A touch of royalty

A touch of royalty

The stories that emanate from the homes of royal families excited actor, director and now producer Roopa Iyer, who has directed and produced the bilingual film Chandra. The film, that hit the screens on Friday, has Tamil actress Shriya Saran and Kannada actor Nenapirali Prem in the lead roles.

Roopa chose to knit the story around the theme of love because she believes that love cuts across caste, creed, class and religion. She spent a lot of time researching royal families and also travelled across the country, interacting with members of families like the Nizams and Mysore Maharaja and those from Travancore and Rajasthan, before she finalised the script.

Roopa is thrilled with the positive reviews she has been getting about the film. “It is a simple and a straight love story. I didn’t want to add too much masala to complicate things. The chemistry between Shriya Saran and Prem has worked out very well. The two of them have added to the charm of the story, through powerful portrayal of emotions,” Roopa tells Metrolife.  

“Incidently, both the hero and the heroine share the same name and that’s why the title. Shriya’s name is Maharani Ammani Chandravati and Prem is called Chandra Hasa. The chemistry between the lead characters would surely make one blush.

Although, there’s a touch of royalty to the story, I am sure people will be able to relate to the characters and draw a parallel to their own life. It has been made in a realistic fashion,” explains Roopa.    

Roopa says that the film has captured and portrayed the last generation of a royal family. “Walk into the home of any royal family and you will find that their costumes and food habits are quite similar to how the Maharajas once lived. But there have been a few changes,” Roopa adds. She points out that there’s a lot of thrill and suspense packed into the story. “Shriya and Prem had to train in the martial art form Kalaripayattu for three months before the shooting could begin. They would start training as early as six in the morning. We roped in a Kalaripayattu master from Kerala just to train them. There are scenes where the actors get to show off their skills in Kalaripayattu,” informs Roopa.

The movie has been shot in and around the Mysore Palace and the permission to do this didn’t come easily. “I’ve had to write to so many government bodies and finally when the permission came through, I was thrilled,” she shares.  Roopa has also written two songs in the film. Tamil comedian Vivek and former ‘Mr India’ Ganesh Venkatraman play substantial roles in the film.

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