Indianexpress.com recently caught up with F2 – Fun and Frustration director Anil Ravipudi to talk about his ‘fun and frustration’ as a director and writer.
Here are the excerpts:
Q. Any specific reason why you have picked a multi-starrer project after Raja The Great?
I want to make films in various genres. While I set my films in different backdrops, my top priority is to make an entertaining film. Pataas, for instance, was a cop film and the protagonist in Raja The Great was a visually-challenged person. That’s why this time I decided to make a family drama, F2.
Q. You have made only commercial entertainers in your career.
I have been crazy about commercial films since I was a kid. That may be the reason why I want to make movies that can reach a wide audience. For instance, if I make a classy film, it will only click with the audience at A (urban) centres. But if I blend in commercial elements, it will reach a wider audience.
Q. Why did you pick Venkatesh and Varun Tej for F2?
In F2, we have two male leads: one is already married and another one is about to be married. And these characters have a small age difference between them. Hence, Venkatesh sir was cast in the married man role and Varun for the latter. Both the actors were extraordinary choices for the characters. I can say that they both have taken the film to a whole new level.
Q. It won’t be wrong to say that Venkatesh was the first actor to bring back the trend of multi-starrers in Tollywood. Did his track record in this type of films influence you to choose him?
Venkatesh sir is a director’s hero. He is very friendly and cooperative. He was able to act in several multi-starrer films because he has no ego. He performs according to the requirement of the character without worrying about the amount of screen time he gets in the film. I grew up watching his films like Abbayi Garu, Bobbili Raja, Intlo Illalu Vantintlo Priyuralu and so many more. I think I was lucky to work with Venkatesh sir in this film.
Q. Tell us about the female actors in F2.
Tamannaah Bhatia and Mehreen Pirzada are among the four pillars of this film. Both of them have done a fabulous job. Tamannaah has done full justice to her role as a married woman, and it is a new character for Mehreen. The film gave her scope to perform after her role in Krishnagadi Veera Premagaadha.
Q. How is F2 going to be a different experience for the audience?
We have not had a complete family entertainer in a while. Once in five or six years, we get films like Pellam Chepithe Vinali. I was lucky I was able to make F2 now. Amid all the fun and entertainment, the film also has an emotional angle. It discusses relationship issues without preaching. After watching this film, couples will reflect on their own relationships.
Q. As a writer, what is your source of inspiration?
I think I am influenced by big directors and writers of previous generation. I am especially fond of EVV Satya Narayana, SV Krishna Reddy and Jandhyala. They were the trendsetters of their time. Even today, we have not surpassed their accomplishments in terms of writing comedy. If done in the right way, the audience will remember a comedy for years to come. I work with that in mind. Cinema is my library. It taught me all the basics of screenwriting.
Q. Which is your favourite – writing or directing?
Both are important for me. Personally, however, I love direction because you become the captain of the ship and you can get things done in your way.
Q. Tell us about your association with F2 producer Dil Raju.
F2 is my third film with Dil Raju after Supreme and Raja The Great. Our wavelengths match. He provides all the support that I ask and he believes in the kind of films I make. Even as he makes suggestions to the film, he has never forced his opinions on me. I have full creative freedom under his production.
Q. We hear that you will be next working with Nandamuri Balakrishna. What can you tell us about it?
Balakrishna and I have been talking about working together for a very long time now. But we haven’t zeroed in on anything. Let’s wait and see.