Weaving in local references in adaptations is key to remake success: KM Chaitanya
The director gets ready for the release of Amma I Love You, a film inspired by Tamil flick Pichaikkaran
Director KM Chaitanya faces the challenge of giving a fresh take to an already-hit film, as he remakes the Tamil film Pichaikkaran as Amma I Love You in Kannada. As the Chiranjeevi Sarja and Nishivika Naidu-starrer, made under Dwarakish Pictures, gets ready for release this week, Chaitanya speaks with CE on the responsibility of remaking hit films, his rapport with Chiranjeevi, producer Yogish Dwarakish, music director Gurukiran, and what makes Amma I Love You a complete package.
Different language, different outcome
Remaking a hit film like Vijay Antony's Pichchaikaran, takes much courage, as Chaitanya puts it. “Giving a film that has already been presented on the big screen, a sense of freshness, is nerve-wracking. In the case of Amma I Love You, the original Tamil story is very powerful which puts a huge onus on the director of the remake. When you experiment with a new subject, you never know which way it will go. But when you work on a film that is not only a box office hit, but also conveys a message beautifully, the responsibility doubles.”
But, Chaitanya points out that a story does not always work in every language. “What is important when a film is remade in another language is to include local references. It has to be adapted in such a way that it clicks with the contemporary Karnataka audience. That’s the challenge for each of us...the actors, scriptswriters, and technicians. Sometimes, it can also happen that an entirely new angle can emerge, and we must be open to exploring that.”
'Amma I Love You is a family entertainer'
Chaitanya lists out many reasons why Amma I Love You is a total package. “It has everything that will take the audience to theatres – fantastic action sequences, comedy, romance, emotional elements and entertainment. The film will also give a fresh perspective on relationships. Nowadays, filmmakers are making an array of films, ones that cater to those students, young lovers and those who prefer watching films alone. But Amma I Love You is a complete family entertainer.”
Third outing with Chiru
This is actor-director’s third collaboration after Aatagara and Aake. What makes them click? “When I first worked in Aatagara, I told Chiru that I am particular about workshops, and he agreed. I normally work with theatre artistes, which has worked well for me. I am not fond of arguments on sets...I just look at it as bad planning. Considering that I’ve been working on small-budget films, I prefer that questions and discussions are settled in writing before we begin shooting. That’s what I did with Chiru in Aatagara, and he seemed to like the way I went about with the film. So, when I made Aake, it was he who insisted on a workshop, and even discussed the scenes a day before we went on the sets. Ultimately, it helped him in his performance as well as in the look of the entire film. That involvement from Chiranjeevi was fantastic which is how our rapport has grown. In fact, he was initially hesitant to take up a subject like Amma I Love You, but Yogish and I were confident that he could pull it off.”
‘Yogi and I complement each other’
Yogi is a producer who makes films for the love of them, says the director. “And clearly, he has inherited his skill from his father, Dwarakish. He looks at how well he can take a subject forward that will appeal to the next generation of cinegoers. He’s involved in every stage of the film, from casting, getting the right technicians on board, scripting and even marketing. For any director, he’s of great support. Partnering with Yogish and working with him has been good because he understands the business of cinema. While I tend to look at the creative aspect of cinema, he looks at the commercial aspect. So, we complement each other.”
‘Gurukiran, an asset to the film industry’
Chaitanya has grown up listening to Gurukiran’s music from a young age, and has always been amazed at how he often “manages to bring alive an ordinary scene with not-so-great performance, just through his music. There is so much to learn from this music director. We first associated in Aake, and we hit off very well. Again, in Amma I Love You, he has spun his magic. He is a great asset to the cinema industry.”