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Home > Movies > Interviews

The Rediff Interview / Kamnani, Director

Kanmani's ready with Chinnodu

October 27, 2006

Kamnani, Director

His first Telugu film, the slightly offbeat Naa Oopiri, may not have set the box office on fire, but Kanmani received enough critical acclaim to be called a director with fine sensibilities. Although a Tamilian, he is comfortable making Telugu movies, with his second film Chinnodu, starring Sumanth and Charmme, ready for release on October 27.

The director packs in quite a bit for this venture, which is more in the commercial vein. Radhika Rajamani caught up with him recently, for a chat about his latest effort and his career in general. Excerpts:

You made your debut as a director with a Tamil film before shifting to Telugu. Why the shift?

I had actually decided to do Naa Oopiri in Tamil, but friends of mine who were the producers wanted to do it in Telugu. As it was well received, I decided to continue in the industry. It wasn't a big shift. I can speak and understand Telugu, so language was not a barrier. Naa Oopiri was the passport to prove myself and my capabilities as a director.

Naa Oopiri dealt with a novel theme about a person suffering from a psychological disorder. Was this inspired by real life?

No, it was fantasy. When I found out about schizophrenia, I wanted to do a story based on the disorder and human relations in a more natural way. It dealt with a relationship between a husband and wife.

ChinnoduYou are now doing a commercial film like Chinnodu. Another shift?

It isn't much of a shift. Before I began Chinnodu, I felt it should be a 100 per cent entertainer and a full commercial film, though not a routine one. So, I wrote the script and showed it to people to see if there was any resemblance to other films. I was told it was fresh. It is a commercial, yet sensible story.

Sumanth told me you narrated this story to his sister. She liked it and suggested he to do the film. How did you choose him?

There is action, romance and comedy in this film. So, when I narrated the story to his sister, she liked it and asked him to do it. I felt the character suited Sumanth very well, because of the innocence his face carries.

Could you tell us a little more about the film?

The main protagonist is affectionate, lovable, innocent and aggressive, but an ordinary man. The film deals with his problems. Although it is an action entertainer with some comedy, the script has serious and emotional undertones throughout. The film was shot in two schedules in 70 days, mostly in Hyderabad, barring two songs that were filmed in Bangkok. Sumanth did all the fight sequences himself.

I am told silence plays an important role in the film. Silence and action rarely go together�

There aren't too many dialogues in the film. One silent close-up tells everything. As there is emotion in the script, expressions convey a lot. Re-recording is the life of the film and certainly elevates it. Ramana Goggula has done a good job.

How did you enter cinema?

I was interested in films since childhood. Although I secured a seat in an engineering college, I didn't join. I did a B.Sc instead. I wanted to join the Film Institute but couldn't get in. So, I worked as an assistant on 3-4 films before turning to direction on my own. I had the full support of my parents who allowed me to pursue my interest.

ChinnoduWhat is your next project like?

I have a couple of ideas, but nothing has been finalised yet. I want to make good films in all genres.

Are you inspired by any other directors?

I like K Vishwanath's films, particularly Swathimuthyam. The nuances are so well brought out. Majid Majidi's The Circle is another extraordinary movie. I like anything tough (like challenging characters) that is handled well.

Is Hyderabad your home now?

Yes, I am comfortable here and will be doing more Telugu films.

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