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Exclusive! R Chandru: I’m proud to say I’ve tried to make Kabzaa like my biggest inspiration, KGF

The filmmaker admits that while the making may look similar, in terms of stories, Kabzaa and KGF could not be more different

Exclusive! R Chandru: I’m proud to say I’ve tried to make Kabzaa like my biggest inspiration, KGF
R Chandru is proud to say his film is inspired by KGF
  • Prathibha Joy

Last Updated: 08.51 AM, Jan 24, 2023

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Kannada filmmaker R Chandru has been working on Kabzaa since 2019. An underworld saga with Real Star Upendra in the lead, the film boasts a massive ensemble cast that includes Kiccha Sudeep, Shivarajkumar, Shriya Saran, Murali Sharma, Nawab Shah, Kabir Duhan Singh, Anup Revanna, Dev Gill, Posani Murali Krishna, among others. It is Chandru’s most ambitious project to date, which he has shot exclusively on sets, given that the story is set between the 1940s and 80s. After the pandemic-induced delay in the making of the film, last year, Chandru was working at breakneck speed to try and bring it to theatres by the end of 2022 at least. While he could not manage that, the film is getting a first quarter of 2023 theatrical outing. Shortly after the release date announcement, we caught up with Chandru for a quick chat.

“Kabzaa will come to theatres on March 17 as a tribute to Puneeth Rajkumar and as an Ugadi treat for Kannadigas,” says the filmmaker, who is currently in Mumbai to attend meetings with fellow stakeholders to finalize the film’s simultaneous global release. “We are targeting more than 6,000 screens across the world, for which we are tying up with different distributors in each sector. We are trying to identify and partner with the best in every region, to ensure maximum screen count across the world. The hope is to go beyond 6,000, but that is our minimum target now,” adds Chandru.

With less than two months to go for the release, the filmmaker says that he now needs to step up the gas as far as promotions go. “As soon as I am back in Bengaluru, we will begin promotions of Kabzaa. The plan is to have weekly updates/releases, starting with the first song’s lyrical video. Kabzaa has five songs, three of which we will release before the film comes to theatres. The trailer will also be out in due course of time,” he says.

Upendra in a still from Kabzaa
Upendra in a still from Kabzaa

Is the filmmaker looking at doing anything to dispel the notion that Kabzaa is similar to KGF, which cropped up after the teaser came out last year? “No. I am not going out of my way to dispel this notion because I have always been clear that I have been greatly inspired by the making of KGF and that Kabzaa is my attempt at making a film like it. Right now, audiences may feel that Kabzaa looks and feels like KGF, which I don’t deny, but when they see the film, they will realise how different the two are. The stories of Kabzaa and KGF could not be more different. My humble request to audiences is to wait for the film and then decide if it is only a copy. The team of Kabzaa is immensely proud that we have been able to do another Kannada film that measures up to the making quality of KGF to some extent,” says Chandru.

Is the film still coming out in two-parts as earlier announced? “That is a matter of suspense now, which will be revealed when the film comes out on March 17. Yes, I had earlier announced there will be two parts, but these days, it has become fashionable to have franchises. All will be revealed on March 17,” he signs off.

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