Alejandro González Iñárritu directed films like Babel, Amores Perros and Biutiful in the west. He saw Pokkiri and was converted. Having now seen most of Telugu-superstar Balakrishna's ventures he is delighted to have signed him up for Por que?, the Spanish remake of the inter-state hit.
He's in conversation with us:
Perpi: Alejandro González Iñárritu, welcome.
Alejandro González Iñárritu: Muchas gracias por llamarme aquí. I will speak the rest in English. jajajaja.
P: We hear you are remaking Pokkiri. Why?
AGI: That is precisely what I asked myself when I saw the Telugu film. It had already been remade into many Indian languages, and into Xsosa, Occitan and even the Braille. It affected me internally so much that I had to make it in Spanish, but wasn't still sure why. Which might explain the title of the film, you see.
P: You have worked with Javier Bardem and Gael Garcia Bernal prior to this. What made you opt for Balayya in this movie?
AGI: I haven't seen a multi-dimensional actor like him anywhere between Guadalajara and the Indus valley. He is the first actor ever to have mastered the CEFISO Method of acting.
P: ... and what is this CEFISO Method?
AGI: It's the Compartmentalising Emotions For Individual Sensory Organs Method. It basically outlines a rather complex method of acting where your various sensory organs suggest different emotions. Take for instance this dialogue:
Nenu matladetappudu nee chevulu matrame pani cheyyali.. Avi thappa vera emayyina pani chesayo neeku next birthday vundadhu..You see he is showing anger with the dialogue. But he himself can hear it is comical. However, his eyes, like always, show that he is scared of the camera, even when it is he who has the punch dialogue.
P:.. and Javi Bardem has like, what, one expression per second?
AGI: Exactamente. I can only assume his skin acts out a film noir sequence given how diverse all these emotions are to each of his senses.
P: Thank heavens there is a name for it. Otherwise it is difficult to tell people to learn something when you aren't sure of what you want them to learn.
AGI: Don't kid yourself, not many can learn it... or dance like he does... or wear trousers up to his stomach...
P: ... and still get all the hot chicks...
AGI: ... and still get all the chicks, yeah.
P: So who will you pair with him now, Barbara Mori, we presume?
AGI: Not sure yet. As I have not yet sifted through all the texts I have got from actresses in Spain and Latin America so far.
(Alejandro shows us the texts. Some of the sms-es had the same message: Por que? Others had more elaborate requests.
Karen Dejo had replied:
Paz Vega had sent an MMS of her doing aerobics set to the tune of Jadathoti Kodithe.
Natalia Verbeke had written a poem for Balayya which was simply titled, My Navel for Thee.)
I do not know what to do, maybe I will get all of them in the film. Each of them for the same part maybe. Nobody will notice in the incandescence of Balayya's movements and actions and gestures and gyrations.
As we are about to wind up the interview wishing Alejandro good luck, he seems forlorn and lost. We begin to ask him:
P: Why are you...
AGI (agitatedly): I still can't see how he was able to wear his pants up till his stomach and still get the chicks.
On that melancholic thought, we bid adieu, leaving Iñárritu with a whirlpool in his head. Later in the day, we sent him a forwarded joke:
Balayya is remaking Titanic as "Samudram lo Sanyasi". In the end he doesn't die but swims across the ocean with the heroine in one hand and the Titanic in the other.
He has thus far not replied back.