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'Like, Share & Subscribe' is racy and fun: Director Merlapaka Gandhi


'Like, Share & Subscribe', produced by Venkat Boyanapalli of Niharika Entertainment and Aamuktha Creations, will hit the cinemas on November 4. Director Merlapaka Gandhi, who is known for 'Venkatadri Express' and 'Express Raja', today interacted with the media about his film. He talks about the characters played by Santosh Shoban, Faria Abdullah and comedian Sudharshan. The filmmaker also throws light on what to expect from the movie.

I wrote 'LSS' during the 2020 lockdown when I used to catch up with a lot of YouTube videos, much like everyone else. I caught up with travel vlogs to experience them, to know about historical places, famous restaurants, etc. I tried to learn about the challenges faced by travel vloggers and that's how 'LSS' all started as a basic idea. It was interesting to explore what all they do to amass likes and shares for their videos. The lead pair of 'LSS' are travel vloggers. The fights between them are fun-filled.

My film is both satirical. At the same time, my film also observes the lives of travel vloggers. The leading man encounters a threat and what follows is a laughter ride. There is a twist every 15-20 minutes.

I have worked with Santosh Shoban on 'Ek Mini Katha' and it was good working with him again on 'LSS'. Faria has brought her original self to the table. Nellore Sudharshan's character is a full-fledged one; he is a cameraman who fancies himself as a director of photography. Brahmaji has given a range of expressions. A fictional People Protection Force is led by him; they are not Maoists.

'LSS' is racy with an undercurrent of a threat faced by the leading man. We shot many scenes in the Meredumilli forest area. The BGM and cinematography have come out very well. I thank Praveen Lakkaraju and Vasanth A for the output.

We did a curious promotional video wherein Santosh Shoban and Sudharshan asked random shoppers if they have heard of our film. It was an interesting idea. I was present behind the camera.

I shouldn't have written Nani's 'Krishnarjuna Yuddham' as a dual-role movie. It was a good idea that went haywire. I regretted it for a month and then got over it. My previous directorial 'Maestro' (streaming on Disney Plus Hotstar) received very positive feedback from everyone. We would have known the scale of its success had it been released in theatres.

I am close to UV Creations. I am in talks with the banner for a movie. I am in the mood to do a big-scale movie with a medium-range hero. Nothing has been finalized so far. I am also in talks with Niharika Entertainment and People Media Factory.

My father (Merlapaka Murali) is a novelist. I discuss my scripts with him every time. In the case of 'Express Raja', he made many changes. Even so, he was not confident that the film will click at the box-office. When it became a hit, his confidence in me grew.

After 'Maestro', I am no longer interested in making remakes. It was an exception because I had really loved 'Andhadhun' (Hindi). 

Updated on November 2, 2022