Director S.D. Vijay Milton on the making of Goli Soda.
It all started on a sunny afternoon eight years ago when Vijay Milton visited the Koyembedu market in Chennai for a shoot. “When I climbed up the shops for an aerial shot, I found young boys sleeping on tarpaulin sheets atop the roof,” he recalls. “The shopkeepers told that they run errands and work as loaders in the market. There are almost 15,000 such boys at Koyembedu. They live a haphazard life and none knows or cares about them.”
Vijay Milton who has worked as a cinematographer in nearly two dozen movies debuted as director with ‘Azhagai Irukkirai Bayamai Irukkiradhu’ in 2006. Goli Soda, his second venture has received critical reception at the box office. “Over the past week, the number of theatres screening the film has gone up,” he says. “People have struck a chord with the four young teenagers in the film.” The movie features Pandi, Murugesh, Sree Ram and Kishore of Pasanga fame in the lead roles. “I was initially apprehensive of not casting big stars,” confesses Vijay. “But since the story is about a search for identity, I wanted teenagers.”
Goli Soda, unlike other teenage-themed movies, doesn’t depict the boys as street-smart loafers. “I have shown them as youngsters with values in life, living on the fringes of the society and struggling to carve out an identity for themselves,” says Vijay. “The USP of the film is that none of them is heroic. They are simple boys who face obstacles when they want to rise up in life.”
He says profound ground research and offbeat storyline are the strengths of the movie. “I wrote the story sitting at the market day and night. I have captured the dynamic mood and colour of the place and the lifestyle of these boys working there,” says Vijay. Goli Soda was made on a low budget with just 25 people in the crew.
“Many weren’t ready to accept the script initially and that’s one reason it took so long to come out as a film. But since I didn’t want the subject to be grim, I added entertaining elements like songs, love and fight scenes,” he says. “Stunt master Supreme Sundar made the fight scene look realistic with single-shot fights. Since, the protagonists are young boys, we didn’t want them to knock down a dozen guys with a single blow.”
Vijay is extremely happy with Sujatha in the role of Aachi. “Sujatha plays a strong widow at the market and speaks the Madurai slang. She acts as the godmother for the boys and the binding force between them,” he explains. “On the first day of shooting, Sujatha fainted unable to sit by the platform in the rain. With lot of hard work, she improved subsequently and now she’s known as ‘Goli Soda aachi’ instead of ‘Paruthiveeran Sujatha.”
Vijays explains the title: “Goli soda when in a bottle, appears still. But when given a shake, the fizz it contains comes out. I have drawn this as an analogy with the boys and shown how their hidden energy pours out.”
The Goli Soda team was in Madurai for the promotion of the film.