He may be an established filmmaker but director Vamshi P says his new film Thozha, starring Akkineni Nagarjuna and Karthi in the lead, is a blessing for his career.
“The journey was memorable and the people I worked with, especially Karthi, Nagarjuna sir and Tamannaah made Thozha truly a blessing for my career. The bonding we shared was very special and I will treasure it all my life,” said Vamshi. Thozha, which was simultaneously shot in Telugu as Oopiri, is slated for theatrical release on March 25.
An adaptation of French drama The Intouchables, the film has been made without tampering the soul.
“The original stayed with me for long. Although I wanted to adapt it into Telugu and Tamil, I never thought I’d make it after Yevadu, because I knew it was going to change the way I was making films,” he said, adding that The Intouchables is among the top 50 films on IMDB and he was not sure if he could do justice.
The film is about the bonding between a physically challenged millionaire (played by Nagarjuna) and a social disabled slumdog (played by Karthi).
“This character needed someone with aura -- the kind that will convince people even if he’s bound to a wheelchair throughout the film. I knew Nagarjuna sir would be perfect, because in the back of audiences’ minds he’s a star and he will be accepted in such a role,” he said, and added that Nagarjuna, who watched the original, had no qualms of playing a wheelchair-bound character.
Watch Thozha trailer here:
“He jumped at the opportunity when it was offered to him, insisting that no changes were made just to please him or the audience. I was happy when I heard that because this is what most directors strive for when they work with stars,” he added.
Popular Tamil star Karthi plays Nagarjuna’s caretaker in the film, which was never planned to be made as a bilingual, but with the inclusion of Karthi, it just paved way and things fell in place.
“Karthi wasn’t sure how we were going to adapt a French film. But when I narrated what I had in mind, and how we were going to make suitable changes, he was more than excited to be part of the project,” said Vamshi, who didn’t find working with two stars challenging.
“Both Nagarjuna and Karthi are very simple people. Their nature is such that they can easily bond with everybody. It absolutely didn’t take time for us to bond and work, and the magic will reflect on screen. They bonded as two characters,” he said.
Elaborating on their bond, Vamshi said, “They would cheer me up whenever I had issues with something on the sets. For the Tamil version, Karthi almost doubled up as an assistant director. They took bonding to a whole new level.”
Thozha celebrates life and friendship, and Vamshi, on a concluding note, said, “I found friends for life in Karthi and Nagarjuna sir.”