Naveen Polishetty: Jathi Ratnalu came to me at the most appropriate time of my career
Naveen Polishetty discusses his Telugu comedy-drama, Jathi Ratnalu, which will hit the screens on March 11 coinciding with Maha Shivaratri
After appearing in a slew of supporting roles, actor Naveen Polishetty turned lead actor with Agent Sai Srinivasa Athreya (2019). He also worked as a co-writer with director RSJ Swaroop on the film broke that the patterns of crime-thrillers in Telugu cinema and made Naveen a household name. This Thursday, he tests his luck at the box-office once again with Jathi Ratnalu, which also marks director Nag Ashwin's first production venture.
"The success of Agent Sai Srinivasa Athreya and Chichchore not only gave me recognition but also gave me the courage to do more such films. The trailers and songs of Jathi Ratnalu have built huge expectations and I am hoping that the film will also keep the audience hooked. I am sure this film came to me at the most appropriate time of my career," says Naveen.
On his association with Nag Ashwin, the actor says, "I have been friends with Nag Ashwin for many years and it feels good to collaborate with him in his maiden production. After listening to the script, I agreed to do this film almost instantly as the story is a complete laugh riot. I have enjoyed working on this film as much as I did the script narration. I think director Anudeep KV has done a great job and we have delivered something that we like."
Jathi Ratnalu is the story of three naive youths on a quest to prove their innocence after being framed in a crime. Naveen, who leads the comic triumvirate, along with Priyadarshi and Rahul Ramakrishna, says, "I play Jogipet Srikanth, a funny character that will leave the audience in splits. I got able support from Darshi and Rahul, and the three of us had a ball. Frankly, it's not a character-driven narrative, but a plot-driven one."
A writer in his own right, Naveen admits to contributing some creative inputs during the making of the film. "Jathi Ratnalu is an absolute team effort. Whether during the scripting stage or on the sets, each of us valued our creative inputs and made sure we came up with a satisfying output," reveals the actor.
Naveen says he always makes it a point to prepare for a scene well in advance. "I have the habit of going through the scene paper or dialogue sheet a day before the shoot. It not only saves time but also helps us understand the scene and its significance. Further, it gives an actor a lot of freedom to express themselves and creates room for improvisation. Anudeep would send the scene paper every night and I would prepare for my part trying out different styles and it certainly helped me pull off this role," explains the Hyderabadi lad.
On working with Faria Abdullah, he says, "The film also comes with an interesting love track. We share a fabulous onscreen chemistry and I feel it has worked well in the film."
Is he a Jathi Ratnam? Naveen says, "My producers — Nag Ashwin, Swapna (Dutt) and Priya (Dutt) — are our Jathi Ratnalu (laughs). Had they not believed in this script, we would not have been a part of this hilarious entertainer. I take this opportunity to thank them from the bottom of my heart."
So what's next after Jathi Ratnalu? "I have signed two films in Telugu and the details will be announced shortly. I am also doing a Hindi film, which needs to be shot abroad. The shooting got delayed due to the Covid-19 outbreak."
Before signing off Naveen shares his mantra for success. "I thank my directors for recognising my talent and providing an opportunity to portray good characters. I always believe in focusing on the talent or the skillset and walking the path. If you identify this, there's no way success cannot be yours."