Line between right and wrong

Krish Jagarlamudi. Photo: K. Ramesh Babu

Krish Jagarlamudi. Photo: K. Ramesh Babu

“A script, studio and a star… everything was given to me on a platter. I am lucky and should thank Sanjay Leela Bhansali for this,” says director Krish Jagarlamudi, making his debut in Hindi with the Akshay Kumar starrer Gabbar is Back this week. After he completed Krishnam Vande Jagadguram , Krish had planned to remake his film Gamyam in Hindi with Bhansali’s production house. But by then, the production house had decided to remake the 2002 Tamil film Ramana , directed by A.R. Murugadoss.

Ramana , remade in Telugu as Tagore starring Chiranjeevi, came at a time when Tamil and Telugu film industries saw occasional vigilante films, the significant ones being Shankar’s Indian and years later, Anniyan . Remaking the 2002 film Ramana to a different audience, Krish admits, has its own challenges. “The sensibilities of the audience and how they react to situations is changing each year,” says Krish. He is confident that people who now take to the social media to express their angst against flaws in a system, will connect with the soul of the film and its stance against corruption. “There is a strong emotional connect,” he says.

Gabbar is an unlikely brand name for a fight against corruption. Krish reasons, “Akshay is a vigilante and though what he does is right, the path he chooses isn’t. The Chanakya neeti of ‘saam daam dand bhed’ is the path this character takes up. We needed a brand name for this kind of violence. In one scene, Sholay is playing on television when Akshay is writing an anonymous letter and intuitively, he feels Gabbar is the right name for the work he is doing.”

Krish pitches Gabbar is Back as a fast-paced entertaining thriller that unfolds in Mumbai and Maharastra. Unlike the Tamil and Telugu versions where the female lead’s role was limited, he says Shruti Haasan has a strong role. “She is a young lawyer who at first doesn’t know who Gabbar is and what he is up to. Once she understands his fight against a corrupt system, she stands by him. She has a bubbly, sensible and strong presence in the film. As an actress, she has been improving with each film,” lauds Krish.

For more than two years, Krish has been based in Mumbai, occasionally visiting Hyderabad, and has picked up Hindi enough to be able to speak fluently, read and write. “I had my core team members with me, including my chief assistant director. So I didn’t feel like I was working out of a different industry,” he says.

The director is confident that the film will work with the Hindi film-going audience, and hopes that those who have watched Ramana and Tagore will find something fresh in it. “It’s a straightforward commercial entertainer with a strong soul. There are four action sequences in the film but I haven’t used any graphics or special effects and they happen almost true to real life. And Akshay has done a commendable job,” he says.

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Printable version | Jul 5, 2022 1:26:21 pm |