Of fast dialogues and raucous humour
In an exclusive chat with CE, director Mohan Krishna Indraganti opens up on forthcoming screwball comedy Ami Thumi, and why he thinks comedy is an exciting genre but still is very underrated
Is Ami Thumi the funniest film of your career?
It’s definitely funnier than Ashta Chamma, but both these films shouldn’t be compared because their genres are different. Ashta Chamma was a rom-com, whereas Ami Thumi is a screwball comedy with a farcical plot; it’s about mistaken identity and complex humour. The story unfolds in a single day in the lives two couples and how certain events change their lives forever. It’s written in such a way that there’s no time to pause and cut to a song. The style of humour is raucous; the dialogues are faster and you’ll find a lot of wordplay.
Was it challenging to write complex humour with confusing situations?
Comedy is one of the most underrate genres. In any creative format, and it could be a novel, essay or even a short story, it’s really difficult to write comedy because you can’t negotiate with the audience. Either I make them laugh or I can’t. When it comes to comedy, it’s about the timing of the joke and audiences have to connect with it instantly. It’s very challenging because some jokes that you expect to click won’t work in theatre, but the most unexpected one might make people laugh. Writing comedy is like walking on the edge of a sword, but that’s what makes it exciting, because it lets you comment on things you are most angry about in the most entertaining way.
Have you critiqued about the world around you in the film?
This film has tons of social references, but we have done it in a way it doesn’t offend anyone. There are references about demonetisation, about arranged marriage, about people’s obsession with mobile phones and how we are still caught in certain notions about our own culture.
What fascinates you the most about comedy?
Comedy is empowering. We should all be ready to make fun of ourselves, just to see how ridiculous we are as human beings under certain circumstances. I like to write healthy humour as it helps in studying psychology.
Since the film is high on comedy, was the shooting environment equally fun?
We had an amazing time. We were working with Telugu speaking actors and all of them were well prepared. Instead of worrying about the dialogues, we were enjoying the process of working together as a unit.