Cinema

Muddapappu Avakai: Telugu flavour in a web series

Pranith on the sets of Muddapappu  

Muddapappu Avakai, the first-ever web series in Telugu, is making news for the right reasons. Banking on the charm of soon-to-be-actress Niharika Konidela, sibling of actor Varun Tej, the series takes a contemporary spin to a Rajshri Productions-like tale, as it traces the journey of a couple, who find love before an arranged marriage. Directed by Pranith Bramandapally, the entertainment element is neat yet rooted, sans any forced dialogue, setting a good precedent for others.

The timing of the series is quite apt, for it’s coming afresh after production houses like ViralFever, YFilms and AIB made their own mark in the genre. “I really liked Permanent Roommates (by ViralFever). I was wondering, what if I started the trend in Telugu and create a market for it?” states Pranith Bramandapally, the man in his mid-20s, an avid fan of SS Rajamouli. “The idea to make a web-series was Niharika’s and we co-founded Pink Elephant Pictures. Later, we sat down together to develop the plot, such that it’ll appeal to youth and other ages too. The plan to cast her in it came only somewhere between. We realised, she was so close to the lead character Aasha. She was really forthcoming in the entire process,” he reveals, who was constantly surrounded by films and friends from cinema since childhood. When the idea fructified, they’d begun hosting auditions at Lamakaan and also selected a few actors from TV soaps, ensuring a balance of freshness and familiarity. “We were a little worried on how we’d ensure our audience and sustain their attention with each episode. However, after shooting the episodes and seeing the output, I became more assured,” he confesses.

Muddapappu.. was only a working title and the team later realised, it aptly reflected the characterisations of the leads and the flavour of Telugu households. Block by block, their team got stronger and there was no dearth of creative juices, like the Tolu bommalata inspiration from the films of Bapu and Balachander in the credits-track. “Being a big-time fan of Bapu, I wanted the idea to be attractive and close to our roots too,” Pranith explains.

Working with friends was also a privilege, he adds. Pranith goes a little dramatic when he says, “I am nothing without their support. For an episode that we would have to shoot for 24 hours straight, they never complained once. My parents are an equal blessing, my dad keeps watching films and even suggests works that’ll improve my craft. They want me to set a deadline to make a mark in the industry and plan my career well.”

He is biding his time with diverse opportunities now but has his eyes set on making feature films later. “I read books and write scripts whenever I’m free. I do want to make films in the future though I am aware of the commercial pressures. With short films and this web-series, I’m at liberty to do what I want to do,” a super confident Pranith signs off.


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Printable version | Nov 27, 2021 6:04:57 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/cinema/muddapappu-avakai-telugu-flavour-in-a-web-series/article8198291.ece

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