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‘I had goosebumps when Ajay first narrated the story to us,’ Mangalavaaram producers’ exclusive interview with Track Tollywood

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Ajay Bhupathi’s Mangalavaaram is all set to hit the big screens on 17th November. The pan-India thriller features and exciting cast consisting of Payal Rajput, Ajmal Ameer, Nanditha Swetha, Ravindra Vijay, and Ajay Ghosh among others. With the film’s release a few days away, we caught up with the producers of the film Swathi Reddy Gunupati and Suresh Varma for an exclusive chat about the film, their experience, and the kind of expectations the audience should have.

How was your Mangalavaaram journey?
The journey was superb, emotional, and endearing. It was great to have this kind of support for our first film and we are really excited about it

What was your feeling when director Away Bhupathi narrated the story to you? Since it is filled with thrilling elements, full of surprises? Were you equally surprised when you heard the narration?
I had goosebumps when Ajay first narrated the story to us. Since the story needed that excitement and suspense elements, I was really excited seeing how well the narration went and it was packed with all the elements that you will soon see on screen

What inspired you to take this subject to the Pan-India level?
When Ajay narrated the subject to us, we felt the that concept has a lot of depth and universality hence the language won’t be a barrier and it will be released in all languages simultaneously. We have started promotions in Kannada, Tamil, and Hindi as well.

The response from the trade circles has been great and Mangalavaaram has done great business both theatrical and non-theatrical. Did you expect this response?
We were focused on delivering quality output and the response from distributors has been a result of this quality output. Of course, business sense and economy are a critical part of filmmaking but that was not what we were targeting to begin with. The response has been quite pleasant.

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Other films are also releasing on November 17th, Can you share two reasons the audience should watch Mangalavaaram?
The unique subject and its treatment are the first reason to watch Mangalavaaram. Apart from that, as you have seen the response to the trailer and other promotional content is another reason to watch the film. We sincerely hope all the other films also do well along with Mangalavaaram.

Why did you select November 17th as the release date and why not Diwali weekend? Considering no Telugu movie released for Diwali.
We were quite focused on the 17th November release date, to begin with. Even Ajay wanted to go for a solo release. Since two Tamil movies (Japan and Jigarthanda Double X) were released on Diwali and there is a World Cup going on, we felt 17th November was the best time and we are quite satisfied with the date.

Various subjects have emerged at a pan-India film. In Tollywood, the recently released Virupaksha was a major success. So what’s the key difference between the two films?
Mangalavaaram is a totally different subject and the way Ajay has narrated it is truly spectacular. The story with a native background along with emotions, comedy, and unique characterization has made Mangalavaaram a complete package. It will surely be a great visual experience for the audience and the theatrical experience will surely be amazing.

The budget reportedly exceeded by Rs 20 crores as Ajay Bhupathi also confirmed. So how did you deal with that?
We realized that the scale and level of the movie needed to be taken up by a notch right after the first schedule. It is true that we overshot the budget considerably but that was a conscious decision to lend the movie that extra visual appeal. Audience will realize that once they see the final product on the big screen. We had complete faith in Ajay and he has truly delivered a great output.

Several medium-budget movies are going for paid premieres. Do you have any such plans for Mangalavaaram?
Yes! We have those plans and are in discussions with the distributors about paid premieres. Once the details are finalized, we’ll make an official announcement.

The movie faced some obligations when it went for Censor so how did you deal with that?
There were no obligations as such. The censor board advised us to alter the lyrics to a song just by a bit. But we felt the essence of the song would get diluted because of this. Hence we are using the song only as promotional material now. This song will be there in the OTT version.

Any plans for the next project?
Right now we are just enjoying Mangalavaaram and for the next few days, we will be in the same zone. We’ll think about other projects later on.

Industry talk is that a big production house Mudhra Media Works has entered the business. You guys have the capacity to make films on a large scale with big stars.
We are thankful to have achieved this image in a short time. Because of this confidence, we have decided to take up any project only if we can commit to it completely and wholeheartedly.

Ajay Bhupathi was speaking about the plans for an extended cut of Mangalavaaram. Are there any plans for the same?
We have discussed the same and liked the concept. Let’s see if this can be taken forward.

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