Expected to hit the screens much before the original
Chennai: First, he had a blockbuster song from a Rajnikanth starrer remixed for his film. Next, he used the title of a popular Rajnikanth movie for his venture. Then, he fully retooled a grand 80s hit of Rajni’s.
Now, actor Dhanush has decided to push the creative envelope further. He is all set to remake Rajnikanth’s Raana, which itself is still to begin shooting. Dhanush’s remake of Raana is expected to hit the screens much before the original is actually released.
‘This is a happy occasion in my life,’ Dhanush, who had probably listened to Ravi Shastri a lot during the World Cup telecasts, began by stating the obvious.
‘To remake a Rajni movie that is technically not yet made is a dream come true for me,’ he said. ‘Every actor begins his career hoping for such a defining moment. I am lucky that things have happened so early for me. God has been kind to me because he has never failed to be kind to Rajni,’ Dhanush explained.
Dhanush, it may be recalled, has cultivated a unique set of followers by his singular originality in following the footsteps of Rajnikanth.
In his Thiruvilayadal Aramabam, Dhanush established his innovation by incorporating Rajni’s 80s chartbuster Ennama Kannu. After tasting splendid success with that, Dhanush then tested the efficacy of the title of Rajnikanth’s another 80s movie, Pollathavan.
With both the song and title working wonders for him, the ever-ready-to-experiment Dhanush then bravely decided to go the whole hog and use Rajni’s song, title and also the entire film for his next venture. Maapillai, his movie set for release next week, is the result.
But the new Maapillai is not a complete replica of the previous one. We have daringly changed the cast and crew, Dhanush said. ‘It will be a fresh Dhanush movie previously attempted by Rajni,’ he explained.
After Maapillai was finished, Dhanush was faced with the most searing existential question: ‘What next? For Rajni, that is’.
Luckily for Dahnush, Rajni decided to immerse himself in Raana. ‘It was just what the doctor ordered break for me,’ Dhanush said, this time remaking Ravi Shastri.
But the brainwave to remake Raana much before its time was a serendipitous stumble. ‘When we were discussing as to what Rajni movie was left to remake, one of my friends cattily said that only the yet-to-be-made Raana was free. But rather than let the icy remark remain a sharp insult, we decided to treat it as a serious suggestion,’ Dhanush said.
We have also decided to name our remake movie Raana, Dhanush said, suggesting that sometimes there is a limit to creative freedom.
Dhanush pointed out ‘people believe that Raana will be a magnum opus for Rajnikanth as he is said to play multiple roles in it. If that is indeed the case, the remake that we are planning will also be a memorable magnum opus for me as I will also be playing multiple roles in it’.
Asked how a movie can be remade when it has not been made in the first place, especially since no one knows the story of Raana, Dhanush shot back: to talk of story in a Rajni movie is pointless. ‘In a Rajnikanth starrer, there is Rajnikanth. The rest is scenery,’ he said.
Dhanush said the remake film’s director, the heroines and technicians are still being finalised. He confessed that when it comes to heroines he cannot go for very young girls like Rajni does. ‘You have to remember that I am now a middle-aged star and I have to pick heroines of my age. Rajni has no such compulsions.’
As per indications, apart from Deepika, an 8th standard schoolgirl is set to make her debut as one of the leading girls for Rajni in the original Raana. The young girl’s grandfather was apparently Rajni’s junior in his school days. ‘Rajni never forgets his childhood friends. He is very loyal to them even today. That is why he has agreed to cast his old pal’s grandkid as his heroine in Raana,’ said sources in the industry.
On the music of the remake-Raana, Dhanush confirmed that they were ready with remix sounds and the compulsory Rap bits that go with it. ‘He has done his job brilliantly,’ Dhanush said, showering praise on the most inevitable musical component in Tamil remixes: Blaaze.
Dhanush said that he felt extremely proud of the fact that his remake Raana would make it to the theatres much ahead of the original. ‘It will be a historical moment in the annals of film history. We only hope that the original will stay true to its remake,’ he concluded.
Meanwhile, it’s learnt that after Maapilai’s release and before he gets down to Raana, Dhanush is expected to remake Rajni’s trip to Himalayas.
(Disclaimer: Dhanush’s favourite line: En Vazhi Thani Vazhi)