Chennai: Pure and unsullied love have characterised Yash Raj Chopra’s films. Coupled with great music, they have always left an indelible impression on viewers’ minds. Think Chandni, Lamhe, Dil To Paagal Hai.
Naturally, expectations are high when the late filmmaker’s production house decides to step into Tamil cinema.
Will Aaha Kalyanam, the Tamil remake of Band Baaja Baaraat, live up to the icon’s legacy?
tabloid! spoke to director Gokul Krishna, who is opening his innings with this film, starring Telugu actor Nani and Bollywood’s Vani Kapoor.
“I had pitched in the script with visual references in August 2011,” Krishna, former associate of Tamil director Vishnu Vardhan, recalls. But attending to his sick mother, he was unprepared in February 2012 when the call came from Mumbai. “That was a surreal moment. To work in a Yash Raj film is indeed a big responsibility.”
The main challenge lay in retaining the original essence of the story.
“I did not want to tamper with those areas that pivoted around the relationship between the lead pair, their squabbles and how they handle their relationship in the second half.”
With a wedding backdrop, this film involved working with a large team.
“For a song sequence, we researched and came up with 23 different weddings from various communities in south India. We shot it in the form of a montage.”
Look out for the Thala Thala song, made up of punch lines from Tamil cinema. “It was my idea,” music director Dharan Kumar says. “We had tracked around 400 punch lines from the time of MGR and turned it into a song. But on playing, it sounded like lines merely set to a tune,” Kumar continued.
“So, I asked lyricist Madan Karky to string them into lyrics. Karky also added a catchy phrase to this song.”
Praise for production house
Praising Yash Raj’s team, Krishna — who has been signed for two more films — says they were “completely professional”. “They were always there holding hands and guiding me at every step.”
Nani was a pillar of strength, he adds. “He even assisted me in direction.”
As for Kapoor, “She is a hard working girl who ensured that she got the lines with the correct pronunciation.”
Shot in Chennai and Mysore, Aaha Kalyanam rides high on the promise of a Yash Raj experience. It has also been dubbed into Telugu. Loganathan Srinivasan is the cinematographer.
Catch this big fat Indian wedding when it releases on February 20 in the UAE.
Meet wedding planner Shruthi
A former model, Vani Kapoor won the Filmfare award for her Bollywood debut in Shuddh Desi Romance. Now, she takes baby steps into Tamil cinema.
Q: How did Aaha Kalyanam happen?
A: I had completed my second schedule of Shuddh Desi Romance when Aditya Chopra called me and said: “We are planning a remake of Band Baaja Baaraat in Tamil and I think you are suitable for the role. You have to adapt yourself to the culture in the south and justify playing the character without appearing like a north Indian speaking the lines.” I was nervous and excited at the same time. I felt I could relate to Shruthi and I wanted to pick up this challenge of working in a new language.
Q: Talking of language, how did you manage?
A: Every scene was tough, being an alien language, but my director was my tutor. Gokul’s passion and his focus made work easy.
Q: How was it to work with Nani?
A: When we met the first time for a look test, we were both reserved. We did the shoot without even speaking to each other. After the first shoot, we opened up and gradually became an extension of Shruthi and Shakthi. We share a good rapport. I am fond of Nani and his wife.
Q: How did you get into films?
A: I always desired to be a part of the creative world and have been a loyal fan of Yash Raj films. Modelling was the first step that paved my entry into films.