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No more remakes in my career, Maestro director Merlapaka Gandhi says

Maestro, the Telugu remake of Andhadhun, stars Nithiin, Tamannaah, Nabha Natesh, releases on September 17 on Disney+ Hotstar

Srivathsan Nadadhur
Sep 14, 2021
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Filmmaker Merlapaka Gandhi is known name for his massy, madcap entertainers in Telugu, with hits like Venkatadri Express and Express Raja to his credit. It was certainly unconventional of him to accept the offer to helm Maestro, the remake of a musical thriller like Andhadhun, but the young director took it up as a challenge and is confident about the film ahead of its release on Disney+ Hotstar on September 17. The director, in a recent interaction with the media, had shared his views on helming the thriller, that stars Nithiin, Nabha Natesh and Tamannaah.

"Contrary to expectations, I felt Andhadhun was a film I could adapt well in Telugu right after watching the original, especially with its dark humour. The situations are delicate, there's a prominent female actress in a negative shade and there's humour - the combination was just perfect. When Nithiin offered me the film, I had no second thoughts about taking it up. I have incorporated a few changes to the climax and the love story. The romance element is more prominent in Maestro, while it has an emotional ending too," Gandhi says.

As much as he enjoyed making Maestro, the filmmaker is not keen on doing remakes anymore. "It's very difficult to do remakes - you can neither do a frame-to-frame retelling nor make many changes to the original and still end up being criticised for tampering with its soul. I don't want to risk being criticised for a remake in the future. We finished shooting the film under 45 days," he added. Merlapaka Gandhi felt the film had the potential to appeal to a wide range of audiences, had it released in theatres directly, but says they were forced to opt for OTT due to the pandemic.

Apparently, roping in Tamannaah for the role of Tabu in the original was the director's idea. "I was keen on casting someone younger for the role and I'm sure, audiences will be surprised by the impact she creates in Maestro." He lavished praise on the performances of Racha Ravi, Jisshu Sengupta, Naresh, Mangli and Sreemukhi as well. Gandhi is planning to do another film with Nithiin in the future within the commercial format. The director had also written the script of Santosh Shobhan's OTT hit Ek Mini Katha as well.

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