U Turn director Pawan Kumar on Tamil, Telugu remake: Last 30 minutes is different from original version
Pawan Kumar is now gearing up for the release of the Tamil and Telugu remake of U Turn, starring Samantha Akkineni in the lead role.
Director Pawan Kumar’s Lucia was a game changer in Kannada cinema. The film grabbed the attention of movie buffs across India and also gained a huge cult following. After the massive success of Lucia, Pawan produced and directed his third film U Turn, which was also widely appreciated for its presentation. Pawan is now gearing up for the release of the Tamil and Telugu remake of U Turn, starring Samantha Akkineni in the lead role.
“Samantha loved the trailer of the Kannada U Turn; she saw the film at a private screening in Bengaluru and also expressed her interest to act in the remake. As I produced the Kannada version, I needed some time to get out of it and by that time, Samantha was busy with many projects. Later, Samantha was interested to produce the film on her own but she preferred not to do too many things at the same time so, we found another producer. Though we initiated the remake process in 2017, we started shooting only in 2018 because of the busy schedule of Samantha," said Pawan to Firstpost.
In the Kannada version, the flyover played a major role and as the illegal u-turn took the lives of many people in the city of Bengaluru, it connected well with the audiences in Karnataka.
When asked what are the changes made for the Tamil and Telugu versions, Pawan said: “The whole story of U Turn was not based on any real-life incident. We only took the u-turn part and sketched the screenplay. The theme of the Tamil and Telugu versions too remains the same but here, we have talked about the traffic problems faced by the people of these two states. Those who knew the story of the flyover in Bengaluru connected to the film and even other language speaking audiences also enjoyed watching the film on Netflix because they also undergo various traffic issues in their place."
“We have changed the last thirty minutes portion of the film from the original Kannada version. As I said, the theme remains the same but how things culminate is different here and it will be an enhanced version of the original story. More than incorporating changes to the original, we have adapted the Kannada script and tried to give a better output this time," said Pawan.
Talking about how he managed to direct the Tamil and Telugu versions of U Turn without knowing the languages well, Pawan said “My mother is from Andhra so, I know the language to an extent but Tamil is completely new to me. I had two co-directors who are from Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh; they helped me in writing the lines matching the Kannada dialogues. As a filmmaker, I can sense the expressions and extract the required performance while my co-directors help the actors to get the right pronunciation."
“Other than wide shots and silent portions, each and every scene in U Turn was shot twice. Even if an actor doesn’t know Telugu, we made him learn his lines and deliver it perfectly. But it’s a taxing process as every scene should be shot twice," added the director.
Known for her bubbly performance, Samantha has to look serious and her performance must be subtle in U Turn but Pawan says that the actress didn't work hard to get into the skin of the character. “I haven’t seen any of Samantha’s films other than Eega so I’m not aware of her other commercial biggies. Moreover, Samantha is a smart thinking girl in real life and she only had to work hard for the other characters she usually performs. As Samantha has also read the script and seen the film, she was motivated on the sets and delivered what her character demanded."
Pawan’s Lucia was also remade in Tamil as Enakkul Oruvan but it was a disaster at the box office. “Enakkul Oruvan was a lost opportunity. The Tamil remake was made just by understanding what they saw first on the screen; there are many sub-contexts and layers in Lucia. I only wish the makers consulted with me before the shoot. After signing the remake deal, they didn’t get in touch with me for anything," said the director.
Pawan says that he will not remake his own films in future as it is a tedious process. “I’m planning to make more bilinguals but before that, I'm waiting for the response of the audiences for my first bilingual U Turn," signs off the director.
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