'Chandamama Kathalu is about hope'
Praveen Sattaru made an impressive debut with Life Before Wedding (LBW). His second film, Routine Love Story (RLS), was a realistic urban romance.
His third film Chandamama Kathalu is an anthology of eight stories.
In this interview Praveen throws more light on the film which releases this Friday, April 25.
What was the inspiration for Chandamama Kathalu?
To give a storyline with a kick factor within a moderate budget. It is triggered by life stories.
How did you conceptualise Chandamama Kathalu? Is it eight stories of love woven into one?
It was a bit of a task to formulate eight different plots. It is one story with twelve main characters. The backdrop of each story is set.
Image: Praveen Sattaru
'The film is completely different from what anyone has seen before'
Is it to do with various aspects of love?
These are stories of hope. They range from societal structures, status to sensibilities.
There is a beggar at a signal. Then there’s the tale of Lakshmi Manchu who plays a super model, and a love story of a 16-year-old high school kid.
Naresh and Aamani fall in love after 40 and they have their individual families. Krishnudu plays a 29-year-old IT guy who is not getting married.
Abhijit and Richa Panai play a Muslim couple and the differences between them as the girl aspires for an affluent lifestyle. Shaurya plays a 19-year-old village guy and Kishore portrays the writer who pens down all the stories.
Do all these stories coalesce at the end?
This is an anthology. This film is completely different from what anyone has seen before. The premise is that even the most beautiful fantasies are born out of real experience.
There are multiple climaxes – each independent and yet dependent. Some stories meet and some don’t.
There have been comparisons with Vedam which had five stories coalescing in the climax…
People should watch and see if it is beyond Vedam.
Image: Lakshmi Manchu
'The story demanded characters and characters demanded actors'
What does the film offer the audience?
It is all about hope and living because of hope.
What determined the choice of casting like you have Naresh, Aamani, Krishnudu, Lakshmi Manchu, Kishore, Chaitanya Krishna, Abhijit, Richa Panai, Naga Shaurya etc…
The story demanded characters and characters demanded actors. I could imagine Lakshmi Manchu doing that role when I was writing the film. No one fit it so well. She’s talented.
The role was written for Krishnudu. For the rest, I had options and I handpicked. Naresh has done about 120 films. He’s never looked the way he’s looking in this film. He’s returned from the US and has a salt and pepper look.
Chaitanya and Abhijit were cast. Some were auditioned. The beggar is a key character and we shortlisted two characters and finally chose Krishneswara Rao, a theatre artiste to play it. Writer Pedda Vamsi played a tiny character.
Was it difficult to shoot the film?
Yes, it was difficult to shoot as we had to do so in real locations like on the road and in trains. It was draining.
The main challenge was the casting. It was tough getting the supporting cast also. It was horrible as I had to ask every person.
Permissions were also hard to get. We had to apply and wait. We had to apply to PETA also as one of the debutantes is a dog!
'When you don't have stars, you have to be creative to grab the attention of the public'
You had a different approach for releasing the music. You released the audio on radio and TV channels instead of the regular audio launch…
When you don’t have stars, you have to be creative to grab the attention of the public. One has to make sure the product is good enough. So, one has to come up with innovative ideas.
Yes, we have been doing the release in different mediums. We didn’t release a CD; we released a digital version. We did a survey where we spoke to different people and not a single person said they would buy a CD.
We felt there was no point on getting out CDs as the music is on TV, radio, online and on the cell phone.
Digitisation helped. Even a guy selling veggies can hear it now on his phone. Music is made available to the common man!
You got Mickey Meyer to do the music for you as he had done for Routine Love Story?
After RLS we became friends and Mickey insisted that he wanted to compose for Chandamama Kathalu as he loved the story.
'I still feel like an outsider'
Are you nervous as the release date of Chandamama Kathalu is near?
Yes, I am nervous. I feel the same mood as on the first day of LBW.
You are three films old in the industry. How do you feel?
I still feel like an outsider. Challenges are the same.
Have you thought about your next project?
I have many scripts ready. I am kicked about one now.
Image: A scene from Chandamama Kathalu