'Maestro' will be released on Hotstar on September 17. In this interview, director Merlapaka Gandhi talks about remaking 'Andhadhun', working with Nithiin and more.
When I watched 'Andhadhun', I felt that if a remake has to be made by me, it has to be a film like this. When I got the offer from Nithiin, I jumped in. It was not difficult to adapt to the genre of dark comedy. There is a female villain, there is dark humour, there are tight situations...
I made a few changes to the Hindi original. The love story has more space in the story. There is also a touching element in the climax.
It's not easy to remake a movie faithfully. Sometimes, you can't make a frame-to-frame remake. If changes are made, people might criticize you for spoiling the soul of the original.
As we started the shoot, we first shot the climax. This is so unlike what I have been doing in my career. Due to the pandemic, the Dubai portions had to be shot first and they come in the climax. Looking at Nithiin, I was thoroughly impressed.
Roping in Tamannaah Bhatia was my idea. I wanted someone younger than Tabu to reprise her role. Thanks to her image, the right impact would be created I guess.
Harshavardhan is a doctor in the movie. Singer Mangli has a role. Racha Ravi, Jishu Sengupta, VK Naresh (as an old-time hero), Nabha Natesh - everyone has done a fine job.
'Maestro' had to be released in theatres on July 11. Due to the second wave, we couldn't help it. Had the movie been released in cinemas, even rural people would have been able to access it easily.
Mahati Swara Sagar's RR is terrific. There are four songs and they have come out really well. The songs were shot using a Virtual Reality-like technology. Since the hero is a pianist in the movie, the title reflects his passion.
I have no plans to do a remake after 'Maestro'. I am done. It's not easy to risk criticism by remaking a movie. We shot 'Maestro' in 42 days. I shot 'Venkatadri Express' in just 27 days. I take a lot of time to write but I shoot pretty fast.
I have plans to do a straight movie with Nithiin. He is a commercial actor with whom you can do a lot of fights and songs. It was not possible in 'Maestro'.
I drop off ideas if they don't excite me after I start writing the story. There are many instances where I worked on an idea for 3-4 months but abandoned it because the excitement was not holding up.
My father is a writer who is into reading romantic novels. He expects romance to be there in my films. But I don't like it. We have arguments over the same.