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Updated: January 25, 2014 18:33 IST

The big ticket

UDHAV NAIG
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Vaani Kapoor
Vaani Kapoor

Vaani Kapoor enters Kollywood with Yash Raj Films’ Aaha Kalyanam, a remake of the hit Band Baaja Baraat

The prolific Yash Raj Films, which has produced some memorable Hindi films over the last few decades, expands its footprint to Tamil Nadu with its first direct Tamil film Aaha Kalyanam, a remake of Yash Raj’s hit wedding movie Band Baaja Baraat.

Vaani Kapoor, who made her Hindi debut with Yash Raj’s Shuddh Desi Romance and subsequently signed a three-film deal with the production house, plays the lead in Aaha Kalyanam along with Telugu star Nani. Vaani is dressed in traditional South Indian attire behind the attractive set erected at the ballroom of The Leela Palace hotel where the cast and crew officially released the audio of Aaha Kalyanam, and one couldn’t help but ask the Punjabi girl how familiar she was with Tamil culture. “I don’t form opinions about a different culture and its people from hearsay. I have watched films of Rajinikanth and Dhanush, but then who hasn’t?” she asks before saying she always felt Tamil films were ‘high on energy’.

The unfamiliarity with the language and culture meant that Vaani Kapoor had to work doubly hard for the film. “Mr. Aditya Chopra’s only concern was that I should crack the language. Director Gokul Krishna came up with an elaborate presentation about how weddings were performed in Tamil Nadu and doubled up as my Tamil tutor on the sets.”

Those who watched the three foot-tapping songs set to tune by Dharan Kumar at the audio launch were quick to notice the colourful Punjabi and Bhangra-influenced dance choreography intact just as it was in the original. But, Vaani maintains that the remake will definitely not alienate its audience. “Ultimately, it is a remake in which the scenes are same. However, there was enough scope in the film to improvise as we did in the dialogues. In the same way, we have shown an inter-religion wedding in the Tamil version. We didn’t want to meddle with what worked in the original. Which is why the Punjabi influence is visible but the songs themselves are different from the original,” she says. Has she retained anything from Anushka Sharma’s critically-acclaimed performance in the original? “No. I watched it just once and decided not to watch it again lest I subconsciously reproduce her performance.”

Her co-star Nani is also quite kicked about starring in Yash Raj’s first Tamil film. “Initially, I was never interested in doing a remake, but then, this was a chance to do Yash Raj’s debut in Tamil, and I wouldn’t be able to do their first film again.”

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