What Mani Ratnam couldn't do, Aanand Rai has succeeded in doing. Audiences will be getting to hear Bollywood actress Sonam speak in Tamil for the first time in Raanjhanaa. The Tamil version of Raanjhanna entitled Ambikapathy would see Sonam speak in Tamil, albeit dubbed by a professional
Tamil dubbing artiste.
Some time ago Mani Rathnam wanted Sonam in his Tamil film Kadhalan. But Sonam was not prepared to go regional at that point in her career. The decision for a Tamil version of Raanjhanna was an afterthought. It was taken by the film's producers Eros in keeping with Dhanush's superstar status in Tamil Nadu.
Sonam was most keen to say her own Tamil dialogues. But there was just no time for her to master the language. "Sonam is a very hardworking girl. She has transformed herself into her character. Given the chance she would have liked to speak her own lines in Tamil. But there was just no time to master the nuances. And the Tamil audience is very particular about accents," says the film's director Aanand Rai.
Sonam and Dhanush had actually made a double-pact, wherein she helped him with his Hindi dialogues in the Hindi version of Raanjhanaa while he was to help her with her Tamil dialogues. However, the lead pair's two-way linguistic lessons didn't get a chance to go far enough.
While Dhanush's South Indian accent worked well for his character in Raanjhanaa as he plays a Tamil Brahmin in Varanasi, Sonam's Tamil just didn't make the cut. Much to the regret of the actress who has worked very hard to get into character this time.