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'Operation Valentine' caters to audiences' tastes: Producer Sandeep Mudda


'Operation Valentine' is produced by Sony Pictures and Sandeep Mudda (Renaissance Pictures). In this interview, Mudda says that the aerial actioner is authentic in many ways. He talks about the care that was taken in ensuring that everything from the visuals to the dialogues (by Sai Madhav Burra) was done keeping in view the tastes of both the Telugu and Hindi audiences.

We met the director (Shakti Pratap Singh Hada) after watching his short film about the Balakot Airstrike. Varun Tej, too, watched the short. We came to know that the director was in Hyderabad. We met him and evinced interest to work with him. His storyline inspired us to do a pan-Indian film. Eventually, we zeroed in on Telugu and Hindi as a bilingual project. Sony Pictures has a strong grounding in Hindi.

We adhered to the restrictions put in by the Indian Air Force. The depiction of the heroine (played by Manushi Chhillar, who is there throughout the length of the film) had to be as per the boundaries set by them. In no scene should the IAF be portrayed in the wrong way. The IAF gave us a free hand in using their bases and properties. We grabbed the opportunity and made the best use of whatever they provided us. Their only condition was that we make a film that doesn't dishonour the IAF's reputation. Once they watched the final product, they felt very happy. It was not easy to shoot the film in tough conditions.

Director Shakti has robust VFX knowledge. This grounding is what a film like 'Operation Valentine' needs. He could coordinate with VFX teams well. The technical team, especially composer Micky J Meyer and cinematographer Hari K Vedantam, fell into place. We were conscious that this has to be made for the Telugu audience. The interval bang and the re-recording were done keeping in view the Telugu flavour. Mickey's music was fab for 'Mahanati' and 'Shyam Singha Roy'. He can do any kind of film if he is given a chance.

The budget of the film is Rs 42 Cr. And the VFX took something like Rs 5 Cr. The Telugu version will arrive on OTT four weeks after the theatrical release, while the Hindi version will arrive after eight weeks. Amazon Prime Video owns the rights to five languages.

Our aim as producers is to make good films. 'OV' is the same in both Telugu and Hindi barring a couple of minutes. Promotions will be aggressive in Mumbai once Thursday's premiere show is over. The genre of 'OV' has a universal appeal. That's why we have made it in Hindi as well. The story has to demand a linguistic span. Chiranjeevi garu will be watching 'OV' on Thursday night. Paid premieres in Telugu will be there most likely. Talks are on with Nizam distributors Mythri Movie Makers.

The failure of 'Ghani' was accidental. Too many postponements resulted in the loss of buzz. Moreover, its release date was squeezed in between 'RRR' and 'KGF 2' in 2022. I have been groomed by Allu Aravind garu. Before 'Ghani', too, I used to in a working relationship with him. 'OV' has been hectic. We are going to take a break before starting a new project a few months down the line.

Updated on February 28, 2024