Will "Mayakkam Enna" be another case of sibling revelry? Malathi Rangarajan talks to director Selvaraghavan. The movie is slated for release on November 25.
Suddenly Selvaraghavan seems to be working at a crazy pace. How else do you explain the speed at which his Mayakkam Enna has been made? All set to be served in 55 days,Mayakkam Enna will be out this Friday. Very unlike him, you could say, because Aayirathil Oruvan, his last, took eons to see the light of day. “You can't compare the two,” he interjects. “Aayirathil Oruvan involved extensive post-production. CG consumed so much time. Also the genre is very different from what I've attempted now.”
“It's ready and we are coming out on November 25,” he smiles. But you had media reports stating that the film will roll out early December? “I heard about it too. We made the announcement a couple of days ago and, till then, I had said nothing about the date of release,” he sounds puzzled. He appears quite cheerful, as we continue talking about Mayakkam Enna.
So does he really feel relaxed now that the last-minute frenzy of tying up loose ends, trips to the Censors and the like are over? “Far from it,” he smiles. “Do I sound angst-free? The tension is mounting. I've directed eight films so far and during every release I lose 15 kg,” he laughs.
This time it looks as though he's going back to what he's been successful at — love tangles.Kaadhal Kondaen and 7G Rainbow Colony showed Selva's adeptness at spinning romantic yarns that go down well with the film-going youth here. “No,” you're wrong,” he laughs. “This isn't a love story. It's a warm film and more than 70 per cent of ME is humorous.” Levity has never found much space in Selvaraghavan's narration. “Of course, I don't allow fun tracks to run riot in my films. In ME too comedy is woven into the script. I'm sure Dhanush's humour takes will tickle.” In the same vein he hastens to clarify that Mayakkam Enna cannot be categorised as a comedy. “It's light-hearted and probably a little heavy-hearted,” he jokes rather cryptically. “Frankly, I don't think you can slot it in a genre. All the same, ME is way different from the kind of films I've done so far.”
Mayakkam Enna is Selva's fourth film with his brother, Dhanush. In a way each has been lucky for the other.Thulluvadho Ilamai placed them on the ladder to fame and Kaadhal Kondaen helped them ascend the rungs with ease.Pudhupettai met with mixed response, yet it didn't undermine the popularity of the combo. Naturally, when the brothers join hands after quite a while, curiosity is kindled.
Dhanush has come a long way since the days of Pudhupettai, so was he game for a quickie this time? “We decided to work together again. He had the dates. I had the script. We worked on it and ME happened.”
That Selvaraghavan and Dhanush have doubled as lyricists forMayakkam Enna and between the two have penned all the six songs is a surprise. “Dhanush has always been writing verses. So have I. We were pressed for time as we had to leave for the shoot and thought we'd do it ourselves. And working with G.V. Prakash is cool. We vibe well,” he informs.
Composer Prakash stepped in during the making of Aayirathil Oruvan, after the till-then close duo of Selva and Yuvan Shankar Raja parted ways. Again Ramji, the camera person of Aayirathil Oruvan, is on board. “Ramji is like a bro. Our comfort level makes work enjoyable. And his diligence is incredible. The same goes for G.V. Prakash. Comparatively, I am the one who takes things easy,” he says. “Naturally, I prefer to go with workaholics like them.”
Is he confident about the result of the cumulative effort? “I've watched ME a million times and I like what I've watched. But the impact it is going to create on the audience when they see it fresh isn't easy for me to calculate. The verdict rests with viewers and I anxiously wait for them to pass it in my favour,” he says.
Heroine Richa is a new find. “After watching her in the Telugu film,Leader, I cast her in my Telugu project opposite Rana. But the film didn't take off and I moved on to ME. It was then that Gitanjali, my wife, reminded me of her,” says Selvaraghavan. “Richa has proved to be the right choice.”
And that takes us to his newly wedded status. “Gitanjali handles the production. From the morning idlis for the unit to the costly equipment needed for the shoot we had to go to her. Life is wonderful and peaceful. Earlier it was a war zone, now it is bliss,” he laughs.
This article has been corrected for a factual error