‘Mangalavaaram’ climax would give an ultimate thrill to audiences, says director Ajay Bhupathi

Ajay Bhupathi claims that 'Mangalavaaram' is a character-based film with a contemporary story and a good dose of commercial elements.

ByPrakash Pecheti

Published Nov 14, 2023 | 10:53 AM Updated Nov 14, 2023 | 10:53 AM

Ajay Bhupathi

RX 100 (2018) has earned a cult status like no other film — for its portrayal of love, romance, betrayal, and intimacy. Soon after its release, director Ajay Bhupathi became an overnight sensation in the industry.

But his immediate romantic actioner, Maha Samudram (2021) starring Sharwanand, Siddharth, and Aditi Rao Hydari, tanked miserably at the box office.

After taking a gap, Bhupathi is now tying his luck with an offbeat story in Mangalavaaram.

Produced by Swathi Gunupati and Suresh Varma M under the banners of Mudra Media Works and A Creative Works, the movie features Payal Rajput, Nandita Shwetha, Divya Pillai, and Ajmal Ameer in the lead roles.

As the film is slated for release on 17 November, the director closeted with the media on Monday, 13 November.

He says he cannot specifically say when the idea of Mangavaaram struck his mind. “A volley of ideas keep running in my mind. By far, I can recall this particular idea came to my mind before the release of Maha Samudram,” he recalled, adding that it was a nervous experience pondering on the story and penning it on paper.

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A character-based film

Ajay Bhupathi claims that Mangalavaaram is a character-based film with a contemporary story and a good dose of commercial elements.

“It is not easy to make such a film. Production and technical values, artistes’ performances and other factors, all should contribute ultimately to giving a visual-thrilling experience to audiences,” he pointed out.

The filmmaker hastened to add, “I don’t depend on my cinematographer for shots. I plan everything beforehand because of my prior experience. The climax in Mangalavaaram is an ultimate thrill that I want to offer to audiences.”

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Payal Rajput is a surprise package

Payal Rajput, his lady luck in RX 100, who rose to instant stardom with the Karthikeya-starrer, is believed to surprise fans with her character in Mangalavaaram.

Payal Rajput in Mangalavaaram

Payal Rajput in ‘Mangalavaaram’. (X)

“Besides being an emotional character, Rajput gave a stunning performance on the screen,” Ajay Bhupathi quipped.

“It was an arduous task to bring all the actors and technicians together under one roof. There is nothing that I can say about what kind of meters commercial films usually come with. But Mangalavaaram took a massive effort from me,” he said.

Initially, it was not Payal Rajput with whom Bhupathi wanted to shoot. “I thought we needed a female actor who is in her teen years. A newbie would carry no expectations. About 40 to 50 girls were auditioned during the pre-production. I wanted someone who could give an authentic performance.”

The director said, “The face should carry innocence and the girl should probably have the rural looks. During the pre-production phase, I received a message from Payal. It took two days to visualise her in the role. She trusted me since we had already done a project RX 100 together.”

He added, “We had auditioned many actresses for RX 100 as well. They all refused to come on board. But Payal grabbed it as it was a unique role.”

When asked why the first poster of Mangalavaaram featuring Payal was bold, Ajay Bhupathi replied, “I feel mainstream cinema is replete with embarrassing moments more than giving thrills. I had never shot a single shot that was vulgar.”

“There is no nudity in Mangalavaaram. More than Rajput’s body, people could see the emotion in her eyes. Those who see that depth will know it intuitively,” he signed off.

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