'Love Story' will be released in theatres on September 24. In this interview, director Sekhar Kammula talks about the movie, working experience with the Naga Chaitanya-Sai Pallavi duo, his future projects and more.
'Love Story' touches upon what the underprivileged people suffer in our society. Gender issues are also a crucial element. Caste and gender are crucial aspects of the story. 'Leader' was a full-fledged political film. It had to be a socially conscious movie. 'Love Story' is in a different zone, because the film is a romantic drama prominently.
Casteism is prevalent in Telangana as well. So, it's not like I have to set the film only in Andhra Pradesh because there is a notion that casteism is more intense there.
Shooting the film by observing Covid protocols raised the production costs by three times. After the shoot was over and the movie was getting ready to be released in April, the second wave happened. Any other producer would have gone for an OTT release in that situation. Content-wise, the film is unique. So, all of us wanted the movie to be a theatrical release.
Naga Chaitanya's mannerisms are quite different from his previous movies. The look, the language, the dialogue-delivery - everything is different. It's not like he is weak at dancing. His body language is different in a certain way. He is a Zumba instructor, who is into fitness dancing, in the movie. He is not a dance master.
Sai Pallavi is a superb performer. Since I had worked with her on 'Fidaa', I knew her strengths. Bhanumathi in 'Fidaa' was more predictable than Varun Tej's character. It was an easier character to write. In 'Love Story', Mounica goes through an inner turmoil. She comes with dreams, aspirations.
Pawan Ch, the music director, is from the AR Rahman school. His tunes and RR have surpassed my expectations. The anticipation around the movie has increased because of his music.
The characters played by Eeswari Rao, Rajeev Kanakala, Devayani and Anand Chakrapani are going to be very special after the lead pair. The film will definitely meet the expectations of the audience. I love my characters with a lot of love.
I can't talk about the nature of the climax now. You have to watch it on the big screen. Our film is releasing on the same day as 'Prem Nagar' did in 1971. But my film doesn't necessarily compare with it. But I will be happy if 'Love Story' is talked about more five years from now. It's a heart-touching movie. I make movies to ensure that my children don't question me on its content in the future.
There is conflict in our society and our film brings it out. As a filmmaker, I have to be excited about the subject so that I can spend a couple of years making it happen. I tell my stories honestly. That's all I can do.
There are many evils that we as a society haven't been able to get over. It has been centuries. If you think of it, it is quite sad. We are taught not to discriminate even in the primary school.
My next movie is with Dhanush. It's not a love story. It's a thriller to be made in multi-lingual. People will watch it for Dhanush in Tamil. In Telugu, they will watch it for me in Telugu. And we think it can work in Hindi as well. Thanks to OTT, we can try universal subjects. If we release a movie in multiple languages, the producer can be safe.