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Director MS Raju: Malli Pelli will shed light on the changing nature of relationships

The director-producer tells us what could one expect from Malli Pelli, his upcoming relationship drama starring Naresh, Pavitra Lokesh

Director MS Raju: Malli Pelli will shed light on the changing nature of relationships
MS Raju on Malli Pelli

Last Updated: 01.24 PM, May 21, 2023


MS Raju, who produced a handful of trendsetting films like Okkadu, Nuvvostanante Nenoddantana, Manasantha Nuvve, Varsham and Nee Sneham in the 2000s, turned a director with Vaana, the remake of the Kannada hit Mungaru Male. Later, he went on to direct films like Tuneega Tuneega, Dirty Hari and 7 Days 6 Nights. He’s back in the news for another film as a director.

The director-producer’s next is Malli Pelli, a semi-realistic relationship drama starring celeb couple Naresh, Pavitra Lokesh besides Vanitha Vijaykumar, Jayasudha, Sarath Babu and others in key roles. Ahead of its release on May 26, he caught up with for a chat.


On Malli Pelli:

I’m yet to decode the genre of the film - it’s a multistarrer and a family entertainer. After the promotional events, audiences are clearly aware of what they can expect from the film. Everyone’s curious about the other’s business and is eager for gossips. However, Malli Pelli will rise above that and we worked very hard for it. I narrated a story to Naresh based on his five-decade long journey in cinema and he gave me all the freedom to execute it.

I’ve made films with the biggest names in the business and also helmed Dirty Hari with all newcomers. Naresh and Pavitra Lokesh are very good actors and the film is based on a few events in their lives; I can’t divulge much beyond that. The film has a racy screenplay and I’m quite confident of its prospect. There’s good music, entertainment, love, drama and a dose of controversies too. It’ll be relatable but I wouldn’t call it fictional either.

On his attempt to shed light on modern-day relationships:

Both the actors in the film are middle-aged and popular in Kannada and Telugu industries. Their story will definitely strike a chord with a section of viewers today. This generation’s perspective towards relationships is quite different and everyone wants to lead individualistic lives. The film will transport them into a new world. You’ll understand my intentions behind making Malli Pelli after you watch it.

Many decades ago, the bride and the bride groom barely met before marriage. Later, we progressed to a stage where exchanged photos of the couple. Now, the two communicate over WhatsApp, acquaint themselves well before marriage. You’ll notice these generational changes in the film. Malli Pelli is an attempt to say ‘live and let live’ and discusses the need to adapt with the times.

MS Raju, the taskmaster:

I improvised and wrote a lot of scenes on sets. Naresh and Pavitra Lokesh’s acting potential will come to the fore in Malli Pelli. Naresh is quite jovial on sets but once the camera switches on, he plays the character with earnestness. We clapped many times on the sets noticing is performance. Even if we went for another take, he wouldn’t hesitate and perform as per my needs.

On making films relevant for the Gen-Z:

Even as a producer, Okkadu and Nuvvostanante Nenoddanta were trendy films and Dirty Hari, as a director, was another step in that direction. I asked a young director to make Dirty Hari and he felt the content was too bold and I came on board. I want to tell relevant stories as a director, otherwise it’s best to take rest at home. Malli Pelli will also throw light on this curse called loneliness and we made it with immense honesty.

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