met Jayant C Paranji at Chennai's airport on their
way to Hyderabad on the night of 26th January 2004. As the
flight got delayed for an hour, Jeevi had enough time to probe
Jayant with his typical enquiries on 'Shankar Dada MBBS'
which is a remake of Hindi blockbuster 'Munnabhai MBBS'.
Munnabhai MBBS is like reading books of 'Chicken Soup for
Soul' series on screen. Is it not?
You bet. That was my first impression after watching Munnabhai
did you feel when you offered to remake Munnabhai MBBS with
Chiranjeevi as hero in Telugu?
Actually I was reluctant at first because I might be branded
as remake director as my last film Lakshmi Narasimha is also
a remake. When I was offered this film, I was yet to watch
the film. After watching Munnabhai, I was so much impressed
that I called up Chiranjeevi and told him that I am in!
many times did you see Munnabhai MBBS?
I watched it twice. that's enough for me to catch on with
the essence of the film and remake it. Even for Lakshmi Narasimha,
I watched Saami just two times.
Sonali Bendre confirmed for Sankar Dada MBBS?
Yes. I personally met her to sign in this film. She is happy
for the project and she is looking gorgeous after her marriage.
is playing the role of Circuit (Played by Arshad Warsi in
We signed hero Srikanth for that role. We are planning to
have a couple of video sessions to get his tapori look right
with funky hairdo.
is playing Boman Irani's role in Telugu?
Boman Irani is appropriate for that role in Telugu as well.
But for Telugu masses, he is totally a new face. Hence we
would be going for a popular Hindi versatile actor who entertained
Telugu viewers with his hilarious comedy in a film made around
10 years back. We have not signed him yet.
you think 'laughing therapy' of Boran Irani is cute?
Yes. But it was underutilized in Hindi version. We would using
it very appropriately in Telugu version.
are a couple of weaklings in story of Munnabhai MBBS. Are
you taking care of them while making Telugu version?
Yes. We are ironing out the storyline to make it appear very
logical. But again, when entertainment dominates the film,
the viewers spend most of their time in laughing out than
thinking about logic.
is scoring music?
Devi Sri Prasad is scoring music for this film. His music
is terrific for Varsham film. Is it not?
is penning dialogues?
Paruchuri brothers - who worked for majority of my films -
would be penning dialogues. There would be hilarious dialogues
with typical mass flavor.
What about the other technicians?
We have not fixed the other cast and crew yet. Would let you
know as soon as we are done.
What happened to your project with Tarun as hero?
Its on! We are having opening of Tarun's film on 28th of this
month. That script is terrific. I am banking on that script
is 'Shankar Dada MBBS' happening?
This film would go to floors on 16th of February.
do you manage to do two films at a time?
Chiranjeevi has given me permission to do another film simultaneously.
In the past too, B Gopal did 'Allari Ramudu' while directing
'Indra'. VV Vinayak directed 'dil' while making 'Tagore'.
That is such a nice gesture from Chiranjeevi. I would be working
for 20 days every month on 'Shankar Dada MBBS' and 10 days
on Tarun's film.