'Mukhachitram', starring Priya Vadlamani, Vikas Vasishta, Ayesha Khan and Chaitanya Rao, hits the cinemas on December 9. Directed by newcomer Gangadhar, the drama has Vishwak Sen in a pivotal role.
In this interview, the drama's writer Sandeep Raaj (who has previously directed 'Colour Photo') and the director Gangadhar talk about the film at length.
Writer Sandeep Raaj:
I read about many incidents during the 2020 lockdown. One of those articles inspired me to write this story. There is a K Balachandar classic for which I mooted a second part. The climax of that film is the pre-interval segment of 'Mukhachitram'. That's how I started spinning the story. I have been inspired by many films that I watched as a child. I can't talk about the news reports that inspired me.
A plastic surgeon loses his wife. Around the same time, his ex-girlfriend's face gets disfigured in an accident. He takes a decision that has overwhelming consequences for him.
The trailer reveals just one side of the story. There is much more in the film and that 'much more' will make you realize that you had watched the trailer the wrong way. The title mirrors the dual lives of its characters.
In 'Yevadu', the plastic surgery aspect is a plot point. In 'Mukhachitram', it is an element that drives the emotional nature of the story. It tugs at your heartstrings. I researched a lot by studying the possibilities of plastic surgeries on the Internet. I delved into the thinking of the surgeons.
Year 2022 has been a struggle while making the film. The best thing is that Vishwak Sen acted in our movie. Many advised me to first close an OTT deal and then think about a theatrical release. But closing an OTT deal is not easy these days. The success of 'Masooda' has proved that audiences are watching small films in theatres. It inspired confidence in us to announce the release date.
Rana Daggubati garu watched the movie the other day and praised it like anything. He said that he didn't expect the second half to be mind-blowing. Ravi Teja garu is another hero who loved the movie so much. Both are contrasting. While Rana garu is exposed to world cinema, Ravi Teja garu likes mass commercial movies more. Both of them liking 'Mukhachitram' fills us with confidence.
I am next going to do a very big project. It will be an action-driven and emotional gangster drama set in the backdrop of Vizag. It will probably go on floors in April next year. If 'Colour Photo' had innocence in it, my second film as a director will be a far cry from my first outing.
I have worked on films like 'Pilla Zamindar' and 'Bhaagamathie' as an assistant. Sandeep Raaj has written the story, screenplay, and dialogues for 'Mukhachitram'. We took up this project because it's a small-range film that could be shot in 30 days.
Our film is relatable and will bring to the audience's memory an incident they have heard about at some point in their lives.
I have cast Vishwak Sen as a lawyer because I am a fan of his acting. He is a fantastic performer. We roped him in after completing 70% of the shoot. We screened the film for him and only after he loved it did we tell him we would like to cast him in the film. The courtroom portions were shot at last. The second half of the second half is filled with courtroom drama.
The first half has its own pace but the second half has got a superb story.