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Kuselan, the Tamil version of the Malayalam superhit Katha Parayumpol, about the relationship between a cine-superstar and a village barber, has made it to the top of the box-office charts.
But Priyadarshan who's frantically trying to finish the Hindi version with SRK is unperturbed. "We'd have wrapped up Billoo Barber much earlier. But Shahrukh got busy with the IPL. Never mind. It makes no difference to our film."
Priyan says the original Malyalam film which was written by his assistant Sreenivasan is very different from both Kuselan and Billoo Barber. "Sreenivasan gave the Tamil rights to the producers after consulting me. Since they were very keen to make it with Rajnikanth, we relented. But the contract clearly says that Kuselan cannot be dubbed into any other language. Likewise, my Hindi version cannot be dubbed by producer SRK in any other language except the parent lingo, Hindi. We clearly put all this under contract to avoid the kind of overlapping that was attempted when I remade the Malayalam film Manichithrathzu as Bhool Bhulaiyaa in Hindi, and Rajni's Tamil film Chandramukhi, from the same source was also attempted to be released in a dubbed Hindi version. I'll avoid this kind of a clash of interests at any cost."
But the question is, would the contract prevent the makers of Kuselan from finding loopholes in the agreement to release the film in a dubbed Hindi version? And if they do would it effect Billoo Barber? According to a source a dubbed Hindi version of Kuselan is being released around the same time as Billoo Barber. "Not at all," asserts Priyan confidently. "Only the climax of Kuselan and Billoo Barber are the same. Otherwise they are two different films. See, like all Rajnkanth starrers, Kuselan has been made to spotlight Rajni as a larger-than-life icon. I believe he enters the film riding a winged horse. Though my film also stars a superstar SRK as a superstar, I've nowhere tried to increase his role or heighten the impact of his presence. I'm not that kind of a filmmaker. In Bhool Bhulaiyaa, Akshay Kumar made his entry at interval point. I'm making it very clear that Irrfan Khan and not Shahrukh has the main role in Billoo Barber. My film isn't a platform to glorify the mega-star," chuckles Priyan making a dig at the first-frame-to-last presence of Rajnikanth in Kuselan.
Billoo Barber opens in Diwali. "If I wanted I could've rushed the release. But we're not in competition with anyone. And like I said, the Kuselan makers are bound by contract. They can't dub the film into Hindi or any other language," says Priyan confidently.