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'Aa Okkati Adakku' has a universal point about unmarried people: Allari Naresh


'Aa Okkati Adakku' is scheduled to hit the cinemas on May 3. Allari Naresh plays an aging bachelor in this Malli Ankam directorial. In this interview, the hero suggests that comedies like 'Samajavaragamana' and 'Tillu Square' have been enthusiastically embraced by the audience because hilarious films are a whiff of fresh air amid a raft of thrillers that have been coming out in the post-pandemic era. Catch him talk about the film and more in this interview.

There is no sentimental reason behind the title although I am a bit scared that comparisons will be drawn inevitably with the old 'Aa Okkati Adakku'. 'Match Fixing' was one of the titles under consideration. But we feared that the title might be misunderstood. 'Aa Okkati Adakku' was finalized after so much brainstorming over a week. The male lead I have played is well-settled on the career front but he is unlucky on the marriage front. He uses the three words when people ask him about his marriage. In the old 'AOA', the male lead was lazy and believed in astrology. In the new 'AOA', the male lead is a hard-working person. There are no similarities whatsoever between the two movies.

The matrimony industry functions as a scandal in our society. There are many imposters who are abetted by vested interests. The film is not based on mere oral anecdotes. There are proper news reports that have documented the prevalence of matrimonial scams. Vexed with all this, there are people who have given up on the thought of getting married! A privacy breach is just one of the banes of how things exist in the industry.

The audience these days expect films to be witty in an organic manner. Comedy has to emerge from the story. In 'AOA', both halves are equally entertaining. The climax is where the film takes a serious turn. The skewed sex ratio has also made it difficult for men to find brides. Matrimony sites are there across India with millions of subscribers. As such, this film touches upon a universal point. Unmarried people suffer from depression, among other issues. An unmarried friend of mine had a rude awakening when he contracted Coronavirus during the pandemic. There was none to take care of him.

Faria Abdullah has been chosen because there needs to be an age gap between the lead pair. Also, she is tall enough to suit the role. This film will become a huge plus for Jamie Lever (the daughter of Jhonny Lever). She has a very good comedy timing.

Producer Rajiv Chilaka has been in the animation industry. He popularized the Chota Bheem character through his films. He yearns for quality. I hope he will go on to do a pan-Indian movie.

Doing a comedy film after a bunch of serious roles was like a walkover. It was relaxing. This is not to say that doing comedies is easy for me.

'Bacchala Malli' will be released in theatres this year. Half of the shoot is over. 'Sudigaadu 2' has been in the writing phase. I myself am writing the story. Many in northern India are under the impression that 'Sudigaadu' was a serious movie and not a spoof. I am up for trying new-age films like those done by Tharun Bhascker.

My daughter is interested in writing and directing. I would love to see her become a filmmaker!

There was a time when films used to be written by a team of writers. These days, they are being written by a single writer. As such, it is hard to achieve perfection. There is so much to be explored in the comedy space. Those directors who crack the genre go a long way. My father and Jandhyala garu are two of the best examples.

In the age of social media, aspiring film talents have found a platform. An artist in 'AOA' was spotted on Instagram.

Updated on May 1, 2024