'Salaar: Part 1 - Ceasefire', of course, has been the subject of the 'Ugramm' comparison for quite some time. Prashanth Neel has chosen to clear the air once and for all.
The fact that 'Salaar' boasts several similarities with the storyline of 'Ugramm' has been a subject of constant discussion among audiences, especially those who have watched the 2014 Kannada film.
Of course, many would know that Prashanth Neel burst onto the scene with his gritty actioner nearly a decade ago and has grown in leaps and bounds since then, to become a most sought-after filmmaker with the success of his two 'K.G.F' films.
'Salaar: Part 1 - Ceasefire', his fourth venture as a director, arguably has been the most-anticipated film of the recent past and the reasons seem almost self-explanatory. Prabhas stars in the film as the leading man with Prithviraj Sukumaran, Shruti Haasan, Jagapathi Babu and others, too, part of the principal cast - alongside, Hombale Films backing the film also piques excitement among moviegoers.
But the same enthusiasm has the 'Ugramm' caveat attached to it, with many opining that the upcoming film has the same essence and narrative similarities as the Kannada film. Prashanth Neel has finally opened up on the matter and cleared the air ahead of the film's release.
The writer-director, speaking to Cinema Express, confirmed that 'Salaar', indeed, has been drawn from 'Ugramm', specifically the essence of the essence of the latter film. However, he adds that the former is not a remake but a retelling of the narrative with "significant changes to suit Prabhas and Prithviraj Sukumaran" in place.
"Some might criticise my idea of mixing Ugramm’s story and KGF’s style of making in Salaar, but I see it as a compliment because both movies are my creations," says Prashanth Neel in the same conversation, sharing that all the worlds created in these films have emerged from within him.
But more importantly, he confesses, 'Salaar' was born out of the "special place" that 'Ugramm' still has in his heart, and the fact that the 2014 film could not reach the heights of a 'K.G.F', inspired him to conceive the Prabhas starrer. That said, he still does not see 'Salaar' as a remake.
Neel also shares that the theatrical run of 'Ugramm' was plagued by piracy and within 15 days of its release, the general public was watching the film on electronic devices. "I realised I shouldn’t let my best stories languish on YouTube," he notes and asserts that with the success of the 'K.G.F' movies opening up the pan-India avenue for him, he wished to scale up only for "enhancing (his) storytelling".
Prashanth Neel is candid enough to also admit that his filmmaking journey thus far has potentially revolved around the 'Ugramm' and 'K.G.F' ideas, and that he doesn't wish to remain confined to them. He, nevertheless, exudes confidence that even though there will be comparison and criticism in the case of 'Salaar: Part 1 - Ceasefire', he is "content" with the film he has made.