Director Harish Shankar is gung ho about Allu Arjun’s Duvvada Jagannadham aka DJ, slated for release this Friday. The film marks their first time collaboration and the Gabbar Singh director assures fans can expect a wholesome entertainer. Arjun plays a Brahmin cook in the film and when its teaser was released, some comparisons were drawn with Jr. NTR starrer Adhurs, in which he also played a similar character. Prod Harish about the comparison and he told CE, “All of us were aware of such comparisons.
If such is the case, nobody would have made another cop film after Ankusam, and it also applies to my biggest hit, Gabbar Singh or even Pataas. What one needs to understand is that when a different actor plays the same character, everything about the role changes. A different actor brings different body language and style to a character, so naturally everything changes about the film. DJ has a very different backdrop and it can’t be compared with Adhurs.”
Harish says he had the character and the title Duvvada Jagannadham in his mind for a long time. “When Arjun came on board, it became a really big project. His hard work is inspiring and it in turn motivated me to push harder. After I told him about his character, he started interacting with Brahmin priests and cooks. We shot for 110 days. On most days, even after we pack up, he’d sit and discuss scenes for the next day,” he said, and added the film pushed him as a director and writer. “It changed the way how the template of commercial cinema is treated. In most commercial films, when we reach the climax we know the hero will emerge victorious. We know that it will end with an action bang. The climax of DJ will surprise audiences. As a writer, I have treated the dialogues differently and have not relied solely on punch lines.”
Pooja Hegde plays Arjun’s love interest in DJ, and Harish is all praise for her. “When I heard her sing at the audio launch of Mukunda, I was mighty impressed. Being a non-Telugu girl, her effort to sing showed her commitment. She’s a very intelligent girl and is equally hard working. It was so much fun working with Pooja,” said Harish, who also spoke highly of the film’s cameraman, Ayananka Bose.
“He is a gem of a cinematographer. Having assisted Ravi K. Chandran sir, he understands the south Indian cinema’s sentiments very well. He has done a splendid job.”