‘Tadap’ not an oversmart adaptation: Milan Luthria

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Mumbai: Filmmaker Milan Luthria says his upcoming film “Tadap” retains the core of the original Telugu romantic action drama “RX 100” and the changes were made without trying to fix anything from the source material.

The film marks the Bollywood debut of actor Suniel Shetty’s son Ahan Shetty and also stars Tara Sutaria.

Luthria says he had connected with the “intensity” of the 2018 Telugu film, featuring Kartikeya Gummakonda and Payal Rajput, and decided to adapt it.

“There is no point in buying a film and then changing it for the heck of it. We made certain changes for the pan India audience in terms of costumes, locations, few scenes–removed some, added some–but the core remained intact. Once we were done with the screenplay and dialogues, it looked like a nice, good adaptation, not trying to be oversmart with it,” the filmmaker told PTI.

“Tadap” has been written by his frequent collaborator, writer Rajat Arora, who had also penned the maker’s “Once Upon a Time in Mumbai”, “The Dirty Picture” and “Baadshaho”, while “RX 100”, one of the biggest hits of the year, was written and directed by Ajay Bhupathi, with dialogues credited to Syed.

The director said though there can be changes in a story from the original work, it should not be counter productive.

“We were clear that there was no point in changing it too much. Why fix something if it is not broken? You are buying something (the film) because you like it, why should your ego come in the way. You should not think, ‘Why should I do it the way he did it?’ It is counter productive. You have to respect the filmmaker,” he added.

With “Tadap”, the filmmaker said the team’s aim is to make the viewers witness a “mad, raging romance”.

Luthria came on board when het got a call from producer Sajid Nadiadwala, asking him if he would be interested in helming a film starring Ahan.

The director had seen the 25-year-old’s pictures and met him for a screen test. The team, however, did not have a script in hand and was scouting for stories which led them to “RX 100”.

“We were looking for a script, watched a couple of South Films and finally chanced upon ‘RX 100’. It just felt fantastic and right. It was up my street. It is an unexpected film for a debut. It is dramatic, intense, and unconventional. With changing times, you need that much ammunition to put out something which can take on the box office. That’s when we decided to go for it,” he said.

Luthria was “pleasantly surprised” with Ahan as the debutant delivered the intensity that was required for the film about coming together and the eventual separation of two lovers.

“I was surprised with his ability to cope with this kind of material. He is a gifted actor. Every time I threw a challenge at him, he would meet it head on. We worked hard on action, drama and emotions. He is also extremely observant. There is a great mix of strong presence and a certain kind of endearing softness.

“He is different from Suniel. He is his own person. I didn’t ever get a feeling of dejavu that I am watching a young Suniel. You will see in the film that he has got his own aura.”

The film, scheduled to theatrically release on December 3, is billed as a big scale Bollywood entertainer.

With streaming platforms making a big splash in the Indian market with their diverse range of movies and series, many have argued that the true blue commercial potboilers might face resistance as the audience’s taste has evolved, especially in the last one year.

But the director said, even though the OTT platforms are witnessing fascinating work, there is a vacuum for the audience craving for “massy” films.

“Rise of OTT is evolution, it was bound to happen. There is a lot more production happening out there, they are writing, directing and performing differently so one has to keep pace and can’t be left behind.

“At the same time, the mass sensibility of the Indian audience is not reflected in OTT content completely. We have family audiences, theatre going audiences, who like a little less edgy content that cuts across a wider group. So, while appreciating everything that is happening on OTT platforms, one also has to think about a mass Indian entertainers,” he added.

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