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'Next Enti?' is a universal, slice-of-life film: Tamannaah Bhatia

Monday, December 3, 2018 • Telugu Comments

Next Enti? is a universal, slice-of-life film: Tamannaah Bhatia

"Even when I am in Mumbai, they call me a Telugu girl.  I have started dubbing my own voice.  I am a Telugu girl in my self-image," Tamannaah tells the scribes as she settles down for a group interview.  The versatile actress awaits the release of 'Next Enti?' on December 7.  In this interview, she talks about how different the movie is, her character in it, doing so many films after being written off by some, how Telugu cinema is changing and more.  

How is the film different for you?

Most of the films that I have done are in a commercial space.  I never got to play my age.  I never did a film with urban vibes.  In the last 2 years, Telugu cinema has seen a lot of change.  We are witnessing new subjects, people are accepting them.  Some of these movies are being remade in Hindi.  We are encouraged to make movies like 'Next Enti?' because of BO successes.  

Tell us about the subject of the movie.

I have never done this kind of a youthful subject before.  The story is based in London.  It basically talks about the tags that are given to girls.  If she is wearing a decent dress, she is called as an aunty.  If she wears shorts, she is stereotyped otherwise.  A girl should have the right to do what she wants.  Let her take her own decisions.  It could anything from small to big things in life.  The film is about the young generation.  Romantic interests are an important thing in the film.  With whom you end up is a large reflection of your own self.  It's the journey of her finding who she thinks is right for her.  

From the Trailer, it's clear 'Next Enti?' is realy bold.  How was it playing the role?

When I listened to the subject, I felt it was bold.  I have never played a character which talks about love and sex so openly, although it's a very normal thing.  In Hindi, 'Veere Di Wedding' was wow.  It was so exciting to watch women use expletives in that film.  But 'Next Enti?' is more real, slice of life, chilled.  I can't do films that are too serious or those which make you feel bad.  I have to entertain people to make them happy.  The audience should feel empowered, not feel dull.

How has Bollywood director Kunal Kohli treated the subject?

The film has long shots.  For example, a conversation goes on and on for 3.5 minutes as it would in real life.  The conversations between friends would be candid in real life and that's how we have shot it.  The narrative is Woody Allen-type.  I have personally related to the dialogues my character speaks in the movie.  The character's name is also my pet name.  

Just the sheer taking of shots was so different by him.  In Telugu, we are used to a certain pattern.  The trying of a new narrative was good for us.  I myself didn't know how it would be treated.  

How was it working with Sundeep Kishan and Navdeep?

Kunal garu had a great team of writers.  On the spot, you can improvise only when you have the right co-stars.  With Navdeep and Sundeep, that could happen.  Navdeep is playing a much older man in the film.  With times changing, people are open to playing any role.  They don't mind looking older than their age.  

Sharath Babu sir is playing my father, a single parent.  Telugu cinema has explored father-son relationship but not the father-daughter one.  When a single parent has a girl child, how he treats his daughter is the crux.  And Babu garu has played it in an endearing way.  

Is it only about the perspectives of the woman?

You will get perspectives from both the girl's side and the boy's side.  Essentially, however, the filmis about a girl's journey.  Playing it was tough because it's emotionally draining because you have to tap into yourself.  It's easy because you can be natural.

Is it a woman-centric movie?

I am not personally fond of putting tags to films.  This film is about breaking tags.  I wouldn't call it a rom-com either.  It's a passe term.  This film is about opinions, perspectives.  The film has a universal concept.  Language is only a medium to communicate to the audience.  Films like these are humane subjects. The content is universal and the subject is set in London.  We had lot of liberties in terms of urbanizing the content.  If it was set in, say, Rajahmundry, there would have been restrictions with language, dressing, etc.  

How do you see your stardom after all these years?

I have always thought of myself as an actor.  I am lucky that I get to do what I loved to do.  Times are such that stardom is just a byproduct of this kind of life that we live and the kind of movies that we do.  Essentially, I love to play characters that reflect life.

You are very busy in Tamil, too.  Isn't it?

I am playing two contrasting roles in this one and in 'That's Mahalakshmi' ('Queen' remake).  Thanks to 'Baahubali', I now have the faith in me to play different characters.  'F2' is coming for Sankranthi.  I am also doing 'Sye Raa' about which I am very happy.  It will go down as one of the most special films.  I am working with Suri sir (Surender Reddy) for the second time.  I can't reveal anything about my role in the movie.  Working with Chiranjeevi garu is great.  I was always waiting for such an opportunity.  

Whenever people say it's over for me, I have done more movies.  I feel good when people say it's over for me, because I know I have to work harder.  I am not saying it to sound cocky.  I love running around the trees, I love to dance, but I also love to go beyond such stuff.  I have shot so much this year.  I have done Tamil and I have done a special song in 'KGF'. 

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