Engga Hostel is a web series depicting the life of six students in a typical Tamil Nadu engineering hostel. It shows their struggles, their friendships, love, life, and academics. Engga Hostel which is the Tamil adaptation of Hostel Daze released on January 27 on Prime Video.
Check out Engga Hostel web series director Sathish Chandrasekaran, and actors Avinaash & Goutham talk about their recent web series, with P Charitha in a special interview with Sakshi Post.
With Sathish Chandrasekaran
SP: How did you come up with the idea for the Tamil version of Hostel Daze?
I watched Hostel Daze as a member of the general public. While watching the show, I thought that this could work over here as well. I started thinking about how this works as a Tamil show. How does the series work in India? What if that character was played in this manner? How can this character be addressed because our country is structured in such a way that each state has its own video and culture.
We have to have a connection between all the episodes like the point, no point must be different because we are adapting it into Tamil. it's not a remake but a reboot. It's like a reboot of Hostel Daze, with a slew of new characters introduced and other supporting roles with the main characters are also important. And the girls' hostel has been thoroughly explored. In fact, we attempted to give them as much space as possible. So all of these changes were discussed and incorporated, and characters were recast to reflect local sensibilities. Things that are relatable to the audience.
SP" How did you choose characters in the web series?
It was great fun. For instance, Ahaana's character is similar to the main character, but we changed it to a Bombay girl who comes to Chennai to study. She understands Hindi but tries to communicate in Tamil. And people are like, "Wait, you're our Katrina Kaif, and you only speak English?" So, each character was changed in some way, for example. In Hindi, you can travel to different parts of India and the dialects are very different; similarly, in Tamil, each region has its own Tamil dialect, and everyone who comes to Chennai to study, especially in hostels, has their own Tamil dialect. Creating and selecting these characters was a labour of love. It was very challenging as to not only sound different, but each one had to look different.
SP: How did you adapt the Hindi version into Tamil keeping the nativity in mind?
In the Hindi version, so many things have worked out really well and it was really tricky to pick and choose which parts to retain and which parts to adapt to the native audience. For example, this Chithappu character. In every hostel there is an uncle kind of a guy who supplies everything to everyone. Everyone has that one uncle at home who pampers us and Chithappu is that one character who pampers at the same time extorts money out of it.
So as we made changes, more than the characters, the conflicts became more natural which has worked for us.
SP: Have you made any preparations for season 2 of Engga Hostel?
While writing season one itself, we created certain conflicts which will go into the second season. The audience should be wanting more of that in the second season. They want to know how the friendship and the bonding between these characters is gonna be different in the second year. So because a lot of things have happened, so always in mind while scripting the season.
With Avinaash & Goutham
SP: Avinaash and Goutham it seems like you had fun during shooting. Any experience you would like to share?
Avinaash - So we had a lot of fun, there's no way we could just pick one incident from my entire shoot and call it fun, but everyone's share was very different. Everyone had to learn new things, which was enjoyable.We had those characters, and we had to look like a first year or an actual first year, or a nerd. Goutham's character, who is half Mallu and half Tamil, is amusing. It's when that character tries to convey something but all you can do is mix a little Malayalam and Tamil and only you can say it so, really, you're serious, it turns out to be funny. So, everyone has their own nuances and incidents.
Goutham - I'd like to speak about Avinaash, who intimidates me in every scene. In every scene where Avinaash and I have a conflict, I'll have it in a softer way, and he'll just start bashing me up. But every scene I shot with him was fun for me.
SP: Avinaash can you describe your character as Chithappu?
Avinaash - This is a very interesting character Chithappu, So, he’s like a warden...like this controlling person in this hostel. Every hostel, every incident, and college has one person that is very particular to girls and boys, they don't talk to each other.
Also Read: Prime Video’s New Tamil Series Engga Hostel