Boopathy Pandian teams up with Vishal once again for his Pattathu Yanai, after a gap of seven years. nikhil raghavan catches up with the filmmaker

His boyish charm belies the seriousness with which he approaches every aspect of filmmaking. Off the sets, director Boopathy Pandian is a relaxed person, willing to talk about the film that is evolving on the editing table — Pattathu Yanai is his fifth, and his second with Vishal.

That it has taken seven years for the filmmaker and the actor to come together again after the 2007 Malaikottai does not perturb him. Since then, Boopathy and Vishal have charted their own success trail. “Everything depends on so many factors. I have written several scripts, have done Kaadhal Solla Vandhen in 2010 and have patiently waited for Vishal’s dates to do a film with him again,” says Boopathy. “I assure you that you will see different dimensions of Vishal and Santhanam in Pattathu Yanai. The fact that the script was written not keeping Vishal in mind was an advantage when it came to creating a new identity for him,” adds Boopathy.

New dimensions

Pattathu Yanai is about Santhanam, a catering business owner. Enter Vishal as a cook. He and his friends suggest to Santhanam that they should progress to the next level of the business by starting a restaurant. They move to another town with these grand plans. “Do they fructify or not? That’s what the story is about. There's many a humorous situation in the process. While you will see Santhanam in a totally different role as a slightly mature businessman, sans his usual pranks and one-liners, you will also see a different side of Vishal. In a flashback scene, Vishal appears as an ambulance driver. That is where some of his action scenes come to the fore. As a cook, we will see his funny side. Towards the climax, 'action' Vishal resurfaces,” reveals Boopathy.

Boopathy didn’t have to look far for an appropriate actor for the comedy role. “Santhanam was the perfect choice. I wanted to explore another side of Santhanam, different from his stereotyped image. As the owner of a catering business, you don't expect him to play pranks or be the hero's sidekick,” says Boopathy.

In the initial stages of casting, Amala Paul was considered for the heroine’s role. Thanks to her busy schedule in Telugu films, Amala’s dates wouldn’t coincide with Vishal’s. “Meanwhile, someone mentioned that Arjun’s daughter Aishwarya was planning to enter films. I am happy that I had signed her up because, within a couple of days of the shoot, I realised I was dealing with an experienced actor. I think, her training at Anupam Kher’s acting school plus the fact that acting is in her genes, has made her a confident actor, matching up to Vishal’s talent,” says Boopathy. “Right from when she is introduced in a seemingly unimportant scene where she comes to the restaurant to get some change, and Vishal falls for her, till the end, she has a significant role as a Plus Two student.”

For Boopathy Pandian, the success of Malaikottai with Vishal and the two films he has done with Dhanush has made him understand the requirements of making a film that would work at the box office. “After directing five films, I am confident that you will see a change in the way Pattathu Yanai has been made,” signs off a confident Boopathy Pandian.