Hyderabad: Narappa has tested the limits of Srikanth Addala’s potential as a filmmaker. In a way, it puts him on a new pedestal that he couldn’t get elevated with his earlier commercial potboilers. The director, who is known for portraying sensible family emotions on-screen with films like Seethamma Vakitlo Sirimalle Chettu, Brahmotsavam, and Mukunda has now dabbled with a different subject. The director says he couldn’t be more thankful to original storyteller Vetrimaran for the way the story, a real incident perhaps, was resurrected on the silver screen.
“The idea was not to touch the original Tamil film Asuran. It is one of the masterpieces ever made in Indian cinema. Our motive was to just remake it a way our audiences would usually like. Movies that are adapted from novels such as Asuran, actually carry so much weight. It is as realistic a story as it is a commercial cinema,” says Srikanth.
He shares that there was once a trend of making movies from novel adaptations in Telugu cinema. Later, it faded. “I was once curious about the Telugu novel Saptha Bhoomi, authored by Bandi Narayana. Such realistic stories should be told on-screen. As of now, I’ve nothing of this sort in hand. Maybe, such book adaptations may be revived in future. Narappa might lead me to think and plan novel adaptations in future. I am unsure, however,” he sighs.
The 58-day-long shooting schedule in sandy desert, drought region of Rayalaseema was a tough ask for Srikanth. It is the longest ever in the history of Suresh Productions. “Anantapur was selected because we wanted an overall appeal of the film to suit Telugu nativity. Every detail in the film is accountable. I spotted an Anantapur youth speaking in his native slang. I assured him a two-month pay for his services and brought him to Ramanaidu Studios. And that’s how dialogues took shape,” says the director.
“The story is easy to narrate on paper. It’s actually quite tough to recreate scenes to suit the Telugu audience’s sensibilities. Remakes are not as easy as they appear. It’s quite a risky affair,” he adds.
On considering actor Priyamani as Narrapa’s wife, he says, “While watching Asuran, I imagined actor Priyamani in the character of Mannu Warrier. I chose Priyamani because I remembered the character she played in the Tamil film Paruthiveeran for which she received a National Award. I could imagine Priyamani as the girl from a perfect traditional Telugu household.”
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