K . V. Anand is excited about his upcoming project Maatraan, where Suriya plays a pair of conjoined twins. K. R. Manigandan talks to the cinematographer-turned-director

Maatraan has given rise to huge expectations not just because it is Suriya’s next film but also because it is helmed by K. V. Anand, a man considered one of the Tamil film industry’s most thoughtful directors. A cinematographer-turned-director, Anand is known for the attention he pays to scripts and his cast. His films invariably have a message for society and do exceptionally well at the box office.

Says Anand with a smile: “Suriya plays two roles in Maatraan — a pair of conjoined twins, Akilan and Vimalan. The two are joined at the chest. But that’s just part of the attraction. My story has a social message which I do not want to disclose now.”

“When I decided to do a film on this subjectg, I thought Suriya would be the best person for the role. But Suriya did not accept it initially because of prior commitments. Sometime after Ko, however, he called me up and asked me, ‘Shall we do that film on conjoined twins?’ and I readily agreed,” says Anand, who discloses that this film was doubly challenging for everyone involved in it. ‘Be it Antony, the editor, Peter Hein, who choreographed the stunts, or Suriya, who had to play the twins, it was difficult. That is because for every scene, Suriya would have to play two roles. Playing conjoined twins is exceptionally difficult because while playing one role, Suriya would have to take into account how each of his body movements would affect that of the other character.”

Point out to Anand that there is another film in the making titled Charulatha in which Priyamani plays a pair of conjoined twins and ask him if both stories will be similar, and he says, “Not at all. I have seen the film on which their story is based and it is completely different.”

Now that this movie is ready, is there any credibility in rumours about his next film featuring Rajinikanth? Says Anand: “No, it is not true. I am nowhere close to doing a movie with him.” In that case, are the rumours about the director meeting the superstar too false? Admits Anand, “No, I did meet him. That was because I worked with him on Sivaji. I met him for a different reason. As of now, there is no such proposal.”

As of now? Does that mean there is a chance Anand will be working with the superstar soon? He smiles, “I don’t know. It is tough to satisfy his fans.” Is that what is stopping him from taking up the project? “To do a film with him, one has to be really good. It is my dream to work with him. So, let’s see.”