Puri Jaganadh: ISM talks about practical solutions

Wednesday, October 19, 2016 - 14:15

As Puri Jagannadh's fans wait for 'ISM' on Oct 21, the maverick director is all cool and relaxed at his residence. In a chit-chat, he talks about how the film is unique, why a trendy look was preferred for a journalist's character, movies with Mahesh Babu, NTR and Ravi Teja, so on and so forth. 
There have been many anti-corruption movies. What is so unique about 'ISM'?
When I first conceived this story about 10 years ago, the backdrop was different. I narrated this story years ago to some other heroes, but the version you will see in 'ISM' is entirely different. I have developed 'ISM' keeping in mind several developments in the fields of technology as well as journalism. This is a most-updated anti -corruption flick. New forms of corruption have evolved over the years. The film talks about them. If I talk about what all research I have done for this script, the story might get revealed. 
Kalyan Ram's characterization seems to be the film's USP. What is in store?

The hero's name is Sathya Marthanda. Marthanda is the first magazine to have been published in our country. It was in British-era Bengal. Coming to why I chose Kalyan Ram, I felt he has that genuine look to essay the role of an honest journalist. His performance is amazing in the second half. The court scene will be a highlight. Lookwise, he worked really hard to come down by as much as 14 kilos in 3 months. It's not a joke. We feel great when we come down by 1 or 2 kilos. If I say now, 'dabba kottinattu untundi'. But I am sure he will be called the Best Actor of the two Telugu States after 'ISM'. 

But do journalists have a macho look in real life?
A journalist, I feel, should be both mentally and physically strong. 'Potta veskoni unte em baguntundi?' That's why the macho look. But the language he speaks is not cinematic, it's journalistic.  

Does 'ISM' give solutions? How could you avoid the temptation of sounding preachy?
The film talks about practical solutions. Usually, in our movies, the solution is shown to be the hero's fight. But does that solve the problem permanently? The message is delivered without sounding preachy. The hero doesn't give any lectures. 
And are we going to see that mandatory dose of RGV-ism?
There is no Ramu-ism. There is only journalism. Since I am the writer, my perspective will be there. We don't watch all of each other's movies. I don't watch all of his movies. But I like him.
Coming to Aditi, what is her character?
Aditi worked very hard and learnt many things for the character. She will become a big star, I hope. She is former Miss India. She will go places after 'ISM'. She is playing the daughter of Javed bhai, a don. 
It has been 3 years that your combo with Mahesh Babu has been talked about. But it's not happening. What is brewing?
I told him a story and he told me he liked it. But there has been no reaction from him. What can I do about it? I wrote 'Jana Gana Mana' because I feel there is no discipline in the society. 
You did moot a Hindi remake of 'Temper'. What happened to that? And when is the movie with NTR happening?
In Bollywood, it takes long time for a project to come through. In that time, one can make a movie here. I did narrate 'Temper' to Abhishek Bachchan. When he watched the movie, he said, "I think I won't be able to match NTR's intensity." As for a new film with NTR, it will be clarified a week after the release of 'ISM'.
When can we expect a movie with Ravi Teja?

It has been a long-time wish to work with Ravi Teja. He is in no mood to act these days. It's only both of us who have been working tirelessly, without holidays, for the past 15 years. Ravi Teja is now into traveling. 
What are your new plans for near future?
I have worked with all stars. I now want to explore many genres. I have enough number of stories to keep me busy for the next 10 years. I want to do a crossover film starring our people and foreign actors. 'Rogue' will hit the screens in December. It's a Telugu-Kannada bi-lingual.