Director Hanu Raghavapudi is best known for making romantic dramas such as Andala Rakshasi and Krishna Gaadi Veera Prema Gaadha. His latest film Padi Padi Leche Manasu opened in cinemas last week. In an exclusive chat with indianexpress.com, the director opened up about his writing process, his fascination for romantic films and how he deals with his failures.
Here are some excerpts from the conversation:
Q. Your previous romantic movies were appreciated for their writing and visual narration. Did your approach vary while making Padi Padi Leche Manasu since it is set in Kolkata?
Padi Padi Leche Manasu has the same grammar as my previous films. Just because the story is set in Kolkata, doesn’t mean I had to change my style of narration. In fact, in Padi Padi Leche Manasu, my cinematic grammar is more effective. I usually write the location of the story as one of the characters.
Q. Your films have strong women characters. How do you write them?
The characters of hero and heroine should complement each other in driving forward the main conflict of the story. In Padi Padi Leche Manasu, the female character is very strong. She won’t stand on the sidelines and disappear. She is in the main story of the film. I think I naturally write strong female characters in my films. I don’t write to show off that I can write. I prefer to write how a character would naturally react to things depending on the background he/she comes from. Jandhyala’s writing style has a lot of influence on me and I am an avid reader of his work.
Q. What is the main conflict of Padi Padi Leche Manasu?
Conflict is not just related to one situation. People argue over something and later compromise. People break up and later reconcile their relationship. The issue between two people may look very complicated from the outside. But, when we go into the story, we can easily solve the problem. In Padi Padi Leche Manasu, the lead couple face various conflicts in different situations.
Q. How did you deal with the failure of your last film LIE?
It was tough (to deal with the failure). I suffered because LIE was an extraordinary story. We killed the story by rushing to complete the shoot to meet the release date deadline. Not just me, my entire team realised it. The clarity which was on paper, was missing on screen. Of 120 days scheduled, we shot 67 days in the US and 23 days in India. Eight days went in traveling. We got only 12 days to complete the film’s post-production work. We did not even know what we were running after. We were not even able to shoot a few scenes and had to adjust with whatever we had canned already. LIE failed because of our hurry to release it on August 15.
After the release of LIE, I immediately started working on Padi Padi Leche Manasu within two or three days to keep my mind occupied. It’s nothing but a process to deal with my failure.
Q. Tell us about your upcoming projects?
My next film is a love story, which I am doing for Mythri Movie Makers banner. A film with actor Nani is in works and another film with producer Swapna Dutt is in the pipeline.