Imtiaz on Jab We Met and Love Aaj Kal in the South

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Speaking at the audio launch of Kanden Kadhalai the Tamil remake of Jab We Met, in Chennai on Friday, Bollywood filmmaker Imtiaz Ali says that director Kannan has carefully avoided the mistakes he had made in the original version. Originally starring Shahid Kapoor and Kareena Kapoor in the Hindi version, the remake will have Bharath, Tamannah and Munna in the lead roles with music composed by Vidyasagar. Ali went on to say that he was confident “that the remake too would be successful.”

Talking about the success of his latest venture Love Aaj Kal, Imtiaz said, “Today’s audiences are the youth who are always looking for something different. I think I have been able to capture their mood on how love has evolved over the years. The basic concept of the film is how relationships were in the past and how they have changed today. That seems to have worked with the youth.”

However there is a feeling amongst some that the film has opened to mixed reviews in the South and that there is a general feeling that there is no one really willing to remake it.

A film director who backed out at the last minute commented, “How can we show a heroine who has sex willingly with the hero before marriage and then chooses to part as friends? Later, she marries another guy and comes out of the marriage. It will go against the basic ‘Thali’ sentiments in Tamil films. And above all, no hero here will be willing to do the role, as he is shown being mugged on the streets of San Francisco. Our heroes fight a dozen guys at the same time.”

On hearing the comment Imtiaz, explained, “Times are changing. LAK is the biggest Hindi hit in Chennai. I feel the audiences have moved on. It’s the filmmakers who are lagging behind. The audiences of today want their lead characters to be real people who, like all of us, make mistakes. The concept of heroism has changed. A hero is a person we can relate to and who is sensitive. Somebody has to push the envelope, I’m sure Tamil viewers will also accept such heroes.”

Who knows – Maybe with time we will see a South remake of this Imtiaz Ali hit.

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