The Chiyaan Vikram starrer Irumugan is at the doorstep of its grand worldwide release tomorrow. It is a Thursday release as the film is looking to cash in on a 4-day weekend. The director of the film is the young and spunky Anand Shankar who sounded clear and confident in this chat with Kaushik for Only Kollywood.
Were you able to deliver Irumugan the way you intended in the first place?
“Yes, thanks mainly to the support of my producers who gave all that I needed. My script had a big canvas and Shibu provided that. I’ve completed the film to 100% personal satisfaction and it’s up to the audience now.”
Any compromises that you had to make, production-wise and creatively?
“There were no compromises at all. My cast and crew were the best and I got all the locations that were needed by the story due to its sci-fi base. The delay to commence the film was the only issue. But once Shibu came in, he increased the scale of the film and smartly created the market for this film.”
As you said at the audio launch of the film, how was it to swim through the tough phase when the film was stuck and got delayed?
“It was difficult for sure. I could’ve started and finished a film, with a smaller canvas, a year back but I was in no hurry. I wanted to make a difference with my film. In which ever way the film is accepted, the audiences will definitely admit that it is a big film with something different. I wanted to wait and make this happen, and I am happy that it finally happened.”
How was Chiyaan Vikram’s reaction when he came to know that Irumugan would offer him dual roles for the first time ever?
“To begin with, he loved the story and the character, and got really excited. Only during the script discussion, he realized that it’s his first dual role film. He has done many multiple getup films before but not one which has two separate characters. He got really excited and this clearly shows on screen. That contrast is seen and if the audiences see it as two different people, then we’ll be successful. That’s what we have tried.”
Did you ponder over the possibility of having ‘Love’ played by some other actor or was it always Vikram in both roles?
“We just discussed other possibilities. But since it’s a crazy, quirky character, I really wanted to use Vikram sir’s complete potential. It was always the plan to have him in both roles.”
Are you wary of the comparisons with Shankar’s I?
“There would be nothing like that when you see the film. Just some glimpses in the trailer give that ‘I’ connection for the audience but it’ll be totally different when you see the film.”
Coming to your previous film, Arima Nambi, though it was appreciated for many reasons, its music by Sivamani was felt to be underwhelming. Was this a reason to move to the more established Harris Jayaraj for Irumugan?
“Arima Nambi’s BGM was actually appreciated but the songs may not have connected with the regular audience. It all depends on the film and the story actually. If Harris sir is inspired by a big project and a good story, he’ll deliver big time. I was confident that he was correct for this film and he has done a great job. He has elevated the visuals actually, despite the already great, glossy visual quality. Harris sir is very critical for this film.”
Going back a bit, what was your biggest learning from your Bollywood experience with Anjaana Anjaani in 2010?
“The system and protocol that they followed with assistant directors and team management was very nice. It helped me in my experience with A.R.Murugadoss sir, from whom I learnt the basics of film making and writing a story. He was very close to me as I was aware of what is required from a 1st AD. I could work really well in Thuppakki and Vijay sir was also very impressed with my contributions.”
If you were to give a different color and treatment to any one of Murugadoss’ films, what would that be?
“I can’t take up such things as he has already done the best with all his films. But, he can do 7am Arivu in Hindi actually. I have told this to him too, that despite whatever mixed response it had, it was most exciting in terms of its different idea and thought. As a film, I liked Ramana and Thuppakki but just as an idea, it is 7am Arivu.”
Finally, there are reports that you will do one more film with Chiyaan Vikram?
“I do have ideas with him but nothing has been firmed up. The scripting has to be done and it may be my next or the next after that. I am not in any hurry to do my next, as that is not my motto. I have to first see the audience’s reaction for Irumugan. If it’s good, then there will be more responsibility on me.”
Best wishes Anand, for a great sophomore outing.
Interviewed by Kaushik LM