The film starring Sai Pallavi and Naga Chaitanya is set for a theatrical release on September 24.
The most anticipated telugu film Love story, starring Naga Chaitanya and Sai Pallavi is finally set to hit big screens on September 24 of this year. Songs from the film, directed by Sekhar Kammula, have already gone viral, including ‘Saranga Dariya’. Given that theaters only recently reopened in the Telugu states after they closed due to repeated lockdowns, the film may well end up being a test to see if audiences will return to the big screen.
The trailer of Love story, which was released a few days ago, raised audiences’ expectations, given that Sai Pallavi appears to be playing a full-fledged dance role in the film. The actor previously worked with director Sekhar Kammula in Fidaa, which was a blockbuster.
Ahead of his release, National Award-winning director Sekhar Kammula shares his thoughts with TNM on why he chose Sai Pallavi and Naga Chaitanya for this film, his journey in the film industry and his future project with actor Dhanush.
What is Love story everything on?
Love story is a film about the struggle for existence. It is about a man who comes from a small town, Armoor in Telangana of an oppressed section, and a woman who comes from a village and their love story. I might not be able to represent 100% of the oppressed section, but I tried to keep at least 90% of the representation in the film and people will find their way there.
Many Telugu films now talk about the urban middle class, software, engineering. It’s been a while, lately, that we haven’t seen stories about the struggle for existence, stories about disparities, struggles against hunger … they have become rare. Once upon a time there were many films of this genre. For example, films by Chiranjeevi garu and those directed by Dasari Narayana Rao.
It’s that kind of story, and if it’s told by a mainstream hero like Naga Chaitanya, it will be relatable. Even the woman has her own problems. We also addressed gender issues. So this is the love story of two of these people and their struggles. It’s more than a romantic comedy, it’s a musical love story full of emotion.
What is the reason for choosing Sai Pallavi and Naga Chaitanya for these particular roles?
The main reason I chose Sai Pallavi is that I have worked with her before in Fidaa (2017). I know her potential as an actress and the film is also based on dance, where there is a concept of fitness dance, and she is a good dancer.
And I wanted to do something different from Fidaa. While Bhanumathi’s character is straightforward, a person who speaks openly, Mounika’s character from Love story is one layer and more complex. I knew she could get away with it.
Coming to Naga Chaitanya, he has honesty in his face, a good smile. He is believable and vulnerable, a gentle person. I wanted those qualities for the role. Naga Chaitanya also worked hard for this role, being in this character 24/7, practicing, rehearsing, doing things right with facial expressions, manners, costumes, Telangana dialect. This is the first time he’s been shown like this and it’s completely different from what he’s done before.
I’m also excited about the chemistry between the pair of heads on the screen.
When was this film made? And what precautions were taken during COVID-19?
We had completed almost 60 to 70% of the shooting before the first wave of COVID-19, and when the permissions were given to resume shooting, we were the first films to start shooting taking all precautions. We used to get our own food, maintain our physical distance, wear masks, get insurance for everyone. We finished filming in 30 days and post-production work started after that.
The film was postponed several times after its release. How did you feel
It was very difficult and risky. On April 6, we were planning to release the trailer in theaters, but luckily that did not happen and the film was postponed from April 14, 2021 to a later date due to the second wave of COVID-19. Keeping the release date in mind, we were slowly releasing the songs and the content was slowly becoming popular as well. Had the trailer been released as well, chances are the content will become outdated.
There was ongoing stress and confusion throughout the film’s release. The general atmosphere in the company was not good either. Families were going through tough times, there were sad stories everywhere, and people’s moods had turned bleak as many were affected by the pandemic. So we had to wait for the right moment.
We had ‘Cinema Kashtalu’ (an expression used in Telugu to mean someone has so much trouble it seems wispy) and this movie comes out after a lot of struggles. I hope it will be warmly received.
How has your journey been since Dreams of dollars and Anand To Love story summer?
I could do whatever I wanted to do. My films are always about the stories I want to tell. So, I’m happy to still be able to tell the same thing to the public. The audience gave me that stature and the privilege to tell the story. I’m happy. I am personally satisfied with my career in the industry. I’m also proud to continue to correct myself and grow with each film. Since writing scripts myself, I keep updating without getting stale and it’s a constant journey. As a director, I am happy with my job.
You give importance to the story without unnecessarily elevating a character in the name of stardom. How did you manage to stick to it?
It just happened. This is not possible for everyone and maybe not everyone wants to write like this. To each his own style. But it happened to me. My films are about content. I have to make bolder stories and I could do them too. In this journey, the public and the producers have given me complete freedom and they appreciate the content. So, it is not difficult.
This cachet came to me since my first film and I was able to keep it. In this process, the public trusted me and I did not lose their trust.
What will the film Dhanush be about? What can the public expect?
It will be a thriller, more a socio-political thriller. It’s too early to reveal anything more at this point. All I can say is it’s gonna be a good movie. People can watch it without any language barrier as we plan to publish it in Hindi, Telugu and Malayalam.
Read: World tour with Natarajan Ramji: meet the Indian cinema guru
To concern Love story trailer here: