Oru Adaar Love, the Malayalam film featuring winking sensation Priya Varrier, hit screens on Valentine’s Day, dubbed into Kannada as ‘Kirik Love Story.’
The original is being screened at the multiplexes. The dubbed Kannada version was released on Thursday in 180 theatres in Karnataka, 80 in Bengaluru alone.
That is a big step forward for champions of dubbing into Kannada, given that the Kannada film industry had for decades opposed dubbing of non-Kannada feature films into Kannada. The Competition Commission of India has overruled the informal ban.
Distributor Chikkaballapura Srinivas says it took about Rs 2 crore to bring the Priya Varrier film into Kannada.
Multiplexes such as Inox, PVR, and Cinepolis are not screening the Kannada version, given the controversy. However, Innovative and Carnival cinemas are showing it, Srinivas says.
Metrolife visited Uma theatre in Chamarajapet and Chandrodaya Theatre in Hanumanthnagar, near Vidyapeeta Circle and found the opening poor.
“The morning show didn’t get the crowds as expected but the pace picked up for the matinee. We hope the numbers will go up for the evening shows and over the weekend,” he says.
He says the Malayalam version has been released at the multiplexes. “We wanted the Kannada version also to be watched by multiplex audiences,” he says.
Shwetha N A Shetty translated the dialogue into Kannada. “I don’t know Malayalam, so it took me some time. We have tweaked the dialogue to suit the tastes of youth here,” says Shwetha, who has also penned the lyrics of the climax song, ‘Premavu chiravagali.’
Fr Reji from Don Bosco helped with the translation, and Shwetha says she revisited her college days to get the flavour of the dialogue right. Other songs in the film are written by well-known names in Kannada: V Manohar, Nagendra Prasad, and Narendra Babu. Suresh Chand has written a song on Ambareesh.
Produced by Devendra Reddy and Hitesh Reddy, the film is their first in Kannada. “I found the story interesting and liked the work of director Omar,” says Hitesh Reddy.
The lip sync isn’t perfect, but he says that is because time was limited, and any dubbed film has a “10 to 20 per cent difference.”
Priya Varrier shot to instant fame with her wink in the film’s song ‘Manikya Malaraya Poovi’. She gained over 6.06 lakh followers on Instagram in a single day and was also the most searched Indian personality on Google in 2018. It is said that after her meteoric rise to fame, the makers of the movie rewrote and reshot the film to increase her role.
Priya in UK for Bollywood debut
Priya Varrier is shooting for her Bollywood debut in the United Kingdom. She told Metrolife over the phone she would have liked to be in India for the release of Oru Adaar Love Story. “The film is the result of the hard work of a lot of people,” she says.
Her father Prakash Unnikrishnan, touring with her, says Priya is still studying and her shooting schedules will depend on her college schedules. “She will complete her education and get into films full-time because that’s where she would like to be,” he says.
Excited, says hero Roshan
Roshan Abdul Rahoof, the 20-year-old who plays the lead in the teen love story, is going to watch the film on the big screen with his family and friends. Like Priya Varrier, he has been receiving film offers. “I haven’t accepted anything as yet,” he says. Passionate about cinema and acting, he wants to complete his studies and continue in films.
Roshan has a huge female fan following on Facebook and Instagram. “I reply to some but to others, I don’t because that would raise unnecessary expectations. I don’t want to disappoint anybody,” he says.
Tribute to Ambareesh
A song titled ‘Rebel star’ and added to the Kannada version of Oru Adar Love Story features the titles of 40 movies and photographs documenting the journey of movie icon Ambareesh through the years.
The song comes as part of a school annual day. Beginning with the line ‘Ambareesh annan haadu kelrappa’ (Listen to this song about brother Ambareesh), it concludes by talking about the void left by him.
- Hemanth Raju, theatre artiste, was at Uma theatre on Thursday to catch the film in Kannada. “I was fascinated by Priya Varrier’s wink and I have been waiting to watch the film. I also wanted to see how the dubbed version has come out,” he told Metrolife.
- Yatish Gowda, an aspiring actor, says he was keen to watch a love story on Valentine’s Day. “This film is promoting new talent and must be welcomed,” he says.
- Vasanth Raju, who acts in Kannada plays, calls Priya the ‘kannu hudugi’ or ‘winking girl.’ He says the film could have been shot afresh in Kannada. “But I also think we should encourage dubbing of good films,” he says.
Actor, producer and director B Suresha feels dubbed films lack “a cultural connect.”In commercial terms, dubbed films are unlikely to work in Kannada, he says. “Language and culture always have a connect.”
Prakash Belawadi, actor: I personally don’t like to watch dubbed films because when there is no lip sync it is very irritating. I prefer subtitles. But I think it is the right of people to watch what they want. If they want to watch a dubbed film then it is their choice. And culturally you should allow dubbing because your language and culture are not deprived of content from anywhere in the world.