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Preethi Asrani to debut in Telugu cinema with ‘Pressure Cooker’

Preethi Asrani

Preethi Asrani   | Photo Credit: By arrangement

The Telugu comedy turns its lens on the pressure faced by students to live the American dream

Hyderabad has been home for the 19-year-old Sindhi girl from Gujarat, Preethi Asrani, for the last four years. She was eager to pursue a career in cinema even when she was in school and convinced her parents to send her to Hyderabad. Preethi is currently pursuing graduation at St Anns College for Women, Mehdipatnam. The first time she faced a camera was for a short film titled Fida when she was 16; then and later acted in the web series Social that also featured Rana Daggubati in a brief role. The comedy Pressure Cooker, releasing on February 21, will be her first major role in Telugu cinema.

In her sister’s footsteps

Preethi is grateful to her sister — actress Anju Asrani — who was instrumental in getting her a break in movies. She says, “My sister Anju is my inspiration. When I was five years old, I would visit Hyderabad and spend time on her sets. She has acted in 35 Telugu serials and a few films. When I was in VIII std, I decided to be an actress.” Preethi was actively involved in extra-curricular activities in schools. Her parents were concerned initially about her wanting to be in films, but she managed to convince them. Preethi portrayed the part of a blind girl in Fida and a cameo as the childhood role of the heroine in Malli Rava. “After Malli Rava I got many calls but I wanted to wait for a good script and production. It was then that I got the chance for Pressure Cooker,” she adds.

Director Sujoi had spotted Preethi in Malli Rava and felt that she would suit the character Anitha in Pressure Cooker. The directors Karampuri Brothers (Sujoi and Sushil) are debutants. The film’s trailer gives glimpses into the stress that students undergo to complete engineering and realise the American dream.

In the film, the hero Kishore (Sai Ronak) is expected by his father to head to the US.

Are parents portrayed as villains? Says Preethi, “Not really, parents too will know the intention with which the story is narrated.”

While the film team has been visiting colleges to promote the film, many students there shared similar stories of parents wanting them to go abroad, says Preethi. “In the film, I play a B.Tech student; my mother wants me to get married after the final year. However the main pressure is on hero to live up to his father’s dream.”

Talking about the film, Preethi discloses that Rahul Ramakrishna plays an important role, and Tanikella Bharani plays the neighbour whose sons are settled in America. The plot has been tried and tested, isn’t it? “We have had many USA-based stories, but this one focuses on students and their families,” she adds. Kishore faces not only pressure from his father but also from society, friends and girl friend, and to get the US Visa.

Preethi discloses that the film is a new age family entertainer and not targeted only at the youth. She explains, “If you are good at your work, there are enough opportunities here, but people (especially parents) fail to see that.”

Realistic tone

The dialogues have been kept realistic. The son is unable to tell his dad he doesn’t want to go to the U.S. A scene in the trailer shows the boy being made to learn the names of states in the US, not in India, as a child. Further, the father takes him to GRE classes, waits outside and drops him back; he does everything he can to help the son go abroad. The film is about unrealistic expectations of parents.

In the film, Anitha is an artist and an activist who feels that working in a multinational company is no big deal and it’s important to choose work that interests an individual. Preethi is looking forward to the film and reveals that she can speak good Telugu and has dubbed for her role.

Pressure Cooker has music by four music directors — Sunil Kashyap, Rahul Sipligunj, Harshavardhan Rameshwar and Smaran.

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Printable version | Mar 29, 2020 12:05:36 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/movies/preethi-asrani-to-debut-in-telugu-cinema-with-pressure-cooker/article30851618.ece

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