Kural 388 actor Vishnu Manchu: Any film has to be entertaining, whether its commercial or content driven | regional movies | Hindustan Times
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Kural 388 actor Vishnu Manchu: Any film has to be entertaining, whether its commercial or content driven

In a freewheeling chat with Hindustan Times, actor Vishnu Manchu speaks about his political drama Kural 388, political ambitions and debuting in Tamil film industry.

regional movies Updated: Dec 29, 2017 21:38 IST
Priyanka Sundar
Priyanka Sundar
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Vishnu Manchu will also be seen in Mohan Babu’s come back film, Gayatri.
Vishnu Manchu will also be seen in Mohan Babu’s come back film, Gayatri.

Vishnu Manchu is a confident man who agreed to work on the bilingual film Voter/Kural 388 despite its political leanings. “I am a son of a straightforward person (Mohan Babu Manchu) and I shouldn’t think twice about choosing to work on a film like this,” he says in an exclusive interview with Hindustan Times.

Kural 388 marks this Tollywood hero’s debut in Tamil film industry. The poster has made an impression on the minds of people by featuring political bigwigs including Narendra Modi, Stalin, Karunanidhi and Manmohan Singh. Even after seeing the backlash that the superstar’s film (Vijay’s Mersal) received for one dialogue criticising GST, Vishnu doesn’t seem to be perturbed.

“Kural 388 is not about raising voice against one politician or singling out a political party. It is about fighting the system that is corrupt. The conflict is between an individual and an entire system and the antagonist is just a catalyst,” he explains when asked if he was concerned about the current political scenario - especially in Tamil Nadu.

He further adds, “We do not live a country ruled by a dictator. It is a beautiful democracy and I am not starting a revolution with this film, but just trying to lead as an example.”

So was it a conscious decision to choose a strong role with scope for performance such as in Kural 388 to make a debut in Tamil? “I have always wanted to act in Tamil and I have always been looking for a script. I wanted something that had a social cause at its heart and mixed action and drama. This film fit the bill perfectly,” he explains. It was not an instantaneous decision for the actor though, for he had to wait many years to enter Tamil film industry.

Working on Kural 388 has also been a thought provoking process for the star. “This film emphasises that voters are the owners while politicians are equivalent to employees working for the people. It is definitely not the other way round.”

Does this mean that he is done with action comedies? Will he sign more films in the genre that catapulted him to success in the Tollywood industry? “I would love to work on content driven action comedy or romantic comedies as long as they are meaningful and entertaining. In fact, any film - be it commercial or content driven - has to be entertaining. Action comedy is also what I love,” says the actor who feels that any movie is a lie and it is how well we tell this lie that decides the fate of the film.

Vishnu also produces movies so does he have an insight into what works at the box office and what doesn’t? Has he cracked the code yet? “Content is King,” is his quick response.He quotes the example of the critically acclaimed film, Arjun Reddy and said how the director’s unique style of storytelling turned out to be one of the main reasons behind the film’s success. “The industry in the next two years will see some amazing work being done,” he said excitedly.

As an actor who is about to make his debut in a new industry just like Mahesh Babu in Spyder and Nivin Pauly in Richie, Vishnu feels that something that existed in the 70s is coming back in vogue. “In the 70s, actors like Nageswar Rao or Savitri worked in multiple languages. As time passed and each industry started to see growth and developed their own identities, this practise disappeared,” he said.

Also looking from a business perspective, bilingual films are cost effective. “The chances of a good return are higher when you make bilinguals or multilinguals as the initial cost is lesser,” he says.

Opinionated, no-nonsense outlook, choice of his film and his business sense makes us wonder, is he looking at becoming a politician in the future? Vishnu laughs and points out that his family and friends are politicians and that is from both the ruling side and the opposition. “I am not looking at it as a possibility as of now,” he concludes.

The author tweets @Priyanka_S_MCC
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