Satish Vegesna: Entha Manchivaadavuraa will reach its target audience
Following a quiet year, director Satish Vegesna looks a picture of confidence as he sits down for a chat about his Sankranthi release, Entha Manchivaadavuraa
Director Satish Vegesna's National-award winning family entertainer Shatamanam Bhavati (2017), which depicted the emotional saga of estranged children reuniting with their parents, fired up several Telugu filmmakers to make many such films. His other release, Srinivasa Kalyanam (2018), which highlighted the importance of marriage, was not as successful despite the promising premise. Currently, his hands are full with the promotion of his Sankranthi release, Entha Manchivaadavuraa, a remake of the 2018 Gujarati film Oxygen. "My feeling now is similar to that during the release of Shatamanam Bhavati, which arrived in cinemas around the same time a couple of years ago," says Satish, who is known as a feel-good filmmaker.
While making Entha Manchivaadavuraa, Satish says that he has rewritten the script and introduced new characters to suit his storyline. “I would like to call it an adaptation with a fresh script. One day, I got a call from producers Sivalenka Krishna Prasad and Umesh Gupta, asking me if I would be interested in remaking Oxygen in Telugu. I watched Oxygen and fell in love with the soul of the film. The thematic appeal is near universal and the lead character goes through a gamut of emotions. These aspects prompted me to take up this film.”
Like his earlier outings, Entha Manchivaadavuraa too has bewitching frames capturing the pristine charms of the Godavari region. “I belong there and the story needed this ultra-local setting. I felt it would be authentic to depict the emotions in a milieu I am quite familiar with,” he says.
The director calls his protagonist Kalyan Ram that lovable youngster one comes across in every neighbourhood. “Acharya is a do-gooder who spreads joy, empathy, and compassion to his fellow beings. His character offers a lot of humor and some bitter-sweet moments,” reveals Satish.
The writer-turned-director says the film emphasises the importance of human relationships. “In a fast-changing world, emotional aspects are getting neglected and our relationships with parents or other family members are getting reduced merely to phone calls. At times, we do understand the feeling of others but are not finding a way to share our feelings or communicate our thoughts. There's a need to view the problem of others from a human lens and show compassion, benevolence, and kindness. This is what Entha Manchivaadavuraa is all about,” he explains.
The discussion veers towards his last release, Srinivasa Kalyanam, which has drawn criticism for getting overly preachy about the sanctity of marriage. The director frankly admits to his miscalculation with that film. “It failed miserably at the box-office and I still remember it being compared to a wedding video by critics. Somehow, we failed to catch the pulse of our audience and I now realise that the story didn't have a universal appeal like Shatamanam Bhavati. Too much sermonising about the importance of marriage in an era of live-in relationships didn't work at all. However, keeping the failure in mind, I have taken a detour from feel-good entertainers to commercial cinema now. I have made sure that Entha Manchivaadavuraa has a balance of aesthetics, foot-tapping songs, and adrenaline-pumping action.”
The film, which hits screens on January 15, is set to clash with Allu Arjun's Ala Vaikunthapurramuloo and Mahesh Babu-starrer Sarileru Neekevvaru at the box office. Satish feels that he has an audiencethat is fond of his work. “The festive season is like a consumer exhibition which offers many avenues for entertainment. While many people like to take a ride in giant Ferris wheels, there will be a group waiting for a ride in merry-go-round as well. Likewise, my film too will reach the target audience,” he says.
So what's next? “I am planning to start my next film in a month or two. Besides Entha Manchivaadavuraa, I am making sure to have another release this year,” he declares.
The director's son, Sameer is gearing up for his acting debut soon. “My son is interested in pursuing a career as an artiste in the industry. He was mentored by the late Devadas Kanakala garu and is currently learning horse riding. I never had a launching pad. So I want him to learn the ropes and find a place for himself in the industry. Right now, I have no plans to launch him,” signs off Satish Vegesna.