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Lakshmi Bhoopal: One among the audience

Lakshmi Bhoopal  

Dialogue writer Lakshmi Bhoopal considers himself one among the audience than a film personality. This trait helps him to be objective about films and lead a simple life. He does not think twice before taking his Honda Activa and halt at a roadside stall. The Nene Raju Nene Manthri  writer feels privileged to have spent a life away from a metropolitan for long, he confesses to have tasted more failure than success. These experiences enriched him with life-lessons that have added more meat and depth to his writing stints. With Nene Raju Nene Manthri  proving to be his biggest success to date, critically and commercially, the Eluru born-writer is cautious about not letting the applause go to his head.

“I was supposed to work with Teja for three films in the past. He is a man full of novel ideas. I had never seen him talk anything beyond cinema. Many who know him are surprised that he couldn’t deliver a hit for long and Nene Raju Nene Manthri  is a true testimony to his abilities.”

He says many brand Teja as arrogant because they don’t make an effort to connect with him as a filmmaker. “He is not someone who would tell you a ‘good morning’ or a ‘good night’ and that’s fine. We are here for work and the director carries the burden to deliver a hit every time he comes to the sets. There is pressure and everyone has a way to deal with it, so what if he’s blunt?” Bhoopal defends the director.

Power of dialogues

Rana Daggubati in a still from the film

Rana Daggubati in a still from the film  

“I am someone who can never write dialogues, which end with a punch line, I restrict my lines to the wavelength of a script. It’s a bonus that it has worked commercially this time.” Nene Raju Nene Manthri’s samethalu, like ‘paamu puttalaki cheemalega kashtapadali’, ‘Shiridi vellalante shiridi bus ekkali, city bus kaadu’, now a rage among the audience is Teja’s brainchild, he says.

As Teja and Bhoopal were developing the plot, they realised the sayings contributed to the quirkiness and flavour of Jogendra’s character. “Some of them were so spontaneous that I had even sent a dialogue through Whatsapp to Teja during shoot.” There’s a solid reason behind its hard-hitting nature. “Everyday as we read a newspaper or switch on a television channel witnessing the atrocities that surround us, there’s a certain frustration that you develop as a citizen. Everyone has their own medium to reflect their thoughts, for me it was cinema,” he adds.

The writer has also written radio scripts, continues to be an occasional lyricist (he’s penned songs for films like Ala Modalaindi and Kalyana Vaibhogame) — his work for a recent drug-awareness video (by composer Raghu Kunche) has earned him considerable acclaim too. “I think that’s more satisfying and rewarding, you don’t do certain things expecting something in return.” He enjoys the freedom he gets as a lyricist, for he doesn’t need to tune them according to popular taste (like a dialogue writer).

Direction dreams

He is working on four films simultaneously now and has his hands full. When he finishes his commitments, he plans to turn a director — he has nearly 20 scripts ready and has picked films that he wants to direct and those he only wants to write. “It’s the writer who visualises the film first. What the director needs to pick up from a writer is the timing, otherwise, the essence of a scene or a script is lost.”

He believes Telugu cinema is producing quality writers from the likes of Prasanna, Trivikram, Sai Madhav Burra, Diamond Ratna Babu and so on, but it’s still not a phase where writers get the respect they deserve. “The writer is the first person to be brought on board for a film and is the last person to be paid; the producers are worried we wouldn’t deliver if we are paid earlier.”

Among his favourite writers are Jandhyala, Mullapudi Venkata Ramana, Pingali Nagendra Rao and Samudrala. “Could you believe it was Jandhyala who wrote both Adavi Ramudu and Shankarabharanam? That’s where versatility comes from. This generation has writers who can deliver hits, can impress an audience, yet there’s some time before we can call them great.”

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Printable version | Nov 29, 2020 11:39:01 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/movies/writer-lakshmi-bhoopal-interview-one-among-the-audience/article19508861.ece

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