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'Maya is an emotional thriller'

July 31, 2014 09:06 IST

'Maya is an emotional thriller'

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Radhika Rajamani/Rediff.com in Hyderabad

Director NeelkanthaDirector Neelakantha has trod a slightly different path, making films on various themes in different genres.

The National Award-winning director is now ready with Maaya, a film revolving around extra-sensory perception. He is perhaps the first filmmaker to explore this theme in Telugu.

He talks about Maaya that releases this Friday, August 1.

What made you do a film on extra-sensory perception (ESP)? You seem to be interested in things to do with the mind. Your earlier films Nandanavanam 120 kms and Show reflect this.

This film has more physicality than any of my other films. A lot of Hollywood films have featured ESP.

I was always interested in ESP. I wanted to do a film on it for a long time. I’ve had the script since 1996, but of course I upgraded it.

Will such a subject appeal to audiences?

It has a physical nature – dealt with clairvoyance. The character has visions of future events. What will unravel forms the other part of the film. It is simply said.


Image: A still from Maya


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'Audiences get interested if there is an emotional content in the film'

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Radhika Rajamani/Rediff.com

Have you presented it in a thriller format?

It is an emotional thriller. Audiences get interested if there is an emotional content. Hitchcock’s films have that.

In Maaya, the ESP concept is put in a love story.

This concept has been explored in Tamil films. This is the first film in Telugu using ESP.

The film has a lot of colour with fashion as the backdrop. The protagonist is a fashion designer.

Was it easy scripting Maaya?

Anything simply said connects with the audience. Initially I thought it would be heavy, but I put it in a simple love story so the drama gets more engrossing.

Was getting a producer for such a film tough? How did Madhura Sreedhar Reddy come to present it?

Sreedhar and I wanted to do a film together. Dr MVK Reddy (the producer) also showed interest in this film. So, it all fell in place.


Image: A still from Maya


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'All the three actresses have a defining role, style and identity'

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Radhika Rajamani/Rediff.com

Why did you select Harshavardhan Rane for the lead role?

The character is a fashion designer so I was looking for a debonair person.

The character has many shades which I thought Harsh could carry off convincingly.

He just suited the character.

How did you select the three new girls, Avantika, Sushma and Nandini?

Each has a defining role, style and identity.

I found Avantika was perfect for Meghana, the central character.

The character played by Sushma Raj is flamboyant and vivacious. Sushma is a Telugu girl settled in Bengaluru. Nandini is a Telugu girl from Hyderabad.

I had good feedback about these three girls from people. They are promising and have a bright future.


Image: A still from Maya


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'We shot the film in 47 days'

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Radhika Rajamani/Rediff.com

Does the film have computer graphics?

Yes. Bal Reddy handled the camera. I liked the way he shot the film Mallela Theeram Lo Sirimalle Puuvu.

Shekhar Chandra scored the music. Rama did the styling and wrote two songs. Sirasri and Balaji wrote two and one song respectively.

Was it difficult shooting this film?

No. Meticulous scripting helped. Also, I had the performances in mind. My homework was done before going to the sets. We shot the film in 47 days.

How confident are you about Maaya?

From the test audience, the reports are positive. I have never been this confident.

Have you thought about your next project?

First I have to get Maaya out of my system and then decide.

 

 


Image: A still from Maya


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