Actor Nani. (By Arrangement)
Nani’s upcoming film, Ante Sundaraniki has been one of the most talked about films in recent times. And the actor, whose moniker ‘Natural Star’ has been owned by the audience, says that Vivek Athreya’s directorial world is going to keep the audience hooked.
Contrary to what appears from the promos, Sundar (his role in the film) is no naive character, says Nani. He is cunning but he manages to sell himself by seeming innocent. "It is told right at the outset, (as the alcohol disclaimer before the film) that the only thing you should like about Sundar is his teetotalism.
Otherwise, he is far from perfect. Vivek calls him the ‘worst fellow’," Nani reveals with a smile.
The character is a hat-tip to the fictional character Barrister Parvateesam, the protagonist of a Mokkapati Narasimha Sastry novel.
Talking about depicting naivety on screen, the MCA actor says that he feels at home while portraying innocent characters. Think of Bhale Bhale Mogadivoy. "Villainy is tough. Not this," Nani says.
He endorses Vivek’s convictions, saying that the Brochevarevarura director is a filmmaker with a distinct voice and unique sensibilities. "He refrains from aping others and resorting to tropes," Nani says, taking pride in the fact that he teams up with directors who show the potential to enter the top league in the future.
"Rather than the ones who are already on top, I take pleasure in collaborating with the A-listers of the future," Nani says, giving the example of Jersey’s Gowtam Tinnanuri.
The promos may have given the impression that AS is over-the-top and slapstick, but Nani assures that its idiosyncrasies in the film are never excessive. "Neither is the comedy hurtful against anyone," he adds.
Much as the male protagonist is a Brahmin and his female counterpart is a Christian, AS and Bharatiraja’s Seethakoka Chilaka (1981) are world’s apart
"In fact, the inter-faith love affair is merely one of the elements in my film. We haven’t yet revealed the core plot," Nani says, refusing to spill the beans, adding that the film is driven by the quirks or otherwise of its female lead as well.
Nani suggests that AS is a layered tale that unfolds over a span of two and half hours run time. "AS engages you throughout and therefore, I would say its run-time is far from lengthy," explains the actor, adding that the film is not preachy but is a light-hearted drama.