Entertainment

10 things to know about Pawan Kalyan's 'Vakeel Saab'

10 things to know about Pawan Kalyan's 'Vakeel Saab'
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Pawan Kalyan in Vakeel Saab
Starring South Indian superstar and politician Pawan Kalyan, ‘Vakeel Saab’ is the Telugu adaptation of the 2016 Bollywood hit ‘Pink’, led by Taapsee Pannu and Amitabh Bachchan. The movie will premiere in UAE cinemas on April 9. Here are 10 things to know about this much-anticipated film ... Image Credit: Supplied
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1. This South Indian drama is touted as Kalyan’s return to the big screen after three years. The actor was on a self-imposed sabbatical owing to his political campaign in the 2019 Andhra Pradesh Legislative Assembly election. The filming began in January 2020 in Hyderabad, but it had to be put on hold a month later due to the outbreak of COVID-19. They resumed filming after six months and it was shot in the post COVID-19 reality world where Kalyan and crew had to follow strict safety protocols and social distancing. Image Credit: Supplied
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2. Actress Nivetha Thomas will step into the celebrated role of Pannu. This film will explore the complex topic of consent and attempt to smash patriarchy and the stereotypes surrounding women. Its Hindi original saw a bunch of fierce women questioning the prejudices surrounding them. Does a woman invite a sexual assault on the basis of her choice of clothing or the time at which she returns home from work in the evening? The original made us ask those uncomfortable questions and made us question the existing norms. It also pushed us to question of the word ‘no’ in the context of sexual consent. Image Credit: GN Archives
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3. In a recent fan interaction, Kalyan told his ardent followers that Bachchan is one of his beloved idols and that he never even dared to dream of working in a remake. “The way you have respect and love for me, I have been a crazy fan of Amitabh Bachchan since my childhood. I used to fight for him like you fight for me. I used to fight my own brother growing up. So, to be able to fill his shoes in Telugu remake, I never even thought of that,” said Kalyan in a report in Indian Express. Image Credit: Supplied
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Vakeel Saab
4. The actor, who enjoys a cult status in Telugu cinema, claimed that he was feeling nervous about his acting comeback. “I worked harder on this film. Unlike other films, we shot an entire scene, a courtroom drama in one shot. After three years, to be on the sets, gave me jitters,” he told Indian Express. Image Credit: Supplied
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Vakeel Saab
5. Making an acting comeback with ‘Vakeel Saab’ made perfect sense for the actor. He has always believed that art is a ‘strong medium’. “When the film came to me, I watched the trailer and the film. I have always tried to imbibe a message for the society in my films as I have felt that the art is very strong medium. I used to suggest patriotic songs instead of item songs. Even item songs are not wrong but that is my preference,” he said in the same interview. Image Credit: Supplied
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Venu Sriram
6. The trailer of this film, which released in March, garnered more than 13 million views overnight. In an interview with The Hindu, its director Sriram Venu said: “Pawan Kalyan can take this film to the masses, but the star presence comes with baggage. I’ve tried to strike a balance between catering to the star power as well as what the story has to convey, without being preachy. A film like this might be watched by an IAS [Indian Administrative Service] officer, those from the middle class as well as a daily wage worker. The film has to appeal to everyone.” Image Credit: Supplied
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7. Seasoned actor and politician Prakash Raj will play a crucial role in this courtroom drama. He plays Kalyan’s opposition lawyer who gives Kalyan a run for his money in court. “To be working on a film and be a lawyer opposite Prakash Raj was an honour. He improved my performance. We might have different opinion on politics but when it comes to cinema, I love him as an actor,” said Kalyan to Indian Express. Image Credit: Supplied
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8. In the same fan interaction, Kalyan dedicated this film to all the women across the globe and claimed that he fought hard to maintain a safe space for women on the sets of ‘Vakeel Saab’. Apparently, he even threatened to beat up local eve teasers who tried to harass his female members of the ‘Vakeel Saab’ crew. “I have grown up with my sisters, my sister-in-law and mother. I have been surrounded with women while growing up. I have always been respectful towards my female co-stars too. So, ‘Vakeel Saab’ is a dedicated to every woman.” Image Credit: Supplied
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Vakeel Saab
9. Actors Anjali and Ananya Nagalla will play the parts originally played by Kriti Kulhari and Andrea Tariang. “The three women hail from different backgrounds. Nivetha fits the part of a confident urban woman of today. Anjali’s part required an experienced female actor who could convey the emotional trauma, and I chose Ananya after watching her debut film Mallesham. She plays a naive, innocent girl who is relatively new to the city,” said director Venu to The Hindu. Image Credit: Supplied
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Shruti Haasan
10. Produced by Boney Kapoor, the movie also features actors Shruti Haasan (pictured) and Illeana D’Cruz who makes a cameo in this film. While their roles are being kept under wraps, it’s believed that Haasan plays Kalyan’s life partner in this film. According to reports, the original has been altered keeping Kalyan’s larger-than-life super stardom in mind. It isn’t the first time that this film is being remade in a South Indian language. In its Tamil version ‘Nerkonda Paarvai’, actor Ajith Kumar played Bachchan’s role. Image Credit: GN Archives