Director Bala, who is known for intense films such as Sethu, Pithamagan and Naan Kadavul, will be making the Tamil remake of the superhit Telugu film Arjun Reddy.
Actor Vikram's son Dhruv will be making his debut through the remake.
The announcement that Bala will be directing this film has taken many by surprise. The filmmaker has a penchant for portraying realities that are usually considered too graphic for mainstream cinema. From depicting the lives of aghoris to the exploitation of tea plantation workers, Bala's subjects usually do not play to the gallery.
What then, will be his interpretation of an upper class, upper caste romance like Arjun Reddy?
Arjun Reddy, like Sethu, is about a young man who obsesses with a woman and spirals into a path of deterioration when the relationship does not work out. However, while the theme is common enough across film industries in the country, Arjun Reddy had a very fresh and raw style of filmmaking that broke many barriers.
For a Tamil remake, filmmakers like Gautam Menon and Mani Ratnam who make the supposedly ‘classy’ romance films would have seemed like the natural choice. Their characters tend to be upper caste, upper class people who slip into English in everyday conversations, much like the ones who appear in Arjun Reddy.
Bala's characters, on the other hand, have typically been the downtrodden and the exploited. His decision to move away from this zone and try something which is far removed from the subjects he has explored evokes curiosity.
For Dhruv, the film will be a dream debut since the original is entirely focused on the Arjun Reddy character. Though the film acknowledges that he is a flawed hero, it also glorifies his views and style. Despite facing criticism about how it treats its women characters and the irony of the film's hero questioning caste while proudly wearing his caste name as his last name, Arjun Reddy enjoyed phenomenal popularity among young people.
Vijay Devarakonda's blistering performance in the original is a hard act to follow, but since this is Dhruv's first film and the audience is unfamiliar with his style, it's possible for him to completely immerse himself in the character.
Bankrolled by E4 Entertainment which produced films since as Ezra and Godha, the film is expected to go on the floors from December.
Bala has not tasted box office success in a while although his films have been talked about extensively. Will his surprise decision give him the blockbuster that he badly needs? For now, all we can do is wait and watch.
(With inputs from Digital Native)