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Taking ‘Arjun Reddy’ to the Tamil audience

Director Gireesaya with Vikram

Director Gireesaya with Vikram  

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Debutant director Gireesaaya on his approach to 'Adithya Varma', the Tamil remake of the much-debated film

When Gireesaaya was roped in to direct Adithya Varma after the film shot by director Bala was scrapped, everyone felt he was the right choice. Adithya Varma is the Tamil remake of Vijay Deverakonda starrer Arjun Reddy (AR), and features veteran actor Vikram’s son Dhruv.

Giri — as he’s known in film circles — had worked with director Sandeep Reddy Vanga at the beginning of his career. Once director Sukumar’s Arya released, he became an assistant director and then an associate for Yevade Subramanyam, Arjun Reddy and Mahanati. Director Kranti Madhav introduced Giri to Sandeep and the combination got going.

When the trailer of Adithya Varma released and producer Mukesh Mehta decided to reshoot, he asked if Giri would be interested. He recalls the conversation, “I saw the trailer of Adithya Varma (the version directed by Bala) and I didn’t get the same vibe that I felt while shooting for Arjun Reddy. I met Vikram and had a discussion about what was missing in the film that was already shot. We went ahead with a fresh approach after that.”

The cast and the crew were replaced and the producer gave Giri whatever he wanted without compromising on quality, though they were going low on budget. Giri adds, “He arranged for everything instantly, be it a room in a certain location or a drone. Cinematographer Ravi K Chandran and I were in perfect sync and he never objected to the locations I chose. I was given 54 days to complete and I wrapped up the project in 55 days. I am a huge fan of Bala, I am inspired by Pitamagan (Sivaputrudu in Telugu) and Avan Ivan (Vadu Veedu in Telugu), but I wasn’t convinced with the trailer. That part was his version and if someone had directed it, it would have been their version. Finally I think, Vikram wanted someone closely associated with Arjun Reddy to handle the film in Tamil.”

Saying that this story and dialogues totally belong to Sandeep Reddy, Giri had just asked for a translation of the dialogues into Tamil, just as in Kabir Singh, each word was translated. “I don’t know Tamil at all and I see Tamil films with subtitles. I was given 25 days for pre production. The film has a meter; we had to carry it. Vikram helped with the modulation. He gave me my space, never disturbed at the same time was of great support to me.”

At 22, isn’t Dhruv far younger than Vijay Deverakonda? Giri says Vijay is a terrific actor and when he did Arjun Reddy, he didn’t know how to hold a cigarette, yet he did the smoking scenes so well. He waxes eloquent on the debutant, “Dhruv is far younger but he was prepared and dedicated. He put in extraordinary effort and never followed Vijay. You will find the variation. I didn’t have time to interact with Dhruv as I had very little time before the shoot and was focussing on costumes and other stuff. We did the beard portions first and that was for 21 days. He would stay in that character.”

The only change in the film perhaps is Banita Sandhu’s. The actor from October is shown as having a strong identity and portrayed as a today’s girl unlike a submissive Shalini Pandey in the original. Giri reveals that Vikram and his family enjoyed the film and are happy. He knew right from the beginning Arjun Reddy’s script was strong and anyone associated with it would come out with loads of experience.

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Printable version | Dec 6, 2019 9:48:29 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/movies/taking-arjun-reddy-to-tamil-audience/article30124250.ece

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