Cinema

Towards real relationships

On the Sets: Manjunath (R) with actor Chaitanya Krishna  

A little known face in the film industry is making his debut as a director this week. Manjunath who had worked as an assistant cameraman for films like Family Circus and Nuvvu Nenu and an assistant director for Neeke Manasicchanu and Hyderabad Nawabs will see his first film Ladies And Gentlemen hit the screen this Friday.

With a forte in screenplay and dialogues, he has ghost written and fine tuned innumerable films for friends and though it did not fetch him any money, the success of those films at the box office and the compliments and positive reviews that came in, doubled his confidence. He recollects meeting producer and director Madhura Sreedhar Reddy with the help of dialogue writer Lakshmi Bhupal.

He recalls, “Since childhood I have been fond of writing and reading. I am an avid reader of Yandamuri’s novels; they inspired me. After reading his Vijayaniki 5 Metlu, I worked sincerely towards reaching a goal. I also read a number of biographies; life stories of great men inspire me. I pursued MA in Telugu but discontinued it. I would pay the fee and wouldn’t write exams as I had no time. I began trying my hand at direction five years ago.”

When Manjunath had a story, he narrated it to three or four heroes but was rejected due to various reasons. He wasted nearly two and a half years by not working even as an assistant director in any project and also not being able to rope in actors for his story. That was until he met Madhura Sreedhar who was in constant touch on Facebook and offered him the job of a chief associate for his film Backbench Student. There has been no looking back for Manjunath since then.

Ladies and Gentlemen took some effort. Manjunath and his friend Sanjeev first developed a story and then narrated it to the producer. Sreedhar immediately gave the nod. Then a group of people came in and after some collaboration Ladies and Gentlemen was ready to go on to sets. He adds, “In Ladies and Genteman we are addressing an issue. That’s the title because we are telling people that if they get involved through the internet, their relationships could get jeopardised. On the net we share emotions with people we are not related to and are distant. At the same time we fail to establish contact with those around us, especially our family. The bottomline is: one shouldn't use technology blindly, there is a dark side to it too.”

He avers, “With an ensemble cast, we were supposed to get this out after Maya but there was a delay.” Chaitanya Krishna, Adivi Sesh, Kamal Kamaraju, Mahat Raghavendra are the main cast. Chaitanya is an engineering student, Kamal is a company owner, Adivi Sesh and Nikita are a couple, Mahat is a call centre employee, Jasmine is a model and an up and coming heroine. They don’t know each other but are indirectly connected.

Three stories run on parallel lines and their lives influence each other though there is no interaction between them. Music and screenplay are the highlight, claims Manjunath.


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Printable version | Nov 27, 2021 7:20:41 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/cinema/writer-manjunath-makes-his-directorial-debut-with-ladies-and-gentlemen/article6830481.ece

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