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Kondapolam director Krish Jagarlamudi: Vaisshnav Tej is very passionate about cinema

Director Krish Jagarlamudi speaks about his latest directorial Kondapolam and his period drama Hari Hara Veeramallu.

Director Krish JagarlamudiKrish Jagarlamudi's next directorial is Pawan Kalyan-starrer Hari Hara Veeramallu. (Photo: PR Handout)

Director Krish Jagarlamudi surprised everyone by helming Kondapolam with Panja Vaisshnav Tej and Rakul Preet Singh in the lead roles, while his big-budget period drama Hari Hara Veeramallu with Pawan Kalyan is under production. Kondapolam is an adaptation of the Telugu novel of the same name.

Krish Jagarlamudi recently interacted with the media. Excerpts from the conversation:

What kind of cinematic liberties have you taken to bring the Kondapolam novel to the celluloid?

Sannapureddy Venkatrami Reddy, who wrote the novel Kondapolaml, wrote a brilliant screenplay. It helped me a lot. The novel version does not have the character Obulamma. We created Obulamma and a beautiful love story from her perspective for the movie. The protagonist of the novel is an IFS officer. But, in the flick, we showcased the hero’s character as a person with an inferiority complex who struggles to achieve his dreams. To design the protagonist, I took inspiration from inspiring stories of people from rural backgrounds who have cracked the UPSC exam.

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How did you get the idea of making the Kondapolam novel into a film?

During the lockdown, Telugu directors had a get-together. There, during a casual conversation, directors Indraganti Mohana Krishna and Sukumar suggested me to read the novel Kondapolam. After reading the novel, I was excited to adapt it.

A few years back, I planned to direct a movie with Venkatesh Daggubati based on the novel Athadu Adavini Jayinchadu. But, it did not materialize. I am happy that my attempt to direct a film based on a novel became a reality with Kondapolam.

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How was it working with Vaisshnav Tej and Rakul Preet?

Vaisshnav is very passionate about cinema. He is observant and has a zeal to accept and learn. He has a long way to go. Rakul did a fantastic job in the movie. She toned her physique to suit her character Obulamma. I am blessed to have them on board.

Tell us about the film’s tagline – An epic tale of becoming?

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It’s all about self-discovery. Every day we are living from conflict to conflict, and we may have so many fears to face. But it is you that has to give the moral boost to yourself. In my view, becoming is believing in yourself and not giving up.

How did you convince Pawan Kalyan to allow you to helm Kondapolam amid the shooting of Hari Hara Veeramallu?

We had completed two schedules of Hari Hara Veeramallu by the time I started the shoot of Kondapolam. During the lockdowns, I did not want to keep the team idle without providing any work. So, I revealed my plans of making Kondapolam with the same team within the limited schedule of 45 days before returning to the filming of HHVM again. Pawan Kalyan understood the situation and obliged my plans. Later, AM Ratnam (producer of HHVM) also gave his permission to work on Kondapolam.

So far, we have completed 50 per cent of the filming of Hari Hara Veeramallu. We plan to resume the shooting of the movie in November.

Because of the Covid-19 pandemic, most filmmakers have been opting for the OTT route, but you are releasing Kondapolam in theatres.

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The film has grand visuals, which can only be experienced properly in a theatre. We knew that it would take at least six months to complete the VFX work, and we also thought to have an October release in theatres. Everything went according to plan. So, now we are here.

Tell us about your upcoming projects.

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Rajeev Reddy and I are producing a web series for Hotstar under our First Frame Entertainments banner. The story is based on the novel Thommidi Gantalu written by Malladi Venkata Krishnamurthy.

First published on: 08-10-2021 at 14:39 IST
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