Movies

‘I am financially disciplined’

Taking the flak in his stride, Srinu Vaitla moves ahead with ‘Amar Akbar Anthony’

Srinu Vaitla is at his new home in Jubilee Hills, Hyderabad, and he flaunts his tastefully decorated office space. It is indeed chic and cool and there is a certain warmth in the ambience as he walks in to meet us. On the eve of his departure to the US for the last leg of shoot, he exudes confidence and says Amar Akbar Anthony will for sure bring back the vintage Srinu Vaitla comedy and there is a unique plot with layers dealt with utmost care. He also lambasts those who are talking about the budget for this film. He says, even his flop projects left the producers with profits. Excerpts from the interview:

There was a stream of abuse post your three consecutive flops? Did that affect you?

There are a few people who derive pleasure by uploading news on YouTube with senseless content and spurious headlines and it affects some people. As a filmmaker I got used to it and learnt to digest it. The same people who pull us down will laud us when we give a hit movie. When I am at work I don’t even glance at all this but I admit during Aagadu, it affected me.

The common allegation is that you exceed budget?

I have never gone knocking on people’s doors for movies except Ramoji Rao. Producers know how careful I am while making movies and how responsible I am. I am proud to say that even for Aagadu, producers were in profits. I don’t want to get into controversies and hence I never replied to adverse complaints and comments. I am never a part of a cost failure project. It is unfortunate that I in turn had to face the backlash even after putting in so much effort. I value each rupee and I am financially disciplined. Creatively I have made mistakes and I faced the result. I analysed where I went wrong. After I stabilised my position I changed my team and did a lot of hard work and I will win back my audience for sure.

What is the strategy for ‘Amar Akbar Anthony’?

Everyone loves comedy, I might not have regaled the audience in my recent films but the audience expect a certain brand of comedy from me, a vintage Srinu Vaitla. The kind of comedy I executed in Venky. Doing a single thread story is easy but the kind of films I do is difficult. Catering to all sections is difficult while giving something fresh. My mark is entertainment. I am confident that AAA will become a trend setter. You will wonder if a commercial film could be made this way too and it will work. It is ahead in terms of thinking and it has many layers. The first frame to last frame, all has been shot in America in two different seasons. Ravi Teja, after the narration, said it is my career’s best.

Tell us about the technical aspects and how did Ileana figure in?

We had to show USA in two seasons — in snow and during summer. Red Monstro and Zeiss Supreme Lenses were used by Venkat C Dilip who made Nene Raju Nene Mantri and Oohalu Gusagusalade. With content we wanted to give that extra visual experience. The content has a lot of scope which can be told in an extraordinary manner. Ileana has evolved, be it Barfi or Raid, she had given fantastic performances. Now she is in perfect look for this character and she was my first choice. None of the heroines got such a big role in my films like Ileana’s in this film. The film will release during Dasara.

You have a new team now

Yes, from writers to direction and camera.., I roped in all new people. I’m enjoying working with them. We would hold story sessions 6.30 am onwards. I remember during kartika masam samudra snanam, we all jumped into the waters and still talked about the film.

How did you decide on the title?

It needed guts to name a film ‘Amar Akbar Anthony’, but the title came from the story. There was no other title as option.

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Printable version | Jul 7, 2020 7:12:23 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/movies/i-am-financially-disciplined/article24180232.ece

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