Will Sasikumar hit the bull’s eye once again with Bramman, which rolls out on February 21? malathi rangarajan catches up with the actor
Beginning with Bramman, Sasikumar gets talking on a range of subjects from tastes and trends to the Almighty and the audience. The tête-à-tête turns out to be quite interesting because Sasikumar the producer, the director and the actor are separate entities and he believes in keeping them so — the producer doesn’t enter a director’s domain, nor does the actor get into other territories. Socrates, a first timer, is the director of Bramman.The title
“I play Siva in Bramman,” says Sasikumar. And this Siva is Brahma, the Lord of Creation? Sasi enjoys the paradox and smiles: “Yeah, in a way, and like in all my films we have tried to say something that has to be said, not overtly though. I prefer films that have a sense of purpose.” So has director Sasikumar imposed his ideas on Bramman? “I give my suggestions before I go to the set. Once there, I’m fully aware that the director is the captain of the ship. It’s only because I like the script have I agreed to do the film. Then why should I interfere later?”The director
Socrates worked as an assistant director for Kamal Haasan’s Pammal K. Sambandham and again for his home production, Nala Damayanthi, under director Mouli. What made Sasikumar go with Socrates, though he’s new and has not been his assistant either?
“After Nadodigal, Socrates had sought an audience with me, with this script. I didn’t know about it then but soon his name kept cropping up at odd places — when I visited my school, St. Peters, in Kodaikanal and when I was in Yercaud, my teachers told me that Socrates was trying to contact me. But by then I had moved on to Poraali. Finally when my editor Raja Mohammad mentioned it, I said, ‘I’ve heard this name for too long now. Let me listen to what he has to say.’ Twenty minutes into the narration, I decided to do the film.” Incidentally, Raja Mohammad gets back to work with Sasi as Bramman’s editor, after Subramaniapuram.The producers
The two producers of Bramman are new to Tamil, though K. Manju is a big name in the Kannada film industry and Joseph Anto is a noted producer of Malayalam films. “As all my films have been remade in these languages and have been hits, I’m known in these industries too,” says Sasi.The heroine
Lavanya debuts in Tamil as the heroine of Bramman. Sasikumar has introduced many heroines — from Swathi in Subramaniapuram to Lakshmi Menon in Sundarapandian. The predictable pattern is they go on to do another film with Sasi’s team before they move on. Ananya and Abhinaya are other examples. Will Lavanya be part of his next film too? Sasi laughs sheepishly: “What do you mean? If characters suit them they continue with us. That’s it. Lavanya has done Andala Raakshasi in Telugu. She’s good heroine material and with Bramman, Tamil cinema is getting another actor with potential.”Fresh team
It’s not just about the new producers, director and heroine. Known names are also joining hands with Sasikumar for the first time. Jomon T. John, the cameraperson of Malayalam films, Beautiful and Thattathin Marayathu, enters Tamil with Bramman. For the first time Devi Sri Prasad has composed music for a Sasikumar film, Silva has handled stunts, and Raju Sundaram, the footwork. “Initially I was apprehensive about whether I would be able to dance to Raju’s steps. But once we began working I was very comfortable,” smiles Sasi.
When Sasikumar decided to launch Subramaniapuram as producer and director, the last thing on his mind was acting. A rather unpleasant experience with a hero, whom he had approached, made Sasi don the greasepaint. “People have accepted me as a producer, director and hero, and that’s what matters,” says Sasi.Three hats
Sasikumar, the producer, has hit the bull’s eye most of the time. As hero, Sasi’s aim is to entertain and he’s got his target audiences intact. Even Kutty Puli which did not create quite a stir in the cities was a sensation in smaller cities and the towns. “It has been my greatest hit so far. After a long time women audiences in these areas, who are generally glued to the box at home came out to watch the film,” he says. As director, Sasi soared high with Subramaniapuram and plateaued a little with Easan. And as an actor, every venture has been a success.
Just one scene in Thalaimuraigal was enough for Sasikumar to make an indelible impact. “Thalaimuraigal is a visual record for posterity. I’m happy that I produced it. Viability is not the question. That I have been able to give to cinema a little of what I’ve got from it matters more. I expected 4 lakh viewers to watch it and my reckoning was right,” explains Sasi.
“On the other hand, Bramman is a commercial entertainer. It has romance, sentiment, action and an engaging line. Just like all my other films, Bramman is clean, without double entendres, item numbers and stunts that are contrived. It is for the family and the youth. So the result rests with the viewers and with God.”