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'Kanden Kadhalai is not a copy of Jab We Met'

June 25, 2009 15:53 IST

'Kanden Kadhalai is not a copy of Jab We Met'

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Shobha Warrier

Last year, director Kannan had a winner on his hands with Jayam Kondan. The film that starred Vinay, Bhavana and Lekha Washington in the lead roles was a surprise hit. The success of the film gave him one of the most prestigious assignments, the Tamil remake of one of the most successful Hindi films made in recent times -- Jab We Met.

Kanden Kadhalai, the Tamil remake stars Bharath and Tamannah. With 75 per cent of shooting complete, the director takes time off to talk about the journey so far... from Egmore to Theni.

Have you seen the original when you got the offer to direct Kanden Kadhalai?

Yes, I had seen the original even before I was offered the film. But when I got the offer from Dhananjayan of Moserbaer, after the success of my film Jayam Kondan, I watched it again.

I felt it could not be made as such in Tamil. It was more like a class movie, that caters only to the A class audience. I also knew if it was made to suit Tamil sensibility, it could be a perfect film. That is because the film is strong in emotions and the relationship between the hero and heroine is very genuine.

When you wrote the Tamil script, what were the changes you made in it?

I have made some changes mainly to add a little more entertainment. Tamil audience is different from the Hindi audience. But I have not made any unnecessary changes in the script. I have tried to make it crisper. The way stories are told in Tamil is a little different from Hindi.


Image: A scene from Kanden Kadhalai

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'We needed a well known face and Tamannah fitted the bill perfectly'

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The character Geet in Jab We Met is very talkative. That is her hallmark but you have chosen Tamannah, an actress who doesn't know Tamil. Don't you think it would have been better if you had chosen an actress who could deliver her own dialogues?

I agree it would have been better! But for the success of the film, we needed a well known face and Tamannah fitted the bill perfectly. If we take a new face, the audience will have to like the actress first. On the other hand, the Tamil audience already loves Tamannah and has a special affection for her. So, we were sure that we needed a face that is well known and well liked by the audience.

Bharath has a totally different image. How did you like the idea of challenging his image completely?

You are right. Bharath has a totally different image till now. For a director, to present his hero in a totally different light is a challenge. It is easy to have a hero who fits into the urban, sophisticated image but here, Bharath, till now has a rural image. I am happy that there is a surprise element in his looks for the audience. They have not seen him as a corporate guy so far. That is the biggest advantage of having Bharath as the hero of this film.


Image: A scene from Kanden Kadhalai

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'There will be more comedy in the Tamil film'

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While you are shooting Kanden Kadhalai, do the images of Jab We Met come to you? Or are you shooting it as a fresh film?

I had no interest in making a copy-paste film, so I tried to forget what the Hindi film was all about. I took the basic idea, wrote a script and executed it the way I wanted my film to be. I assure you that the Tamil film will not be a frame to frame copy of the Hindi film; you will see a fresh film.

What do you think is the reason behind the huge success of the Hindi film?

It has a strong script. Both the characters have a helpful bend of mind; rather they are selfless. When the boy needs help, she helps and when she needs help, he helps her without expecting anything in return. That is the beauty of the script.

Will we see more comic elements in the Tamil version?

Yes, there will be more comedy in the Tamil film but there will not be a separate track for comedy. Santhanam is Tamannah's maternal uncle and he will provide the comic interludes but as a part of the story.


Image: A scene from Kanden Kadhalai

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'The Tamil film starts and ends in the railway stations'

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Who plays Tamannah's lover in the film?

A newcomer called Munna. Currently he is acting in Mani Ratnam's Ravan also. He is young, new and fresh.

How different will Kanden Kathalai be from Jab We Met?

The main difference is, the Tamil film starts and ends in the railway stations. The film starts at the Egmore station in Chennai, and the end takes place at the Theni station. So, the journey that starts in a railway station ends also there! I admit I am excited about the film!


Image: A scene from Kanden Kadhalai

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