Revelling in Oopiri, says Vamsi Paidipally

Wednesday, March 23, 2016 - 21:30

Vamshi Paidipally, the ace director of 'Munna', 'Brindavanam, and Yevadu fame, is all set to tell a human drama on March 25.  Days before the release of his Telugu-Tamil bilingual 'Oopiri/Thozha', Vamshi answers a range of questions. He talks about Nag's character, why he chose Nag and Karthi, how doing the film has changed him as a person, and more.

What is Nagarjuna's character like in Oopiri?

As the trailer shows, Nag garu plays a billionaire who is wheel-chair bound. Despite his disability, he doesn't like people sympathizing with him. He has seen it all in his life. He has been an achiever, he has seen all the riches. And now, on the other extreme, he is a quadriplegic.  

Is there any revenge element in the story?

No. There is nothing called revenge here. It's a tale of friendship and bonding.

Does the film have a flashback to tell the backstory of Nagarjuna's character?

In reality, I wrote a flashback in the second half where I wanted to make Nag garu dance and sing. When I narrated the script, Nag garu told me that the first half is terrific and I should not tinker with the second half just for his sake. I then rewrote the second half for two more months.

Why did you cast Nagarjuna and not some other hero?

I had none else in my mind. When I went to Nag garu with the DVD of 'The Intouchables', I told him that I won't do this film if he doesn't agree to do it. I was very particular about casting him. The character is very apt for Nag garu. Vikram Aditya is a billionaire, he is has seen it all, he looks good, he is romantic. With Nag garu, I need not make these obvious in the narration. The audience see Nag garu as a romantic hero. So, it becomes easy with him.

How has Karthi performed?

I have been an admirer of his work. Be it 'Awaara', 'Na Peru Shiva' or other films, I like the ease with which he gets into the skin his character. His character is very entertaining. The entire film has equal space for Nag garu and Karthi. The kind of preparation he does for a role is awesome. On day one of the shoot, I told him that his nails are big. He replied saying that he has deliberately grown them for the slumdog's character.  For the Tamil version, he worked like an assistant director. His suggestions were always there regarding dialogues and all.  

What changes have you made to the original?

Oopiri is not a remake. It's an adaptation, an official one. PVP garu bought the rights from the producers of the original.  Yes, we have made many changes. I have retained the soul of the original. There are not less than 60 scenes which are original.

After 'Yevadu', isn't 'Oopiri' yet another adaptation?

It's wrong to say that 'Yevadu' was a copy of 'Face-Off'.  Even before 'Face-Off', a Tamil film made by Rajeev Menon was there. So, can we say that Face-Off's makers copied the Tamil film? Just because there is the concept of mask, you can't call Yevadu is a copied film. There is nothing wrong in taking inspiration.  

Is it true that you are in discussions with Akhil?

Yes. That is there. But I don't want to talk about my next film. I am enjoying the journey and process of 'Oopiri'. I should come out of it after March 25. I will announce my next project after that.