'Ek Mini Katha', which released on Amazon Prime on May 27, stars Santosh Shoban, Brahmaji, Kavya Thapar and others. Produced by UV Concepts, the film has received a good round of applause from the audience. On IMDb, the comedy entertainer, which comes with a relevant message, has clocked a very good rating.
In this interview, debutant director Karthik Rapolu speaks to Ragalahari about the movie. The promising filmmaker talks about his convictions and what he thinks has worked the most for his film.
You have made a splash during the pandemic. Karthik Rapolu is now a talking point in the film industry. Could you please take us through your background?
I was born in Hyderabad, but my education till Intermediate was in Vijayawada. After Engineering, I started writing ads for others, for which I used to receive compliments. Even as a child, after watching a movie, I would narrate the whole film to friends and family. They would often tell me I might enter the film industry someday. I don't have a cine background. That's why I have faced a lot of setbacks before debuting with 'Ek Mini Katha'.
I used to be a very studious and well-scoring student. All my friends have been well-settled. I come from a lower-middle-class background. So, you can understand how much pressure I had to go through before my first break. Thank God that I had support from an elder family member. I have worked with a never-say-die spirit.
Tell us about your association with Merlapaka Gandhi, who has penned the dialogue for 'Ek Mini Katha'.
Before becoming a director, there are instances where I wrote scenes for a few hit films. When they worked in theatres, I would feel happy. I worked as an assistant writer under Merlapaka Gandhi garu for four years. I was also his assistant director at one point of time. He was looking for a young, educated writer. When I pitched an idea on the first day of our meet, Gandhi garu asked me to join him immediately. We used to discuss a lot of ideas.
I have worked on 'Krishnarjuna Yuddham' in the past and also on the yet-to-be-released 'Maestro'.
So, how did 'Ek Mini Katha' take off?
When I wanted to debut as a director, Gandhi garu asked me to work on a bold idea. That's how 'Ek Mini Katha' started. In Bollywood, we have films such as 'Vicky Donor', which are meaningful while being adult comedies. Their emotional value is intact and that's why they were hits. 'Ek Mini Katha' suited our requirements.
Santosh Shoban has hit the bull's eye with the film. His character has come in for a lot of praise. How was it working with him? Tell us also about working with the likes of Brahmaji.
After 'Paper Boy', I and Gandhi garu were impressed with Santosh Shoban's performance. Kavya Thapar and others were selected by me. Pravin Lakkaraju's music has clicked with the audience. I am glad that Brahmaji garu's comedy is being loved by the audience. He is such a seasoned actor and gets the nuances right. He loved the idea of playing a different dad. Saptagiri's episodes are hilarious and I am glad the viewers are talking about them. Sudarshan and Shraddha Das' performances, too, have been recognized.
When you are making a film like this, you need to have strong convictions. What went into doing 'Ek Mini Katha'?
The theme of the film that the size of the phallus doesn't matter is just a statement. The film is more than that. When the male lead as a child asks his father about the inadequate size of his genital, the latter thrashes him. Had he done his job as a responsible parent, the story would have been different. Our film shows that responsible parenting can make a lot of difference.
No matter how much the film is entertaining, if the underlying message is sincere, the audience will embrace your film.
Kavya Thapar has embraced a 'hatke' role. How did you convince her?
When Kavya Thapar listened to the story, she loved the unique concept. I told her that the film won't be a porn or cheap one. That's why she came on board. She is a hard-working girl who understands the whole scene and dialogues by heart.
Now that you have set high expectations, what kind of a filmmaker do you want to be?
I am looking forward to making movies with novel concepts in the future. I want to do a challenging project next. My next film will be announced in a month. As of now, I am happy that my film is receiving universal applause.