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'Prem Adda is the Kannada version of Subramaniapuram'

Last updated on: December 6, 2012 13:54 IST

'Prem Adda is the Kannada version of Subramaniapuram'

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Srikanth Srinivasa in Bangalore

Kannada film director Mahesh Babu shot into the limelight with two back-to-back hits, Akash and Arasu, that starred Puneeth and Ramya. Arasu was successful despite being in the race with Mungaaru Male. 

Mahesh Babu's subsequent releases, Abhay (starring Darshan), Parameshi Paanwalla (starring Shivarajkumar), Chiru (with Chiranjeevi Sarja) and Meravanige (with Prajwal and Aindrita) did average or below average at the box office. 

His latest directorial venture Prem Adda, that stars director Prem and Kriti Kharbanda in lead roles, is ready to hit the screens this Friday, December 7, across Karnataka. 

Prem Adda is a remake of the Tamil superhit film Subramaniapuram.

In this interview with Srikanth Srinivasa, Mahesh Babu talks about the title controversy and what it took to direct another well-known director.

What are the changes you have made from the original Subramaniapuram?

We have added some sentimental scenes which do not exist in the original version. We have also added a song and a fight sequence.

The story is set in 1980 in Kollegal. We have used the Kollegal dialect for the dialogues which is close to how people in Mandya speak Kannada.


Image: A scene from Prem Adda


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'The regional censor office felt that the film has excessive and realistic fights'

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What was the controversy about the title, Prem Adda?

The film started with a controversy regarding the title and has ended amicably with an 'A' certificate. The regional censor office felt that the film has excessive and realistic fights. 

They did not suggest any cuts as the members of the board who watched the film felt that it would hamper the flow of the story and so we agreed to this certificate.

Coming to the title controversy, it was the film's producer, Murali Krishna, who had actually registered the title Adda with the apex body. 

The producer did not renew it and so without our knowledge, the title was transferred to another producer as there were some personal differences between the two. 

We had already released the designs and the controversy erupted when the film was about to mount the sets.

Why did you insist on this title?

We decided to go with the title Prem Adda as the title had registered in the minds of the audience.


Image: A scene from Prem Adda


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'There was absolutely no difference in directing a fellow director'

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How did you get to direct the film?

Producer Murali Krishna had bought the rights of the Tamil film Subramaniapuram. He went to director Prem, who suggested my name to wield the megaphone. 

Before they came to me, it was already decided that Prem would play the main lead. That's how I got an opportunity for the first time to work with Prem.

What was it like to direct another well-known director? Who called the shots on the sets?

There was absolutely no difference in directing a fellow director. I was given complete freedom to do what I want as I was signed on as the director. 

Prem Adda has been mired in controversy regarding the lyrical content of a song.

We have changed the lyrics of the song Melukote Hudugi to Yelukote Hudugi, bowing to pressure from the people of Melkote.

Harikrishna has scored the music and we have retained one tune from the original film. 

The song Kalli Ivalu has become popular. Aindrita Ray has danced to a special number titled Basanti and another song, Adda Boys, has also become popular.


Image: A scene from Prem Adda


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'Prem Adda is a neat entertainer'

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Why have you not been able to replicate the success of your first two films, Akash and Arasu?

Abhay did well. Chiru was an average film. I think people did not accept some films, or I could not gauge their tastes and preferences.

Perhaps, expectations were also running high after the success of my first two films. I should say Akash and Arasu gave me a lot of recognition in the industry.

What can audiences expect from Prem Adda?

Prem Adda is a neat entertainer. It is a film that makes you feel for the way it ends.

People will get to see realistic cinema that will give them the feeling that 'oh this shouldn't have happened' as they walk out of the theatre.

Image: A scene from Prem Adda

Tags: Arasu , Chiru , Akash

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