After having delivered two consecutive blockbusters - Mirchi and Srimanthudu, director Koratala Siva is eyeing a hat-trick with his upcoming film, Janata Garage, which is now scheduled to release on September 1. “We advanced the release by one day because there is speculation that September 2 might be a Bharath bandh. I wasn’t anxious about the date of release, but was anxious through out the making of the film. That is good for me. If I don’t feel the tension, I can’t work,” says Koratala Siva.
Talking about the film, he says that they had finalised on Jr. NTR for the lead role even before the shooting for Srimanthudu began. “Because of our prior commitments, this project took time to take off,” he explains. He added that he has been good friends with the actor since a long time, contrary to the belief that they were introduced to each other on the sets. “I have known him since before he acted in Oosaravelli. Our friendship has been going strong since then even though we didn’t get together for a film again,” he says.
On roping in the Malayalam superstar, Siva says that Mohan Lal was on his mind right from the scripting stage. “We didn’t know whether he would accept the role or not, but we wanted to give it a shot. When I narrated the story to him, he liked it and immediately accepted it,” says the director. He added that a couple of scenes are edited specially for the Malayalam version because of Mohan Lal’s presence.
Interestingly, Koratala has worked with big stars in his first three films and he says that he is never under pressure while working with them. “Actually, it is easy to handle big stars. The records, collections and all other things are generally hyped by the others, but the actors never take them seriously. They give preference to the script and go according to that,” says Koratala, adding, “The world has changed a lot and everybody is changing with the times. Our actors too are adapting and changing their attitudes accordingly,” he says.
He says that he feels nostalgic about the name Janata as it is a household name in India. “As a child, I would hear about Janata Cafe, Janata Khadi Bhandar and Janata shop... The title of the movie is inspired by these memories that I have,” he says. Speaking of Jr. NTR, he says, “He is an intense actor and always gives a dashing performance. In this film, his acting is very subtle.” He adds that they didn't meddle with the actor's looks too much as they wanted him to look like an ordinary person.
He gives us a little peak into the plot of the film. “One of them likes plants and the other one likes earth. Both are important and normally, we only talk about these issues when a cyclone or a Tsunami occurs. How these two persons meet and travel makes up the film,” he says. Koratala Siva is a director who presents social causes in commercial cinema. This was seen in his two previous films and the third one too, seems to be on the same lines. “I generally take inspiration from everyday life for my subjects. But to make it more interesting, I added a few commercial elements,” says the director. Koratala says that he tries to do his bit by not using plastic at home and by spending at least an hour with his plants every day. “I also make sure that once in a week, we clean the roads in our housing society. If this film brings about a positive change in the minds of people, I would have succeeded,” he says.
The director confirmed that his next film is with Mahesh Babu. ‘It is not sequel to any film. I don’t like sequels or remakes. It is a fresh subject,” he says. The shooting of the film will start once Mahesh Babu finishes his current project with Murugudoss....