`Asuran’ starring Dhanush and Manju Warrier has clearly emerged as one of the best films this year. It is gritty, raw and very layered while dealing with the sensitive subject of caste violence. Director Vetrimaaran has wielded the megaphone with aplomb, keeping the audience glued to their seat, allowing them to cry and cringe in equal measure while delivering a knockout message at the end of the movie.
Suresh Productions was quick to bag the rights to remake `Asuran’ in Telugu, with Venkatesh reprising Dhanush’s role. But if one thought it will be cakewalk for the film, it was not to be so. Because two developments took place.
One, given Venkatesh’s image as a star who did happy family type movies and penchant for comedy, he was seen as a misfit for the role of the Sivasami, who belongs to a lower caste. The role would have been meant Venkatesh had to significantly work on his body language. The doubt that arose was whether the audience will accept Venkatesh in a never-before-seen character.
Two, Amazon Prime released `Asuran’ on 8 November, a little over a month since its theatrical release on 4 October. The movie with its subtitles meant a lot many who do not know Tamil also got to see the movie’s brilliance as a result, affecting a Telugu remake’s novelty factor.
The selection of an able director to helm the project has been another headache. `Asuran’ is a director’s movie and without a captain with the sensitivity to understand the subject and layer it accordingly, a remake could come across as a plastic product. Three different names are doing the rounds, with the choice according to sources narrowing down to Hanu Raghavapudi.