'Matti Kusthi' is the title of an upcoming movie starring Kollywood actor Vishnu Vishal in the lead. Helmed by Chella Ayyavu, it will be released in Telugu and Tamil simultaneously. the two-language release will hit the cinemas on December 2.
In his latest interview, actor Vishnu Vishal spoke of the film's Telugu version's presenter Mass Maharaja Ravi Teja, its content, working with Aishwarya Lekshmi and more.
'Matti Kusthi' is a love story, it is not a sports film. It's about ego clashes between a married couple. Matti Kusthi is a form of Kusthi that originated in Kerala. The wife is from Kerala.
In all marriages, unmet expectations lead to quarrels. The wife is not going to play for the country in this film, which is a mass commercial masala film. This is the first time I have done this genre.
The audience are very intelligent today. We have hidden the small surprises in the film by not revealing them in the trailer. It was very tough to cut the trailer. Three editors sat on the task, they had arguments about what to reveal and what not to reveal. We have to outsmart the audience right from the first look. We have been uncovering the movie slowly.
The small surprises in the story will be an undercurrent throughout the running time of 'Matti Kusthi'. I am a Kabaddi player in the movie. Why I end up playing Kusthi will surprise the audience. It's not a hyper-emotional movie. By and large, it's a light-veined one.
There is a lot of comedy in 'Matti Kusthi'. There is a small message that has been delivered with loads of humour. At the same time, it's not a preachy one. The female audiences are going to love the message. As the story progresses, they are not going to like my character because he wants women to be submissive. By the end, the message is that decision-making in a marriage has to be mutual.
Karunas, Munishkanth, and Kingsley of 'Varun Doctor' fame have done a nice comedy. Telugu actors like Ajay and Shatru have done important roles. Justin Prabhakaran has composed the music. He is known to the Telugu audience because of 'Radhe Shyam' and 'Dear Comrade'.
I met Ravi Teja sir before the release of my film 'FIR'. We bonded so fast. I respect his body of work. He liked the content of my films. I told him I want to do a mass film. In contrast, he showed interest in doing content-driven movies (laughs). I told him about 'Matti Kusthi', which was yet to go on the floors at that time. He told me he will produce it in Telugu. Before anyone believed me, he believed it. Even before 'FIR' came out, he showed faith in me. He is always going to have a special place in my heart. I am sure that 'Matti Kusthi' will fetch him both money and fame in Telugu!
I have been a part of Kollywood for many years. I launched a production house so that I can take risks. I will be producing three more movies on my banner before starting to work under other banners. Netflix has bought the OTT rights to my current movie and my next two movies as well for a very good price. It's a big boost for me!
I have signed a movie with Aishwarya Rajinikanth and Rajinikanth sir. It is produced by Lyca Productions. I will be playing a cricketer in it.
Cinema influences society. I have never done movies that impact society in the wrong way. I have stayed away from vulgarity, for example.
Women empowerment is a complex topic. Feminism is misunderstood, in my opinion. Women empowerment is not about not being told to do something. The mindset (of a woman) shouldn't be this: 'I will not do it because you have told me to do it'.
Playing a super-hero is my dream role. Indian cinema hasn't made a proper super-hero movie so far. Let's wait for 'Hanu-Man'. 'Minnal Murali' (Malayalam) comes close to it. That's a good example of a rooted super-hero movie.
'Baahubali' started the trend of big-spectacle movies. It started with Tollywood. 'Pushpa' earned a massive share in non-Telugu markets. In Tamil Nadu, it grossed Rs 25 Cr, that too, during the pandemic. Change always takes time. 'KGF 2' clashed with Thalapathy Vijay sir's movie 'Beast'. 'Kantara' did well despite a two-week lag in its non-Kannada release. I am a fan of concept-driven movies. Of late, though, I have realized that you have to balance novelty and commercial elements if you need a wider reach.
A commercial hero has to be able to do everything - dance, make people laugh, make people cry, etc. I started a production house to prove that I can do a commercial movie. I want to do universal films. I want people to know me across languages. It's a dream. How can I do it? By making films that everyone can watch. I can't achieve it by doing nativity subjects. Of course, I can't completely abandon nativity subjects. I will have to do them once in a while.
'Ratsasan' changed my career. It did better than my commercial movies. Its remake rights were bought for a huge amount by a Bollywood banner. I had bought the remake rights from my Tamil producer and sold it to the Hindi producer for seven times higher price! It's an unheard-of margin. Content rules! The film literally changed my life.
My wife Jwala Gutta is a complete movie buff. She predicted that 'Ratsasan' would be a blockbuster. She is saying the same ahead of 'Matti Kusthi'. I value her feedback because she is a fan of movies. I show her all my movies. I have plans to show my movies to at least 500 people in the future, from general audience to film industry people and others. Their perspectives will be valuable and can lead to course correction if something goes wrong.