'Romantic' will be released in theatres on October 29. Starring Akash Puri and Ketika Sharma, it is directed by debutant Anil Paduri. In this interview, the director talks about the movie, working with Puri Jagannadh and more.
I come from Palakollu. Despite being a qualified Engineer, I have always been inclined towards arts. I took to VFX and started a VFX company with Kalyan Ram garu. I worked on 'Temper' in the VFX department and came in touch with Puri Jagannadh garu at that time.
Puri garu used to make me a part of his writing sessions. At the time of the making of 'ISM', he offered me to direct a movie but I was not confident about my abilities back then. He always used to like the way I write. So, he offered me 'Romantic' and I jumped into it. It was Puri garu who kindled the thought of becoming a filmmaker in me. He would tell me to write my own story, as he feels that I have the calibre to impress anyone with my writing. But I have only been into writing lines and not full-fledged stories. 'Romantic' came to me and I could involve myself in its writing. Since I liked the story a lot, I turned a director.
'Romantic' is a conflict between 'moham' and love. There is a strong emotional core. Just because the trailer is high on romance, doesn't mean the film, too, is like that. 'Romantic' is a family film.
While the film is written by Puri garu, my signature will be felt. He has penned the story, screenplay and dialogues as well. But the perspective of the making is mine. Definitely, his influence is there. You won't find it like a typical Puri movie.
It was Puri garu's feeling that the film would have a new flavour if I do it. Akash Puri, too, was fine with my coming on board.
These days, infatuation is being mistaken for love. That's why love is short-lived among many couples. 'Romantic' draws a distinction between love and attraction. What happens when a youngster who doesn't believe in love falls in love? Akash Puri has done 100% justice to the role. The story entirely suits his voice and style. He has got a very good timing. Since his DNA is Puri garu's, we know his calibre.
We spotted Ketika Sharma on Instagram. Since she is inexperienced in facing the camera, we conducted workshops to train her.
After watching the final cut, Puri garu got emotional and felt that the emotional depth of 'Romantic' has reminded him of 'Amma Nanna O Tamilammayi'. He told me that I have got a great future.
I think 'Romantic' is going to help Akash's career a big deal. He is looking new in terms of dialogues, modulations and visuals. There is so much ease in him.
I don't know anything about my second film as yet. I have worked in the VFX departments of movies made by the likes of SS Rajamouli, Trivikram Srinivas, Karunakaran and Boyapati Srinu.
'Romantic' has received a number of OTT offers but the producers (Puri, Charmme Kaur) rejected them. I thank them for releasing the movie only in theatres.