Krishna Chaitanya: Breaking stereotypes
The lyricist-turned-director speaks about his love for cinema and the making of his next film Chal Mohana Ranga
On the long break between his first and second films…
My first directorial Rowdy Fellow was released in November 2014. Two years later, I started working on my second film Chal Mohana Ranga (CMR) on November 16, 2016. Trivikram and I discussed the story of CMR and worked on the screenplay for six months. Once everything was locked, we started the shooting before he moved to Agnyaathavaasi. So I really only took a gap of two years, though technically speaking, as far as the release date is concerned, there's a four year gap. (smiles)
A light-hearted story
Chal Mohana Ranga is a light-hearted entertainer. It’s a simple story of two young people, who fall in love, part ways and fall in love all over again. Most love stories are similar but the way the narrative unfolds makes the difference here. The film has a compelling narrative with memorable and relatable characters. Megha Akash will be seen as a half-Telugu and half-Tamil girl Megha Subrahmanyam, while Nithiin plays Mohana Ranga, who aspires to leave for the US for better prospects. It’s a proper Telugu film with a moderate cross-culture drama in the second hour.
Once in a lifetime opportunity
Trivikram Srinivas liked Rowdy Fellow a lot and he was interested in working with me when I met him with Nithiin post the release of A…Aa. When he offered me this film and said he is providing the story...I took it as a privilege and grabbed the deal because it’s once in a lifetime opportunity. Being a director, we should be flexible enough to direct films penned by other writers. That way, he was convinced that I can do justice to his script.
Like Rowdy Fellow, I had entire control of the sets of CMR. Pawan Kalyan and Trivikram gave me complete freedom as a director and I tried to balance all the factors at work. Before he started Agnyaathavaasi’s shoot, Pawan Kalyan listened to the songs and his favourite is very, very sad. He told me that he felt the same vibe for Tholi Prema which had songs inline with the story. After completing the foreign schedule, he asked if I’m satisfied with the output or if I felt the need to re-shoot any portion of the film? If the producer is so caring and concerned, then what else can you want as a director?
Under no pressure
Even though Trivikram penned the story, the dialogues were written by me. I never felt any pressure and never thought about the big names involved in the film and treated it like any other film. At the same time, I know that it’s a big opportunity and that I have to deliver a good film. I don’t want to ruin their (Trivikram and Pawan Kalyan) reputation.
No holds barred
I used to be a serious filmmaker and I made an intense film like Rowdy Fellow. One day, my wife asked me why did I make a serious film? Then, I realised that I was not a serious guy and decided to try my hand at a film that strives to be funny and emotionally touching. Every time, you have to come up with something new to satisfy yourself.
The whole idea is to make films that are about subjects I’m sure of and make everyone feel happy. I want to keep my life simple and I struggled a lot to practise it. So, I don’t want to be restricted to any particular kind of cinema.
Also, working with these stalwarts inspired me to lead a life with values. Simplicity is the essence of our life and one should make efforts to live life to the fullest. These days, people are multitasking and we forget to enjoy our life. I want to see a smile on everyone’s face and hence, I made Chal Mohana Ranga.
Striking a balance
I love cinema and anything related to films excites me. Be it lyric writing or direction, I want to take one thing at a time and relish doing them. After I committed to direct CMR, I took a break from writing and now that the film is releasing, I will go back to lyric writing. I’m committed to providing lyrics for my friend and director Sudheer Varma’s new film with Sharwanand. Otherwise, I haven’t signed on any new film as a director.