Director R S Prasanna made his first Tamil film, ‘Kalyana Samayal Saavhdhan’, in 2013. With erectile dysfunction as its core theme, he was clear that it catered to the multiplex audience and was happy to see that it was well-received. In 2017, it was adapted in Hindi as ‘Shubh Mangal Saadhan’ starring Ayushman Khurrana and Bhumi Pednekar. The movie was a blockbuster.
Says Prasanna, “A big shout out to Lekha Washington who acted in my Tamil film because it was she who pushed me to have a premiere of my Tamil film in Mumbai and got people like Aanand L Rai, Vishal Baradwaj, Madhavan, etc, to watch the show. Aanand wanted to remake the film and invited me to his office the next day.” The director says it took them one-and-a-half years to find the right writer for the Hindi version. When they zeroed in on Hitesh Kewalya finally, they knew they had a winner.
But unlike other directors who’ll jump at every opportunity that comes they way post a big success, Prasanna didn’t. “I took a year just to digest the success of Shubh Mangal Saavdhan and spend time with my family. Many people told me I was crazy not to take up offers but I was clear what I wanted to do,” he emphasises.
Post the Hindi film, the director has been working on numerous scripts that are in development and says he will announce his projects once they are ready to go on floor post the lockdown. Ask him how critical the writing process is and Prasanna says, “Very. In Mumbai, the film development process involves a writers’ room and a team of writers collaborate together on a project. In Kollywood, we don’t have that concept. While I am a writer and director, when I’m on set, it’s the ADs who tell me the scene set-up and so on. I focus solely on direction.”
Ask him about the Kollywood trend of directors typically also writing the story and screenplay, Prasanna says, “If it works out well, then great. But directors should not plagiarise another writer’s work – give credit where it’s due.”
Watch the entire interview here