With the fiasco over directorial duties of Manikarnika: The Queen Of Jhansi still fresh in people's minds, cinephiles were quick to blame Kangana Ranaut for the delay in the release of Mental Hai Kya.
Denying reports of Ranaut retarding the film-making process by interfering in his duties, director Prakash Kovelamudi tells mid-day, "On my set, Kangana was an actor; a professional one, and a creative asset."
Referring to suggestions of her having helmed a small portion of the film as "baseless rumours", Kovelamudi says, "Both Kangana and Rajkummar [Rao] are powerhouse performers who I enjoyed directing. I am happy to see how their characters have turned out. Mental Hai Kya is an intriguing thriller with doses of quirk. The film challenges the norms, and I am thrilled to bring to the audience something original."
With the makers allowing scraps of information — including the actors' first looks — into the public domain several months ago, rumour mills were rife that the film was deferred since major portions had to be re-shot recently.
Kovelamudi dismisses these as well, stating that the three-part filming schedule had taken place as planned. "We finished the first leg in Mumbai, the second in London, and the last one in the city again. The final schedule was wrapped last month," says the director, who will launch the film's trailer later this month to meet a July 26 release date.