Hyderabad: Every movie that director Sekhar Kammula takes up has a feel-good element. Apart from girl-boy chemistry, music and romance, there would be a conflict point that drives the story forward. “‘Love Story’ was made on a bigger canvas. The story has two elements: a boy who comes from an underprivileged section of the society and the girl who faces gender issues to excel in chosen path,” says the director.
Sekhar has been delving deep on a story that addresses caste discrimination right from the days after his box office hit ‘Leader’. “During that time I felt if I have to direct a romantic love story that should have a conflict point. A film on caste. We see such incidents in the newspapers regularly. There are numerous incidents like Nirbhaya. I am happy to make ‘Love Story’, which is also a musical one. This is something that I was excited about,” he says.
Despite technological advancement and people embracing modern lifestyle, caste issues are deeply rooted in the psyche of people. “I don’t say the casteism is less in Telangana compared to Andhra Pradesh. Victims have suffered severely from its blow. So, I wanted to address the issue in the way I could through cinema,” he adds.
Hit by lockdown
‘Love Story’ was halted inordinately due to the lockdown just 20 days before the completion of shoot. “When we wanted to resume the shoot post lockdown, we ensured that every safety protocol was met, we insured every cast and crew members. Producers had to bear the additional costs. It was three times more expensive than the normal shoot. Again, we were hit by the second wave. At this point, any producer could have gone for OTT release. But Narayan Das Narang insisted that the movie will be released in theatres,” shares Sekhar.
He further adds, “One would say that he has a chain of theatres and he would obviously go with his theory. No, he is someone who believes in the big screen. There were many doubts later that the story might get stale, it loses its freshness, etc. I was confident that the movie would tap family audiences. I hope ‘Love Story’ gets praise for its content.”
Chay’s struggles with dialect
It was so tiring to make Naga Chaitanya learn the Telangana dialect, says the director. “It was a tough task as we had to train him for each and every word; later, we changed his mannerism. A lot of rehearsal went into it. His mannerism would be different from all his previous films. Also when it come to the look, no one would accept such a look as he comes from a prestigious film family. But, he gave all his time to work on the requirements. From the beginning, Chay had been saying that the main focus should be on the dance. He is playing a fitness dance trainer in the movie. Anee master trained him quite well to get the right pace.”
The filmmaker says the female lead Sai Pallavi will be shown in a new dimension compared to her earlier role of Bhanumathi in ‘Fidaa’. “She is a bold girl who vents every emotion in ‘Fidaa’. But she plays a diametrically opposite character. She suffers internally. There’s so much inner struggle. I felt I should not repeat the same mannerism that she had in ‘Fidaa’. Changing it slightly, I’ve shown Chay and Pallavi in different shades and layers,” Sekhar shares.