Jathi Ratnalu, the Telugu comedy film which released on March 11, has garnered a positive response from both the critics and masses and grossed Rs 45 crore in its first week of release. Directed by Anudeep KV and produced by Nag Ashwin, the film stars Naveen Polishetty, Priyadarshi, and Rahul Ramakrishna.
Talking to Silverscreen India, Anudeep said that he will helm a sequel to Jathi Ratnalu and hoped to work on more comedy films in the future.
“Maybe it [the sequel] will take three to four years since an idea triggered in my mind. However, since audiences have enjoyed Jathi Ratnalu so much, it will take time to work on the story. But definitely, I will make a sequel,” he said.
Jathi Ratnalu revolves around three youngsters who are naïve and hail from Jogipet in Sangareddy district in Telangana. After the three happy-go-lucky men move to Hyderabad for a better life, they get framed for a political crime they did not commit.
Anudeep said that his short film Missed Call (2012) paved the way for Jathi Ratnalu. He said that he was contacted by Ashwin after the latter saw the short film in 2016.
“At that time, I was working on my first feature film Pittagoda. We met and I narrated a couple of lines of Jathi Ratnalu. Our primary goal was to make a pure comedy film, there is no logic in the film. We started writing the story accordingly,” Anudeep said.
Anudeep, who hails from Sangareddy, said that he’s been a fan of legendary comic actor Charlie Chaplin since his childhood.
“In all of his films, he becomes a scapegoat. I thought I should project three dumb persons’ innocence and what if they are into serious crime. I wanted to portray their lives and circumstances. I wanted to project a dumb yet lovely world where there is no cunningness. Even the villains are dumb,” he said.
The filmmaker is also inspired by the cult Hindi comedy film Andaz Apna Apna (1994) starring Aamir Khan, Salman Khan, Raveena Tandon, and Karisma Kapoor.
“It was an out-and-out comedy film and completely silly. I wanted to make a film like that, with slapstick comedy and without any logic. That film is one of the inspirations for me.”
It took Anudeep one-and-a-half years to write the script of Jathi Ratnalu. He said that he was clear that Ashwin wanted an “out and out comedy” and having narrated a few more stories, the duo decided to go ahead with Jathi Ratnalu’s script.
Asked whether he was confident to write a story that did not have room for logic, he said, “With humour, we crossed out the logic. But there is a clear storyline about three dumb people who are trapped in a political murder case. If there is no story, then there will be no courtroom drama.”
He said that the script was improvised on the spot while shooting.
The filmmaker said that the team was “not too confident” of all types of audience liking the film.
Talking about the film’s mass appeal, he said: “We had no calculation regarding who the intended audience is. I don’t know the pulse of mass and class audience. I made a film where I am satisfied and it is a crazy product. By crazy, I mean a rollercoaster ride of comedy and putting the characters in contrasting situations as opposed to their characteristics.”
For Anudeep, the perfect recipe for comedy is the presence of “unexpected incidents” in the storyline as it will grab the audience’s attention. The filmmaker said that if made “intelligently”, satire comedy works.
“I keep observing things in my daily life environment and around my friends’ circle. That is where I get inspiration to write comedy. I also take inspirations from my native place Sangareddy, where I stayed after finishing college. There were a lot of characters there and observations made. That is where I derive my characters from. They are more innocent and dumber than being street smart.”
Anudeep is currently working on two scripts- a love story, and a martial arts comedy. “I am going to narrate to the producer next week,” he said.
Jathi Ratnalu is currently running in theatres. The film’s technical crew consists of music by Radhan and cinematography by Siddam Manohar. Abhinav Reddy Danda is the film’s editor.