My characters are replete with innocence and old-world charm. Everyone can root to them: Lakshman K Krishna

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Director Lakshman K Krishna won the hearts with the teaser of his maiden venture, Swathimuthyam. The family entertainer with the worldly charm of its lead pair Ganesh and Varsha Bollamma is all set to spring surprises this festive season. The movie has a lineup of wonderful actors including Naresh, Rao Ramesh, Subbaraju, Vennela Kishore, Harshavardhan, Pammi Sai, Sapthagiri, Goparaju Ramana, Siva, among others. Produced by Suryadevara Naga Vamsi, the film is slated for a Dussehra release on October 5.

Here are the excerpts from Lakshman K Krishna’s interaction with media.

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On the journey to movie industry

I hail form Pithapuram, East Godavari. I studied there and from my school days had a lot of interest in movies and was part of theatre. I wrote many plays also. During my engineering days, the interest became a passion, and I discontinued my studies. We formed a team and made short films in Kakinada with 5D camera. We got this from wedding shoots. One person from our team got a chance as an Assistant Director in Sreekanth Addala’s film. We came along with him. I tried a lot to put my scripts across to production houses but didn’t work out. I joined many small films as an associate but my candid nature, caused problems to me. I also did a few shorts for Tamada media. I made a 10-min short on a shoestring budget of Rs 2600. It was liked by a person and later on got a budget of Rs 1.6 lakhs to make “Krishnamurthy Gari Intlo”. It got a lot views and the hero and heroine did a series called “Geeta Subramanyam” later and became quite popular.

Then in Sainma short film awards, I got the Best Director award. That was the motivation. The organizing committee selected 12 people and listened to their stories. I got a break but couldn’t move ahead. Then I took the help of a friend who works in real estate but that project too didn’t work out. I was sceptical that if I can handle a feel good love story with drama and emotions. So, I made a 1-hour film – “Sadaa Mee Premalo” in a budget of 12 lakhs. The output of the film gave me a lot of confidence. It was screened at many places and the applause boosted my will to go ahead and make a bigger film. But during the lockdow,n a lot of things didn’t go as planned, and the story of “Swathimuthyam” evolved during that time. Lockdown gave a gap, and I wrote it during lockdown. My brother Raghava and I worked on the dialogues.

What’s the inspiration for Swathimuthyam?

This is born out of my personal experience. Normally, when you hit a slump in your career or life, many people including your closed ones throw satires at you. There is mockery all over. Sometimes, you can’t bear it. That generates a lot of drama and emotions. So, something I observed in my life sowed the seed for Swathimuthyam.

What’s the basic plot of Swathimuthyam?

It’s the story of a guy named Balamuralikrishna. He hails from a small town and gets a government job soon after his studies. Now, the whole family is hell bent of getting him married soon. What happens next and what challenges they face form the story.

On Ganesh becoming the main lead

A friend of mine knows Ganesh. He referred me to him. I told many stories to him with typical commercial plotting. But he asked me for a simple story as he was impressed with “Sadaa Mee Premalo” trailer and asked me for a story with a small setup. Then I narrated Swathimuthyam to him. He and his father, Suresh, liked it instantly.

Why the classic title Swathimuthyam?

We thought about many titles and kept one as a working title. Radhakrishna (Chinna Babu) garu suggested Swathimuthyam considering the innocence of hero’s character. I was scared at the beginning as it might mislead the audience. Then he said, we will release the trailer soon, so the audience are in right mood to watch the film.

On Ganesh’s performance and mutual trust in execution

Though we both had our qualms, we let them go with the mutual trust. We met many times and conducted workshops. This is a launch for both, and we interacted a lot about the film. We both were confident about each other.

Is Varsha your first choice?

She was my first choice. When I watched “96”, I thought to make a film with an actor like her. She was in my mind when I penned the female character of Swathimuthyam. When we were discussing about different actors then we happened to watch “Middle Class Melodies” and everyone decided to rope her in for the female lead.

Are you satisfied with the first copy?

I am completely satisfied with the first copy. My DOP Surya worked wonders. We collaborated in the past for a project and when Nagavamshi referred him then I was happy that we will be working again on my debut film.

On releasing along with big films on Dussehra

It’s our producer’s decision to go with the date. They want to give a family entertainer on the festival day. Being an ardent fan of Chiranjeevi, I am happy that my film is releasing in the same day as his.

What’s your next project?

Nothing planned as of now, but I may work on a Comedy Thriller.

Who are your inspirations to become a film director?

My all-time favourite directors are Maniratnam, Vamshy, Bapu, and Jandhyala. I grew up watching their films and now I am here waiting for the release of my first film.

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