After seven years, S. J. Suryah is back with Isai, a Tamil film which also sees the actor-director turn music composer
S. J. Suryah is back to doing what he does best — direction. The actor-director is making a Tamil film, Isai, after a gap of seven years. What’s more, he is also turning music director with it. Excerpts from an interview:
Tell us about Isai…
Isai is about two music directors — a popular composer who is ruling the industry is replaced by his younger competitor. He is overcome by jealousy and the movie is about what jealousy can do to a genius. About 35 per cent of the musical is done.
Is the movie based on real-life incidents?
No. But the situations in the film are what we come across in every field. We often find someone reigning supreme in one industry only to be eventually replaced by another. Isai deals with the emotional turmoil and the jealousy one who is pushed from a position of confidence experiences.
From whom did you learn music?
I learnt music from five masters. To claim that one knows an art, they say, one must have spent at least 12,000 hours on it. I have spent only 2,000 hours. I would spend five hours each on the piano and the guitar everyday. While Abdul Sattar gave me piano lessons, Steve, a guitarist with A. R. Rahman, taught me to play the guitar. My brother’s son Deepak, a medical student, taught me the chords. Music director Faisal and my nephew’s master too taught me music.
Why has it taken such a long time for you to make a comeback?
This happens to everybody. I was supposed to do Isai soon after Anbe Aruyire. However, that was not to be; the time hadn’t come. This seven-year gap doesn’t matter for I feel God has a greater plan for me. To play a music director, I have become one. I have learnt music and composed the songs. The audio rights have been sold to Gemini Audios. The film has six songs and three tiny pieces.
That still doesn’t explain the gap…
After Anbe Aruyire, I did Puli in Telugu and enjoyed working on it. However, it took three years. There are several reasons for the delay… I took a two-year sabbatical after which I began preparations for the project. Once I was through with writing the script for Isai, I took three months to select the heroine. Over 124 girls from all over India auditioned for the role.