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Anand Deverakonda Interview: I was Drawn to the Middle-class Aspect of Things

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Middle Class Melodies, directed by debutant Vinod Ananthojuis an upcoming Telugu comedy-drama starring Anand Deverakonda and Varsha Bollamma in lead roles. The film is scheduled to release on Amazon Prime Video on Friday.

Deverakonda, who plays the the role of Raghava, an amateur cook who aspires to open a tiffin centre and move from his village to Guntur town in Andhra Pradesh, says: “The movie mirrors all of the middle-class lives, the beautiful and dramatic parts as well as the sad parts of a middle-class family and that’s why we call it a ‘melody’ with all its ups and downs.”

Narrating the story of Raghava, Deverakonda said: “I play the role of Raghava who is from a middle-class family from a small village near a town called Guntur in Andhra Pradesh. My ambition in life is just to make it to the town and open a tiffin centre. All of this sounds very serious and drama but the movie, in general, is really humorous. It’s witty, there’s no slapstick humour, it is very situational and very subtle kind of humour. So really enjoyable and if someone’s watching on Amazon Prime Video sitting back with their families, I think it’s a very nice experience considering the times we are in.”

According to Deverakonda, what drew him to the role was the middle-class way of life that he could relate to.

“I was drawn to the middle-class aspect of things. I saw this majority of my life- like I said, the beautiful parts as well as the struggles of being in a middle-class family. This sticking together and supporting each other as well as breaking down and financially things come crumbling down. So, all of these things, I have seen in my life and that’s what resonated with me when Vinod, the director of the film, narrated the script to me.”

The actor says he had to learn some cooking skills while preparing for his role as an amateur cook in the film.

“The cooking parts I don’t particularly do in my real life. It was something that I just did for the movie. The thing about cooking is you spend like one hour, one-and-a-half-hour in cooking and then you eat it within five minutes. If there’s something like as enjoyable as spending time eating the food for like one hour, I would definitely do that.”

In the trailer, the actors are seen as college-goers. Recalling his own college days, Deverakonda says, “I think there’s a song called Sandhya in the movie. It’s a really nice, very quirky song that’s set in the college. It has very nice moments that you just remember your school days actually, the little things like fooling around in the classroom troubling girls and girls troubling you.”

“We actually didn’t have a choreographer on the set, we just directed it ourselves, so all of those memories from school were only brought  on the screen,” he says.

“We met two-three weeks prior to the shoot and got the opportunity to know each other through workshops, played board games during the workshop and carried them in the classroom,” says Deverakonda.

“We enjoyed the whole process of shoot, we shot for 30 days in Hyderabad and then 30 days in Guntur. The whole crew is between the age of 24-31 or something, really young. All of us enjoyed each other’s company, had a lot of fun in the sets. Just hoping for the best.”

The film was supposed to release earlier this year, but will release directly on Amazon Prime Video. Deverakonda says he is excited about the film’s digital release.

“For me, the experience has been completely different- the theatre viewing vs the digital platform viewing sitting at your home or watching it on your phone. But just the fact of convenience, the fact of affordability, the fact of being safe during the pandemic, I think there’s nothing better than Amazon (Prime Video) and for our movie to be on it, the whole team is equally excited including the director, myself and Varsha (Bollamma). So, ya we don’t particularly miss it. I think our movie would have been equally accepted if it was releasing in the theatres also, we are confident about whatever the release,” he says.

Talking about his upcoming projects, he says: “I’m in a process of shooting for a Telugu movie and it’s almost done. Once they start post-production, we will be thinking of what to do with it and where it can go.”

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