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A classy film for Gopichand

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UNIQUE SUBJECT Gopichand-Neha Jhulka starring `Okkadunnadu' is an action entertainer.
UNIQUE SUBJECT Gopichand-Neha Jhulka starring `Okkadunnadu' is an action entertainer.

M.L. NARASIMHAM

Chandrasekhar Yeleti's film will see Gopichand rise above his image of an action hero.

Except for the buzz of the power generator van stationed outside the bungalow at a corner of a street in Jubilee Hills, the atmosphere is calm. Avoiding treading on the cable wires, we enter the house to find Chandrasekhar Aithe Yeleti talking to his lead pair Gopichand and Neha Jhulka. The director is shooting for Clap Entertainment's maiden film, Okkadunnadu, produced by Cheri. Cinematographer Jayakrishna Gummadi instructs his associates on the lighting pattern. The lighting is soft conveying the mood of the scene. The lead pair exchanges some sweet nothings in the romantic scene. The director orders for a `cut.' The camera positions are changed and the lighting assumes a different tone now. As one wonders what's up, a few ruffians march towards the hero menacingly. Unperturbed, our hero ensures the safety of the leading lady and challenges the goons. A fight ensues and the hooligans are no match for the brawny hero. "Jayakrishna is using different types of lighting to set the right mood, coordinating with art director Ravindar," says producer Chiranjeevi a.k.a Cherri. "That is my screen name," he laughs. Earlier, he was the executive producer for Ram Gopal Varma's productions, Money and its sequel Money Money, Anaganaga Oka Roju, Gulabi and for parts of Rangeela."During its making Ramu left for Mumbai but I stayed back here and drifted towards pharma business. But passion towards cinema brought me back and I worked as executive producer for Chatrapathi and Vikramarkudu. Finally I am realising my long cherished dream of making an independent film," he smiles. The director is his brother-in-law and Cheri is related to music director Keeravani and film-maker Rajamouli. Gopichand seems to be enjoying bashing up the villains. "He has an action hero image and Chandu is better known for catering to the class audience. Now he wants to have a makeover blending his kind of cinema with a mass action flick. The result is Okkadunnadu. Allen Amin, Vijay and Ram-Laxman composed the thrills."The story has three antagonists - Mahesh Manjrekar, Nasser and Rahul Dev. "Popular Hindi and Marathi actor, writer and director Mahesh Manjrekar makes his debut in the South. He was a reluctant but once he heard the story, he agreed to don the main villain's role."The shoot continues as the director watches the actors. We were informed earlier that he penned the story based on a few real life incidents. "There are no twists or turns," laughs Chandrasekhar. "It is a unique subject; I worked on for over a year and narrated it in a simple manner catering to universal audience."Gopichand is all excited. "I took a conscious decision to work with a director who can do my image a world of good among the class audience too." The story is set in Mumbai. "We shot some portions in Mumbai and the remaining in sets that recreated the Mumbai ambience. The house in which weare shooting now is supposed to be the guest house of the hero in Mumbai," informs Cheri. A lot of effort has gone into the selection of the heroine, informs the producer. "We visited Mumbai four times, scanned nearly 5000 photographs; none of them were apt. The director chanced upon Neha's picture in a magazine while flying back from MumbaiHe instantly felt she is the right choice. Neha is a busy model and also acted in a Hindi film, Kaise Kahen, due for release in February. Our film will also release in February."


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