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Jayant on Shankar Dada MBBS
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Anji reports

27th January 2004

Jeevi 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'.

Watching 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 MBBS.

How 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!

How 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.

Is 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.

Who is playing the role of Circuit (Played by Arshad Warsi in original)?
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.

Who 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.

Don't 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.

There 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.

Who is scoring music?
Devi Sri Prasad is scoring music for this film. His music is terrific for Varsham film. Is it not?

Who 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 a lot.

When is 'Shankar Dada MBBS' happening?
This film would go to floors on 16th of February.

How 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.


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