A 'kick' starter for one and all
Surender Reddy is one of the noted directors in Telugu cinema with a compact number of nine films in a career of 15 years.
Surender Reddy is one of the noted directors in Telugu cinema with a compact number of nine films in a career of 15 years. He has had a top run at the box-office, having directed the popular, modern-day heroes of Telugu cinema from Kalyan Ram in his debut venture to the redoubtable megastar Chiranjeevi in his latest film. In between, there have been films with heroes like Jr NTR, Mahesh Babu, Allu Arjun, Ram Charan with whom he encountered varying levels of success.
Yet, it was his 2009 release 'Kick', starring Ravi Teja, Ileana and Tamil actor Shaam which made him a known name all across the Indian film industry. Its rocking success made it a natural choice for being remade and showcased elsewhere too, particularly in the commercially hard-wired Hindi cinema industry. The film had by then reprised the success of the original in the neighbouring Tamil filmdom, making the release a key milestone for the hero 'Jayam' Ravi who played Ravi Teja in this version. 'Real Star' Upendra, Uppi for his crazy fans, saw him localize the content for them when it was released as 'Super Ranga' to coincide with the star's birthday in September 2014.
The big daddy of all these redone versions was of course, the Salman Khan starrer with the same title 'Kick' also a 2014 release like Upendra's flick. The whacky presence of Nawazuddin Siddiqui who played the role of the cop, hot on the trail of the hero, was a pleasant surprise for the viewers, who by then had seen Siddiqui in action in a few Anurag Kashyap films and admired him for his rock-solid performances.
The Hindi version was originally to be helmed by A R Murugadoss, who couldn't take it up and the offer went to Shirish Kunder, before Sajid Nadiadwala himself took up the reins. The screenplay was written by Chetan Bhagat along with three others including Nadiadwala.
The swagger and the machismo of Salman Khan blended with the svelte, sexy presence of Jacqueline Fernandez, the cat and mouse game between the good and bad guys saw raucous support for the film, especially the young crowd rooting for the protagonist. Made on a budget of Rs 140 crore, the film, with a massive exhibition on screens all across the world, went on to rake in Rs 402 crore, a major highlight of Khan's career.