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Neelakantha: I always wanted to make a love story

Last updated on: February 12, 2013 10:54 IST

Neelakantha: I always wanted to make a love story

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Radhika Rajamani in Hyderabad

National Award-winning director Neelakantha's last film Virodhi was featured in the Indian Panorama at the IFFI, Goa in 2011 but didn't do very well at the box office.

For his latest film Chamak Challo, releasing on Friday, February 15, Neelakantha chose a love story, the eternal favourite.

In this interview, the director talks about Chamak Challo and his choice of subject and actors.

What made you shift genres to make Chamak Challo, a love story? Were you disappointed that Virodhi did not do as well as you expected?

I am not disappointed; I'm happy that I did Virodhi. I have to keep in mind commercial viability.

Audiences are not interested in some subjects. They like love stories. I also love them. I've been watching many. I wanted to make one myself.

What's unique about this love story?

Show and Virodhi were unique films. There were no movies of that kind. Therefore, there was no challenge. But many love stories are made, so what kind of new element is there is important.

I had to see what new angle I should explore. I decided to take up one that hasn't been touched upon, that I haven't seen in films. That's the part that is going to excite the audience. That's the unique point.

It's better for the audience to watch the film to know what it is.


Image: A scene from Chamak Challo. Inset: Director Neelakantha


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'I'm happy with both Sanchita and Catherine's performances'

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Why did you name the film Chamak Challo? It's an unusual title for a Telugu film.

It's a Hindi term. Terms like wah re wah, chamak challo are used for girls. Chamak chamak is used in Telugu. So there's a Telugu feel too. I found Chamak Challo apt for this film.

How did you cast Varun Sandesh in the lead role?

Varun has a youth connect. He suits the role. I also needed someone with some maturity. Varun has that maturity and presence.

Why did you want to cast new female actors? How did you find Sanchita Padukone and Catherine?

The freshness of the film is its USP. So I needed new girls.

I found a girl-next-ddor in Sanchita.

Catherine had the wow factor which I was looking for. I'm happy with both their performances.


Image: A scene from Chamak Challo

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'I'm very happy with the way the film has turned out'

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You have reunited with Kiran Varanasi, the music director, on this film...

Yes, we are re-introducing him. There are seven songs in the album and each song belongs to a different genre -- from hip hop to blues.

Each song connects with an emotion and gives more depth to the love story. The audio is a hit.

Did you shoot the film only in Hyderabad?

We shot in Hyderabad, Vizag, Araku Valley, Bengaluru and Kadapa.

Do you feel satisfied creatively making this love story?

Yes. I'm very happy at the way the film has turned out. I hope the audience will accept it.


Image: A scene from Chammak Challo

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'When big films come, smaller films are neglected'

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How difficult is it in today's times to market and find theatres for such films especially when there are no big heroes involved?

That's an issue.

When big films come smaller films are neglected. One has to find space or make yourself a brand so that your film is awaited and people will come to watch it.

What's your next project?

I have a couple of ideas. 


Image: A scene from Chamak Challo

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