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Interview with Madan
Date: 8 December 2006, Hyderabad

Madan received accolades for his work as storywriter of ‘Aa Naluguru’. With the rave reviews for the brilliant story behind him, he is now venturing into film direction with ‘Pellaina Kothalo’ starring Jagapati Babu and Priyamani in the main lead. This film is due for release on 9th December. Madan talks to about his work and other things.

Brief background:
I was born and brought up in a middleclass family in Madanapalli. I completed my education there. I used to write and direct stage plays when I was in college. That experience rekindled my passion to become a film director. I came to Hyderabad and did a few odd jobs. I did a couple of serials for HRD on social awareness. I also did docu-dramas. Then I joined S Gopal Reddy as an assistant cameraman for Manasantha Nuvve and Santosham. Later on, I worked in the writing department for Kalyana Ramudu and Kushikushiga. I participated in the story discussions of Vamsi Avunu Valliddaru Istapaddaru.

Why did you join as camera assistant when you wanted to become a director?
Cinema is a visual media. Proper understanding of the camera helps a director to transform his thoughts onto the screen more effectively. I feel that the camera is an important invisible character on the screen.

How did you get the story idea for Aa Naluguru?
I read a news item in Eenadu in 1992 that reported the story of an elderly gentleman committing suicide unable to repay the huge loan he had taken. I made enquiries and discovered that the person was actually a thorough gentleman who was forced into dishonesty because of his circumstances. That incident haunted me for years. I also observed that there is a conflict between money and human values in every relationship. I took the ‘money vs. human values’ as the subject of the story and used suicide of the gentleman as backdrop. I worked on the script for two years to give it a proper shape.

I titled the film Aa Naluguru because it represents society. We have to be responsible to the society in which we live. I am immensely proud of the story.

How did you get the story idea for Pellaina Kothalo?
I was travelling from Hyderabad to Vijayawada and the bus stopped at Suryapet. A newly wed couple was sitting in the seat in front of us. It was in the peak of summer. The husband asked the wife what she wanted to drink. She said apple juice. He said buttermilk. Then she wanted him to get two glasses of buttermilk and he wanted to get two cartons of apple juice. It was a sweet moment seeing the newly wed couple doing small sacrifices for others. I wondered if they were going to be like that forever. Is it possible over a period of decades?

Pellaina Kothalo explores that point. It also speaks about individualistic attitude of today’s generation. It discusses the changing lifestyles of the new rich. A guy who was earning 5k a few years back is comfortably making more than 30k in this year with the same effort and talent. With the increased income, he has many options before him. This film also talks about how people change with the abnormal increase in income levels and how working wives and husbands relate with each other.

Jagapati Babu has done similar films like Subhalagnam, Ayanaki Iddaru, Sardukupodam Randi etc. How different is this film?
The reason for casting him in this film is his family hero image, which suits the film perfectly. The present generation is getting married in early 30’s because they believe in planning their finances well. In the about mentioned films, the directors have shown one of the main leads being a flawed character. However, in my film both the characters are good in their own way.

You said that you belong to a middle class family. How did you get the finances as you also producing the film?
This was possible only due to the support of friends like Jagan (executive producer), Mahendra (executive producer), Srinivasa Rao (co-director) and Agasthya (music director).

What is the duration of the film?
We shot this film in 60 working days and exposed 80,000 feet of negative. The runtime has come to around 2.25 hours. Pellaina Kothalo has been given a clean U certificate.

What are your future projects?
I have a few scripts ready. I haven’t yet decided which one I will be working on next.

Who is your favorite director?
I learn something from the films of each and every director.

Are you being diplomatic?
No. I liked R Narayana Murthy’s efforts in Dondora just the way I liked James Cameron’s work in Titanic. Both these directors did fantastic work within the budget and other limitations. I learnt equally from both these films.

You struggled a while before becoming a director. What advice would you give to wannabe directors?
You must be sincere to yourself and put in honest hard work. If there is an honest effort, the entire world will support you.


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