The Dhanush-Shruti Haasan Tamil film, 3, that opens on March 30, will be dubbed and released in Hindi in May. Shruti says that they had no plans of doing this while they were shooting, but the success of Why this Kolaveri Di… opened the door to an all-India market. "And even though it’s set down South, I’m sure that Ram and Janani’s love story will transcend the language barrier," asserts Shruti.
Ask whether Kolaveri… will now have a female version sung by her and she negates the idea. "It wouldn’t fit in. Kolaveri… is the life of 3 today, but the film has a soul of its own. There’s another song, Kannazhaga…The kiss of love, where you’ll hear me singing in Hindi too. It’s a duet with Dhanush."
Even though for the last 665 days, she’s been completely focused on acting, Shruti is a trained musician and lyricist with her own band.
She’s even composed music for the Tamil remake of A Wednesday (2008). What’s her take on super singer Dhanush? "For someone who is not trained, he is really good. Kolaveri… is a funny, catchy song about a loser in love. We had a lot of fun recording it, but honestly no one believed it would become such a viral hit. Just goes to show that Twitter, YouTube and Facebook have brought the world closer."
Meanwhile, Shruti is thrilled that her filmmaker-actor father, Kamal Haasan, who saw 3 at a special screening, liked it. "When both your parents (Kamal and Sarika) are National Award-winning actors, it’s understandable to be a little jittery. I wanted my father to see it not as a parent, but because I respect him as an actor. I would have been very disappointed had he dismissed it. For once, he went beyond Shruti, his daughter, and talked about my character and the film. Now, I’m hoping my mother, who has been very supportive, likes it too."
Sivaji (2007) was one of the rare South films that was dubbed in Hindi and became a blockbuster. And credit for that goes to the Boss. "Rajnikant is the only South star who sells. Sridevi and Jaya Prada used to in their prime, but that’s about it," says trade analyst Amod Mehra, who zeroes in on Mani Ratnam’s Thalapathi (1991), dubbed and released in Hindi as Dalapathi, and Roja (1992) as two other Tamil films that made an impression in the city of Hindi films. These movies introduced Bollywood to filmmaker Mani Ratnam and composer AR Rahman. Mehra attributes the trend of dubbing South films in Hindi to a dedicated market in small towns and the interiors for action films. He says, "For this audience, it makes no difference who the hero is, as long as the film packs plenty of punches."