'Hi Nanna' is slated to hit the cinemas on December 7. In this interview, Nani suggests that the audience will derive the kind of emotional content they expect from a family drama of this sort. He says that giving a unique experience to the audience is what matters at the end of the day.
'Hi Nanna' will leave you in a happy space. You will leave the hall with a smile. That was not the case with 'Jersey', which left a lump in the throat. There are poignant moments in 'Hi Nanna' but the film per se is not a tragedy. My comfort zone has always been shifting. I have dynamically chosen contrasting films like 'Dasara', 'Jersey' and 'Shyam Singha Roy' from time to time.
'Hi Nanna' gave me a high. It is filled with nostalgia, an element that we have been missing lately. Action films have a certain force and energy. They satiate our taste for spice. Films like 'Hi Nanna', on the other hand, are like a sweet intake. After consuming masala throughout the year, it is time for the audience to taste sweet at the end.
'Hi Nanna' taps into a rarely explored emotional arc. Mother-son sentiment has been explored quite often in Telugu cinema. But the father-daughter emotion is relatively less seen in films.
The publicity campaign of 'Hi Nanna' was designed in a week when the election fever had gripped Telangana. People were not talking about anything other than politics. That's why we did video clips wherein I imitated KCR and others.
The use of Artificial Intelligence for 'Hi Nanna' music is interesting. Hesham Abdul Wahab sang a song and converted it into a female voice using AI. Hesham has brought a soothing AR Rahman-type musical feel to our film. With his music, he comes into the film's world rather than expecting it to be the other way. Cinematographer Sanu Varghese is a brilliant technician.
Shouryuv is a debutant director with a knack for narration. I am never worried even when the director is a newcomer as long as the content on offer sounds fresh. Mrunal Thakur is a very natural performer.
Films like 'Hi Nanna' don't generate massive openings. They pick up at their own pace. I am satisfied with the quantum of advance bookings.
I don't bother about terms like 'mass image', etc. I go by the story and that's all there is to it. I didn't do 'Dasara' to become a mass hero. I set out to do that movie to engage the audience. To be honest, I don't know what goes into picking a film. I go by how exciting a script appears to me at a given point in time. I sometimes say I think like an audience member but, deep down, I know that is just insincere talk.
I am open to playing cameos in non-Telugu movies. Moments of the sort involving Shivarajkumar in 'Jailer' are memorable. I am all for effective cameos.
We have to come out of the expectation that every film must cater to all sections of the audience. Only Rajamouli is capable of making such films. 'Dasara' and 'Hi Nanna' are meant for two different sets of audiences. I follow my heart. That's why I am consistent. We falter if we make too many calculations. I expect my films to be honest. When I did 'MCA', some folks commented that it had no story. But the film became a blockbuster. When 'Jersey' was released, the same people remarked that it didn't have the quality of 'MCA' in terms of impressing a wide set of audience!