Maara is not a frame-by-frame remake of Charlie, but the world they belong to is similar: R Madhavan

Maara is not a frame-by-frame remake of Charlie, but the world they belong to is similar: R Madhavan

Maara is not a frame-by-frame remake of Charlie, but the world they belong to is similar: R Madhavan

Maara is not a frame-by-frame remake of Charlie. The definition of a remake is making a film that is as same as the original. But in Maara, we have used the basic backdrop of the original story and adapted it for the lead actors. The beginning, climax, and even some of the story proceedings are different. But you would see a world that is similar to Charlie. What I loved about the Malayalam film is the backdrop and the world they created. We created a similar atmosphere for Maara," says R Madhavan in a group interaction ahead of the digital premiere of his upcoming Tamil film Maara.

"These days, we get introduced to a new person through smartphones and WhatsApp. We even start living an imaginary life because of these advanced technologies. But when you meet the person, things would be different and you have to start a new life with him or her from that point. But in Maara, the male protagonist doesn't have a smartphone and the female protagonist likes him only based on his actions. Similarly, he also gets smitten by a few things about her. They start developing a relationship without seeing each other," adds Madhavan who is missing those days where he would wait one week for the reviews of his films.

Talking about taking up a romantic film after a long time, the actor says, "When heroes of my age are romancing young heroines, I too envy them. But subconsciously, I know that if I did the same thing, would be losing my respect and people wouldn't accept me. I feel that if the romance in the film justifies my age, I can justify it as an actor. Maara will be one such film."

On teaming up with newcomer Dhilip, Madhavan says, "Dhilip wasn't entered into the film as a director. Initially, we were talks with a few filmmakers. When you remake Charlie, it's natural for filmmakers to think of a young hero but I'm 48 years old now. I wanted the writing team to change the script to suit my age and wasn't in a hurry to remake the film. To be frank, I didn't like the versions of others. When Dhilip approached me, we exchanged our ideas and when he came up with his version, I loved it. When I thought of asking him to direct the film, he voluntarily asked the same. He made a lot of television commercials so I was confident".

Madhavan in a still from Irudhi Suttru

Talking about Irudhi Suttru, which is a comeback film of the actor, Madhavan says, "Before Irudhi Suttru, I was taking up and performing films based on what others told me but things weren't satisfactory. Thankfully, Irudhi Suttru came in my way and that's why I was able to prepare myself mentally and physically for the film. See, the basic criteria for me to accept a film is that the content shouldn't be below par."

Madhavan likes the way Hindi and Malayalam cinemas adapting to the modern-day changes. "In the last three years, the big blockbusters in Hindi cinema are not the films of Superstars. Small films like Andhadhun, Badhaai Ho, and Mission Mangal are minting huge money in Bollywood and that's why one could see producers up in the North are procuring a lot of remake rights of the South films but they shouldn't replicate the original and make sure to adapt it for the Hindi audience. A few years back, several Hindi actors played pivotal characters in Malayalam cinema. But these days, filmmakers in Malayalam are casting actors from their land. Only an actor who knows the language can justify the character given to him. In some Malayalam films, the screenplay wouldn't be great but they create unique and strong characters", says the actor.

Talking about what the audience can expect from Maara, the actor says, "I always want the audience to accept me as the character what I portrayed in the particular film and they should not see Madhavan anywhere. If they see the real me, I would consider it as my failure. There is a constant quest in Maara's journey. If someone meets him, they would get along with him. You can expect one such character without any fakeness."

Madhavan in Maara

Madhavan also spoke about the trend of making Pan-India films. "We have to make movies for the audiences across the globe and not for one territory. These days, our audiences are watching content from other languages. I'm sure if we release Thevar Magan and Nayagan again, people from other countries would celebrate our work. I'm glad that Tamil filmmakers are making universal content these days. Dhanush is becoming a universal actor now. In the last ten months, audiences have started watching international films and series so we have to deliver what they like."

The actor says that during his initial days many told him that his choices were wrong. "They told me that I shouldn't have revealed in the interviews that I'm married. They told me that I'm acting in films that have equal importance to the female leads and it's not good for my career. They told me that my move to act in one film at a time was wrong. But now, all of them have started doing what I did at the beginning of my career."

Madhavan is easily one of the most active Indian actors on social media, especially on Twitter and Instagram. He makes sure to reply to most of the questions of his fans. "Well, these days, people would accept you as a hero only if they also like you as a person. Twitter and Instagram will give a glimpse of our personal lives to them. Also, if someone asking me to wish him on his birthday, it would only take a few seconds for me to type and post it. A simple reply would make him or her super happy. I consider it as a blessing," he signs off.