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'Meet Cute' is about organic, natural conversations: Nani & Deepthi Ganta

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'Meet Cute' is directed by Natural Star Nani's sister and debutante Deepthi Ganta. The anthology is all set to stream on SonyLiv from November 25. Starring Satyaraj, Adah Sharma, Varsha Bollamma, Ruhani Sharma, Rohini, Akanksha Singh, Sanchita Poonacha, Ashwin Kumar, Shiva Kandukuri, Deekshit Shetty, Govind Padmasoorya and Raja, the anthology has Vijay Bulganin (music), Vasanth Kumar (cinematography), Avinash Kolla (production design) and Garry BH (editing) who have worked on the movie. In this interview, producer Nani and director Deephti Ganta talk about the anthology at length.

Nani:

This film was made for OTT. The format itself is meant for OTT, it's not meant for theatres. There are five stories in 'Meet Cute' and none of them have any connectivity.

When I received the full script from my sister, I didn't read it immediately. I kept postponing it. Meanwhile, my relatives started praising the script. Even then, I didn't take up the script. When I eventually read the script, I started out with the mindset of nitpicking. But once I started reading, it kept me hooked. I was sucked into the story and its emotions. I discussed the script with my team and discovered that they too loved the plot points I liked.

The script was crystal-clear. I told my sister that directing is all about supervising and getting things done. I motivated her to wield the megaphone when she was initially reluctant. She had previously done a short film but a feature film is a different ball game. I was told she was meticulous and commanding. For a debutante, she was particular.

You will find conversations, instead of dialogue, in the movie. The conversations feel authentic throughout. They feel like the audience member is listening to two people conversing while sitting on a balcony.

My sister took time to complete all the stories. Only after she was satisfied did she submit the stories. Each of the five stories is different from the others. You will not dislike any of them. You might have the most favourite and least favourite ones.

Shows on OTT have been high on thrills and violence. 'Meet Cute', in contrast, leaves you with a smile. It's an anthology with light-hearted emotional beats.

As a producer, I have never planned what kind of films I must produce. If the content is unique, I go for it. 'HIT 2', for example, is violent unlike the soothing 'Meet Cute'. Novelty inspires me. Wall Poster Cinema, my banner, platforms unique ideas. My sister had easy access to me because she is a family member.

Deepthi Ganta:

I have previously made a short film, which has no similarities to 'Meet Cute'. That had different vibes altogether. During the covid-induced pandemic, I indulged in writing because it's my hobby. Nani's first reaction was that it was good. He promised me that he will produce the anthology only if he likes the rest of the stories.

'Meet Cute' is about incidents that happen between various characters over a span of a day. It's about memorable conversations and accidental meet-cutes. As a person, I like to strike up conversations with strangers! It's difficult for introverts but if the other person is sensible, it can be a really sweet experience.

The casting is completely my choice. I really wanted those actors to be on-boarded. We were lucky with some casting choices like that of Satyaraj garu.

No particular film has inspired me in writing 'Meet Cute'. Writing is something I thoroughly enjoy. I avoid writing complicated stuff. I process my own thoughts and write them down for my own pleasure. It helps me know how clear is my thinking. 'Meet Cute' came out of that urge.

I began by writing a 30-minute episode. I also drew ideas from my own life. But most of what you are going to see in the anthology is pure fiction. I wrote the first two stories where accidental meet-cute happens. I then felt the rest of the stories, too, can be built on a similar theme.

The first story has a 'pelli choopulu' kind of setup involving two strangers. The rest of the stories were triggered by thinking. We come across elders who share their perspectives with us. Satyaraj garu's character is one such, but he is not preachy. I have drawn from my everyday experiences. Don't expect major twists. They are heartwarming stories, as the title suggests.

Updated on November 21, 2022