Parul Yadav set for comeback with ‘Butterfly’

The Kannada film is a remake of hugely-popular Hindi film ‘Queen’

This is one film that everyone down South is watching out for. When Queen, starring Kangana Ranaut hit the screens in 2014, girls of small town India were seen in a new light; it wasn’t every day that a ditched bride chose to go on a honeymoon alone. Now the Kannada remake, Butterfly is all set for a post-Ramzan release.

Actor Parul Yadav who plays the lead role in Butterfly, has been busy for the past two years. As co-producer for all four versions — Kannada, Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam, she monitored the dubbing and editing processes apart from working on the social media and marketing campaigns. She also worked on part of the screenplay.

Parul, who shot to fame with the Kannada film Govindaya Namaha specially for the song Pyarge Aagbittaite that went viral, later starred in Shivajinagara, Vaastu Prakara, Uppi 2 and Killing Veerappan. She has done a couple of Tamil films and Kannada television shows too.

“When I watched Queen, I identified so much with Rani’s character,” Parul says. “I went through a lot of similar experiences in my life — of course I wasn’t dumped one day before my wedding! I had a boyfriend who told me I drove badly. I used to be paranoid because of that. But girls drive beautifully. I take the liberty to say a lot of Indian men, play with women’s confidence, mostly unconsciously…”

Parul Yadav set for comeback with ‘Butterfly’

Parul says, “I felt so connected as an artist and as a woman, I just had to do this film. It is a beautiful concoction of arts and commerce. Most films are a case of ‘either/or’ otherwise…”

The remake rights of the film passed through many hands and production companies, getting into some complicated wrangles and delaying their making by almost four years. Finally producer Manu Kumaran came on board.

“I asked several filmmakers in Kannada and Tamil and they all turned it down initially. It was finally Yogaraj Bhat, who said he never takes up remakes, but suggested I approach Ramesh Aravind to direct Butterfly,” says Parul tracing her struggle to get people to make the film. She rules out the rumour that she took up the film with an eye on awards as national awards are not given to remakes.

“The problem is women-centric films don’t sell on celluloid. The ratio is so low, that for every 100 male-centric films, there are maybe four women-centric ones. There is still a taboo in the Indian film industry to take up a woman-oriented movie. Why can’t we have equal number of films and equal stories? Of course, for producers to be encouraged, audiences have to come watch such films too,” says Parul breathlessly.

Aravind agreed to direct both the Tamil and Kannada versions. The actor-director has earlier directed films such as Rama Shama Bhama with Kamal Haasan and Sathyavan Savithri.

The four films are steeped in the milieu and culture of the corresponding state — hence the four versions. The “sensible and rational person” in her decided that each version must have their own regional star in the lead. “People need to connect to their own ‘Queen’,” she says.

Butterfly is set in Gokarna, while the foreign portions, which make up almost 90% of it, was shot abroad over a 60-day schedule, largely in Nice, France. A lot of effort has gone into the detailing, says Parul. She picked up her clothes for the film in Gokarna. “I toned down my make-up and wore un-ironed kurtis. It took me three months to get into the character. I had to do a five-day workshop just to get my small-town-girl body language right. I have a confident body language, Parvathi is a timid character and then I had to boss around on set as producer. I took a 10-day Kannada language course where I just locked myself up and learnt my dialogues and followed the accent thoroughly, because my director was very particular about it.”

Maverick Amit Trivedi who gave Queen its superhit songs including ‘London Thumakda’ is the music director for all four versions of the film. Amitabh Bachchan has sung part of a song titled ‘Sukhaveeva’ by Kannada thespian Master Hirannaiah who passed away recently. The song will appear in three of the films.

It has been a frustrating two years when she couldn’t work on anything else, admits Parul, “But we have pulled off the impossible.” She is already waiting to announce her next big move — another multilingual that she is producing and acting in. “Now nothing less will do! It will be on the lines and scale of an Avatar and Jungle Book,” is all she says.

Paris Paris starring Kajal Aggarwal in Tamil, Zam Zam starring Manjima Mohan in Malayalam and That is Mahalakshmi starring Tamannaah Bhatia in Telugu, will also be released simultaneously.

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Printable version | Jun 3, 2020 11:07:40 PM |

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