Kota if rocket is going to work fine, he replied that it should work fine because Abdul Kalam is doing it. MM Keeravani is like Abdul Kalam in Gunde Jhallumandi.
What are the highlights of Gunde Jhallumandi?
1. Music: I explained how good Keeravani is in the above answer.
2. Uday Kiran and Aditi Sharma performances: Uday Kiran has shown lot of maturity in his performance. His character in this film has 4 variations and he could do those variations with lot of ease. He plays the role of Banda Balaraju. There is good comedy too. Aditi Sharma plays the role of Neelima.
3. Climax: We shot the climax of the film in Golkonda for 15 days. Golkonda is going to be a vital character in Gunde Jhallumandi film just like Charminar in Okkadu.
4. Chaitanya Prasad lyrics: Chaitanya Prasad worked for Aa Naluguru and Pellaina Kothalo in the past. He penned all the lyrics in Gunde Jhallumandi. Shiva Shakti Dutta (father of Keeravani) penned a fock song.
How many days did you shoot the film for?
I shot the film in 82 working days. We exposed 1.5 lac feet of negative. The duration of the film is 2 hour and 30 minutes. The first half lasts for 1.20 hrs and the second half runtime is 1.05 hour. Gunde Jhallumandi obtained clean U from the censor board.
What is your next project?
I am going to introduce actor Ajay as hero. I knew Ajay for a long time. I am impressed with his screen presence in Lakshmi Kalyanam, Vikramarkudu and Pokiri. He can attract your attention on the screen even if he is in a group with no dialogue. I found him to be of a hero material. That film is going to an action love story.
Hari Yelleti (Director)
Kishore Ganji (Producer)
Ram Mohan (Producer)
Salim Panda (Actor)
Surekha Vani (Actress)
Manjari Fadniz (Actress)
A Raja Sekhar (Director)
Sayaji Shinde (Actor)
Viswa Tej (Actor)
Geetha Madhuri (Playback Singer)
Sneha Ullal (Actress)
Prem Kumar Patra (Producer)
GV Prakash (Music director)
Mohana Krishna Indraganti (Director)
Bharat (Child actor)
Malini Dasari (Cinematographer)
Rama Jogaiah Sastry (Lyricist)
Uday Kiran (Hero)
Aditi Sharma (Heroine)
Nagur Babu (Mano) (Singer)
Sekhar Suri (Director)
Sindhu Menon (Heroine)
Vinu Thomas (Music director)
Nihal (Music director & Singer)
Smita (Pop singer)
Sonal Chauhan (Actress)
Raghu Kunche (Singer)
Udaya Bhanu (Anchor)
Meher Ramesh (Director)
Rao Ramesh (Actor)
Gopi Mohan (Writer)
Ajay Sastri (Director)
Vara Mullapudi (Director)
Bhumika Chawla (Actress)
Jagapati Babu (Actor)
Vijay C Kumar (Cinematographer)
Sekhar Kammula (Director)
Ram Gopal Varma (Director)
Srinivasa Reddy (Director)
Mickey J Meyer (Music director)
R Narayana Murthy (Producer)
Baba Sehgal (Singer)
Buddhadev Dasgupta (Director)
Tom Alter (Actor)
Kundan Shah (Director)
Priyadarshini Ram (Director)
Selva Raghavan (Director)
Vijaya Bhaskar (Director)
R Ravinder (Art director)
Chandra Sekhar Yeleti (Director)
Mohana Krishna Indraganti (Director)
Dega Deva Kumar Reddy (Producer)
Nidhi Prasad (Director)
Hema Chandra (Singer)
Vijay C Chakravarthy (Cinematographer)
VN Aditya (Director)