Tollywood director Teja Marni gives a fresh spin to Malayalam film ‘Nayattu’

His upcoming film 'Kotabommali PS' is about three cops whose lives go haywire because of the politics in their village.

ByY Sunita

Published Aug 23, 2023 | 10:00 AM Updated Aug 23, 2023 | 10:00 AM

Director Teja Marni with actor Srikanth on the sets

Tollywood director Teja Marni loves multi-tasking and doesn’t like to remain idle.

Even while overseeing the post-production of his forthcoming flick Kotabommali PS (Police Station), he is working on a web series being produced by Arka Media.

In a chat with South First, director Teja Marni tells that the story of his film is set in Kotabommali village, Srikakulam district, Andhra Pradesh. The movie is based on the Malayalam movie Nayattu (The Hunt, 2021).

“I have had an attachment with Srikakulam for over 30 years. The place witnessed a lot of development over the years and has KFC outlets now. Even the late politician Yerran Naidu hails from Kotabommali,” Teja Marni noted.

Not copy-pasted

varalaxmi sarathkumar Kotabommali PS

Varalaxmi Sarathkumar in a working still from ‘Kotabommali PS’. (Supplied)

The director explained the concept of the film. “In Kotabommali PS, three cops get implicated in a crime. More than the system they work for, they become a pawn in the hands of the politicians. Well, the police do get victimised, become disillusioned, and lose faith.”

He further added, “The film begins with elections as its backdrop and showcases how the lives of the three policemen go haywire because of politics. ‘Truth always wins, if you are faithful and honest,’ is what I tried to convey through the flick.”

Teja Marni remarked that he loved Nayattu so much that he wanted to remake it in Telugu. He even discussed the idea with one of his friends.

But soon, he heard the news that Geetha Arts is producing the remake. To his surprise, he was offered the task to helm the project. “There is no point copying scene-by-scene. I wanted to give the story a fresh spin,” he quipped.

“I wanted to set up the story against a village backdrop. Though the film is inspired by Nayattu, the story is not entirely the same. We just took two-three incidents from the original and changed the entire second half. You can call this a new story,” the filmmaker added.

Shivani Rajashekar, Rahul Vijay, and Srikanth are the three constables. Varalakshmi Sarathkumar appears as an IPS officer and Murali Sharma plays the home minister.

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Challenges with a remake

Teja Marni behind the camera

Teja Marni behind the camera. (Supplied)

It is indeed difficult to match an original story. So, what challenges did Teja Marni face while doing Kotabommali PS?

“Well, I want the remake to have its own identity. I didn’t reproduce the original. So, Kotabommali PS has a fresh feel. As I said, we retained a couple of scenes from the original and the rest is all different. Some stories have entertainment and some have action, but only a few stories elicit the audience’s apathy. This falls in that bracket,” the director said.

He elucidated, “When we face tough situations in life, we either surrender or overcome them. The characters in my film go through a similar dilemma and have many layers. Kotabommali PS has an emotional ending and the political point runs throughout the story. The movie portrays the ecosystem that has been built by buying or selling votes.”

He further added, “You don’t see many tracks such as these in the original version. Varalakshmi and Srikanth act as a catalyst and there is an ego clash between them.”

“The plot changes due to the character played by Shivani Rajashekar, a victim. Rahul Vijay supports her in the journey. But what happens towards the end and what stand he takes is a must-watch,” Teja Marni signed off.

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