After three back-to-back duds, the director is hoping to bounce back with the action entertainer starring Ravi Teja and Ileana.

Learnt from mistakes reinvented myself Director Sreenu Vaitla on Amar Akbar AnthonyTwitter/Sreenu Vaitla
Flix Interview Wednesday, November 14, 2018 - 16:30

Sreenu Vaitla, who was once considered one of the most successful Telugu filmmakers, seems to be on the road to recovery as he gears up for the release of the Ravi Teja starrer Amar Akbar Anthony after three back-to-back duds. The director, best known for highly entertaining films such as Dhee, Ready, King and Dookudu, has been struggling with his form for a while now and he openly admits that he has only himself to blame for his failures. In this chat with TNM, he opens up on how he has reinvented himself with Amar Akbar Anthony and why it’s important to learn from one’s mistakes.

On bouncing back with Amar Akbar Anthony

After the debacle of his last outing Mister, Vaitla took an eight-month sabbatical to self-analyse. “It was the period where I introspected and learnt from my mistakes. I realised it’s very important to learn from one’s mistakes as it helps to see things from a new perspective. This process helped me to reinvent. After the sabbatical, I roped in younger talent and built a new team. It’s with this team that I wrote the Amar Akbar Anthony script, which is the most exciting idea I’ve worked on in a long time. When I pitched it to Ravi Teja, he gave his nod in the first meeting itself,” the director says.

Talking about his recent bad form, he says: “Irrespective of success or failure, I’ve always been in control of myself. I take full responsibility of the recent failures. The problem has been with a template I got used to after the success of films such as Dhee, Ready and Dookudu. That template led to monotony in my storytelling which resulted in my last few films not doing well. Amar Akbar Anthony helped me break away from my monotony, and I’m really confident of hitting the right note this time.”

The film, which releases this Friday, has been shot from first frame to last in the US, and Vaitla says he can’t thank his producers enough. “I’m really thankful to Mythri Movie Makers for their trust in me. The entire film has been shot in the US over the course of two seasons – winter and summer. It’s not your regular action or revenge film. It’s powered by an important point which drives the story,” Vaitla asserts.

On reunion with Ravi Teja and bringing back Ileana

Amar Akbar Anthony is the fourth collaboration between Ravi Teja and Vaitla, who are best remembered for their films Venky and Dubai Seenu. “I did my first film with Ravi, and nobody understands me like he does. He’s been a close friend and my trouble-shooter. On two occasions when I was going through a rough patch, he came to my rescue and insisted that we work together. This is the third time he has come forward to collaborate when I approached him with a one-liner. I believe I have tapped into his full potential and it will be a feast for his fans to watch him in a triple role,” Vaitla says.

Vaitla explains that the film’s title was chosen for a reason. “When you watch the film, you’ll understand… no other title would’ve done justice to the story.”

The film marks the return of actor Ileana to Telugu filmdom after six years. Vaitla had planned to approach Ileana for his film Baadshah, but things didn’t work out. He says, “This time, I was very keen on having her on board. The producers told me she has stopped accepting offers from the Telugu industry. I thought she was apt to play the woman lead’s part. When we approached her, without any hesitation she immediately gave her nod.”

On his brand of popular comedy

Vaitla’s films are hugely popular for their comedy, particularly featuring Brahmanandam in some memorable roles. Elaborating on this, he says, “On social media, I keep reading comments that audiences want the vintage Vaitla back. They want to be entertained, which clearly my recent films missed. This brand image has been both a blessing and a curse. With a certain image comes a certain style of cinema that restricts our creativity after a point of time. I think I’m returning strongly with Amar Akbar Anthony with exactly the kind of cinema audiences have been expecting from me. You’ll see that audiences will be entertained this time.”

Also read: Don’t want to do films where I stand near the hero and praise him: Jyothika to TNM

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