Filmmaker-actor Mahesh Manjrekar, who shot and completed the Hindi-Tamil version of his Marathi film "Kaksparsh" while contesting the Lok Sabha election as a Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) candidate, says that he remade the film becuse the issue of widow marraige is relevant everywhere.
"It was tough. But I am first and foremost a filmmaker. Even if I had won the elections, I would've continued to make films. Even while I was fighting election, I was a filmmaker first," said Manjrekar who lost the election.
"Kaksparsh" is Manjrekar's first Hindi film in four years.
"To me making films in Marathi was every bit as exciting and challenging as Hindi. The only reason I decided to remake my 'Kaksparsh' into Hindi was because the issue it addresses of widow remarriage is relevant in every language," said the director of Hindi films like "Astitva" and "Vaastav".
He has replaced his favourite actor Sachin Khedkar from the Marathi original with actor Arvind Swamy in the Tamil remake.
"I needed someone with no fixed image. Someone who would look convincing as a idealistic patriarch in a Brahmin family. I've cast Vaidehi Parshurami as the widow. She has done a part in one of my earlier Marathi films," he said.
"I've remade 'Kaksparsh' in Tamil because the Kokani culture and the Tamilian backdrop are similar," he added.
Ilayaraja has composed the music for the Hindi and Tamil versions of "Kaksparsh".
"Raja sir saw the original 'Kaksparsh' and he was on. No one said no to me. Theme-wise 'Kaksparsh' is among the most emotionally rich films in recent times. I haven't remade it for its commercial potential. I just felt it was a story that needed to be told to a wider audience," says Mahesh who has no regrets about losing the Lok Sabha election.
"We all wanted the BJP to win and to that extent the elections were a success for everyone," said Manjreka adding that he would continue his association with MNS chief Raj Thackeray.