Updated: July 20, 2021 7:44:03 pm
Actor Priyamani calls herself a “hardened fan” of Manju Warrier and to step into her shoes in Narappa, which is the Telugu remake of Tamil hit Asuran, was a big deal for her. “I am a big Manju ‘chechi’ fan. She is one of the finest actors we have in our country today. I have seen a lot of her films in Malayalam. And to see her in another language and portraying the character as effortlessly as always was a visual treat for me personally. Even if I had managed to perform 2 or 5 per cent of what she had done, I would be very happy,” Priyamani told indianexpress.com.
She also acknowledged that her performance will be compared with Manju’s. “As a fan, I can definitely say that there is no match for her. That said, I have brought my own touch to the character. The comparisons will be there. But, that’s okay,” she added. Narappa premiered on Amazon Prime Video on July 20.
Priyamani has played the role called Sundaramma, who is the wife of Narappa, played by Venkatesh in the film. It is not the first time she is playing a headstrong woman in a rural backdrop. However, she noted that her performance in this film will be a sort of a surprise for the audience of Telugu cinema. “It is for the first time, I am doing such a role in Telugu. I took up it as a challenge because the Telugu audience has not seen me in such a raw and rustic character before. I wanted to show my other side to them,” she added.
Filmmaker Srikanth Addala has written and directed the Telugu remake. While many may think doing a remake is an easy job, Priyamani argues otherwise. She wisely pointed out retaining the interest of the audience in a remake was the biggest challenge of all. “To capture the audience’s mind, which tends to wander away (from the movie) because they think they have already seen this and they know what this film is all about. To see that they get glued to the film is a big challenge,” she said. And she said the other challenge was “to keep the essence of the movie the same.”
Srikanth has remained entirely faithful to director Vetri Maaran’s vision for the material. Narappa is almost a scene-by-scene remake of Asuran. “It is a challenge to remake a film, which everybody has seen. But, I still believe this film will be a new experience for people who have not seen the original,” Priyamani said.
In Narappa, Venkatesh reprises the role that helped Dhanush bag his second National Award for acting. “It will be a visual treat for hard-core Venky fans,” Priyamani promised.
Besides Venkatesh and Priyamani, the film also stars Karthik Ratnam, Rao Ramesh, and Rajeev Kanakala among others.