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Nandini Reddy: ‘I aspire to make a film like Iruvar someday’

Nandini Reddy   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Writer-director Nandini Reddy made an impact with her debut film, the Telugu rom-com Ala Modalaindi starring Nani and Nithya Menen.

She also has to her credit films such as Kalyana Vaibhogame and the recent Samantha-starrer Oh! Baby. Nandini concedes it is tough to choose four films from her long list of favourites, but she selects those that have influenced her as a writer and director.

Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro (1983)

I can watch this cult comedy a zillion times.

A still from ‘Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro’

A still from ‘Jaane Bhi Do Yaaro’   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

I am still blown away by the screenplay (by Kundan Shah and Sudhir Mishra) and the performances of all key actors — Neena Gupta, Satish Kaushik, Naseeruddin Shah, Ravi Baswani, and others. I can remember every dialogue and think how well slapstick comedy was made appealing. When I look back, I think my comedy too aspires to be in that zone. I’m a big fan of Hrishikesh Mukherjee films like Chupke Chupke and Gol Maal, where the stories and comedy feel real. But if you think of it, most of the things won’t happen in real life.

Iruvar (1997)

The emotional sequences in Mani Ratnam’s films like Nayakan and Thalapathi are subtle and quiet but will make you cry. Long moments of silence are followed by a few words and mind-blowing music score by Ilaiyaraaja.

Prakash Raj and Tabu in a still from Mani Ratnam’s ‘Iruvar’

Prakash Raj and Tabu in a still from Mani Ratnam’s ‘Iruvar’   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Among Mani’s films, my favourite is Iruvar. I think it’s an underrated film and should have got so much more recognition. I liked the screenplay and performances, and I aspire to someday do something that will be a little closer to that zone.

Mayabazar (1957)

Directors like K Vishwanath, Bapu and KV Reddy are among my all-time favourites.

Gummadi Venkateswara Rao (L) with N.T. Rama Rao in KV Reddy’s ‘Mayabazar’

Gummadi Venkateswara Rao (L) with N.T. Rama Rao in KV Reddy’s ‘Mayabazar’   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Reddy’s Mayabazar, according to me, had the greatest screenplay in Indian cinema. He showed us how to make a commercial, mainstream film based on a mythological story. The film appeals to everyone from the age of five till 80 even today. It’s entertaining, has drama and keeps you fascinated throughout. That iPad-ish gadget used by Savitri was nothing short of science fiction back then.

Manmarziyaan (2018)

Though my films have comedy and drama that are in a more happy, mainstream space, and I’ve grown up watching Manmohan Desai style of masala films headlined by Amitabh Bachchan... in recent years I’ve taken a liking to watching Anurag Kashyap films that are in a mad, dark and crazy zone.

Vicky Kaushal and Taapsee Pannu in a still from Anurag Kashyap’s ‘Manmarziyaan’

Vicky Kaushal and Taapsee Pannu in a still from Anurag Kashyap’s ‘Manmarziyaan’   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

I loved the three pivotal characters in Marmarziyaan; what the characters stand for and the turn of events were like a slap on your face. I hope Anurag continues to make these films that only he is capable of making.

(As told to Sangeetha Devi Dundoo)

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Printable version | Feb 28, 2021 6:49:28 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/movies/nandini-reddy-i-aspire-to-make-a-film-like-iruvar-someday/article28807127.ece

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