Preetham Gubbi is trying to look at friendships anew through his film Nam Duniya Nam Style (NDNS). "It is about three people who hail from different backgrounds and who have been friends for 15 years. The trio are a jovial and fun-loving lot, and are excited about their first travel abroad together," says Preetham.
Romance and bromance
Shot in Hong Kong, Malaysia and Kashmir, Preetham admits he was inspired by the Hindi film Dil Chahta Hai when scripting NDNS. "But that's all it is, an inspiration. NDNS is a unique story on its own."
"Instead of making another film about romance, I thought why not talk about friendship. Of course, romance is not out of the frame entirely. The boys come across girls they fall in love with. How they handle their relationships with each other and manage to win over the girls is my story," says Preetham.
The subject is not the only departure for Preetham. While most of his earlier films starred seasoned actors, his decision to cast newcomers left well-wishers apprehensive.
"Which is why I decided to shoulder the responsibility of the fate of this film. We overshot our budget because of outstation shoots. But after watching the rushes, I have no regrets," Preetham says.
For someone who has directed the likes of Ganesh, Kiran Srinivas, Yash and Vijay, instructing newbies Sunil Nagappa, Likith Shetty and Milana Nagaraj would have been a challenge. "When we started work, they were frightened of me. I saw that each was putting in that extra effort. We set off for our on-location shoots only after holding plenty of meetings that helped them connect as are a group. As a result, strangers became good friends and that helped my movie. We shot a song in very cold temperatures in Kashmir and not one complained. I have to thank our choreographer Harsha for that too," says Preetham.
NDNS also features two foreign actors, one Chinese and another European. Both had auditioned for their role.
Yogi G Raj, a friend of Preetham's, has styled the film. "This film needed a different look so we researched onw hat we needed. The result is that the film has a very sophisticated look with no lousy colours. Even in our fashion takes, we followed the script," Preetham says.
Working on the film turned out to be an enjoyable affair. In fact, Preetham drew a lot from his personal experiences to pepper the stories of the three friends on-screen. He says, "My intention is capture the youth's mind and keep it real. I have put in some of my own thrills like the first flight I took and some such incidents. I hope it strikes a chord with the audience." The film's cast includes Vinayak Joshi, Kavya Shetty and Sonia Gowda.
Yash Chopra fan
Preetham debuted in the industry as a script writer and has the blockbuster hit Mungaru Male to his credit. For long he concentrated on films with romantic themes like Haage Sumane, Maleyali Jotheyalli, Johnny Mera Naam and the latest being Jaanu. Does NDNS then risk taking the director away from what he is best at? Says Preetham, "I am a diehard fan of Yash Chopra's and so, for me, romance (as a subject) will never die down. Nobody else could bring alive romance on the screen like he did and he did so until his last film, Jab Tak Hai Jaan. I want to follow in his footsteps."