Pongal is usually a gala affair at Kollywood. Every year, we see one blockbuster line up after the other during this occasion, with top of the ladder stars and upcoming filmmakers pin their hopes of brand-name films that mean a lot to them. Today, among several other dates, Pongal has become an exclusive launch occasion, which can only be afforded by the richest of distributors, and the most ambitious nonetheless.
This year, one film bagged the winning prize and got declared a blockbuster more than anything else. Times were good for the team of Kanna Laddu Thinna Aasaya and it's producer Santhanam who had suddenly from non-stop comedian to Kollywood businessman overnight. With Vishwaroopam getting pushed to a later date and other rivals faring very averagely at the box office, things couldn't have been any better. The KLTA team is the talking point of the town, and Power Star Dr.Srinivasan it's newborn star. But does the credit for all the success go to the right place?
Not many of us knew that the film was a remake of Bhagyaraj's yesteryear blockbuster 'Indru Poi Naalai Vaa', at least until we entered the cinema hall and witnessed it unfold on screen. Even fewer knew that there was an impending court hearing on KLTA, which suggested that, neither the proper remake rights of the film nor the permission of its original maker was acquired. At the dawn of it's celebratory success, the question about the film's originality has come under our radar.
On an overall note, one can draw a lot of similarities between the two films. Both, for example, feature the story of three guys who try to impress a girl who just moved to house in front. With Indru Poi Naalai Vaa, the three major characters of the film, the friends attempted to get within talking distance of the heroine by taking by classes at her home. The first took up a Hindi class which lead to the infamous dialog "Ek Gaun Mein Ek Kissan Rahutha Tha". The second joined fighting classes and the third got in by helping out the heroines mother.
KLTA on the other hand changed things around a bit. The Hindi class became a singing class and the fighting became dancing instead. The third role was left alone and one may wonder why. Interestingly, a very similar formula was adapted in the Hindi remake of Indru Poi Naalai Vaa. Meanwhile, the quarrels between the three friends due to them chasing the girl are strikingly similar to the original tale. Also, the idea about the girl lying to the friends about having a lover already has also drawn comparisons with the scenes in KLTA.
Even as the team continues to deny that it's a remake, the audience can find obvious comparisons with Bhagyaraj's version. The heroine's attempt to test the friends by telling them she already had a lover, their agitation and vengeance against their masters after rejection and also the hero winning over his love are all strikingly similar. It can certainly be said that the film is a remake, but why the newcomers deny it still remains to be a question.
Meanwhile, Bhagyaraj's plan for remaking the film with his son Shanthanu has just taken a dent. Whether he would have been able to amass so much success with his venture is a question in itself. After all, the very success of KLTA seems to be relying on the timeliness of Santhanam's mockery and the overall presence of Power Star through the film. It can very well be said that KLTA has done a good job of remaking the original for a generation that is used to slapstick comedy and unrelenting humour.
We leave it to our audience to decide on what's right and wrong. What do you think, is it fair to call KLTA a complete remake of Indru Poi Naalai Vaa?
Please let us know through the comments.
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