It’s difficult to carry the burden of expectation, and still laugh your way through an interview. But, Venkat Prabhu and Soundarya Rajinikanth seem to do it with ease. He is on a hat-trick, and this is her Ocher Studios’ maiden production venture. And, if the promotional stills are anything to go by, the film promises to be a rocking holiday in the land of beaches.
Unlike Venkat’s earlier films, Chennai 600028 and Saroja, which were urban-centric, Goa has rural comedy, and is a tale of growing up.
“Everyone has an eye on us,” laughs Soundarya. “He has a name, and I have a surname to live up to!” Venkat agrees, but says he is approaching this as his first film. “This is Soundarya’s and my film, and we want to make our parents proud.”
How did Soundarya zero in on Goa? “I come from a family that lives and breathes cinema. At some point, production beckoned. Venkat gave me a line about three boys in Goa. I okayed it immediately. What I like about him is his clarity — what he believes is what he shows,” she says.
Soundarya says it helped that she is a director too (animation flick Sultan: the Warrior), and that her confidence only increased as shooting progressed. The shooting of Goa is almost over, and Soundarya says the film will have a rich feel about it because of the technology used, and will set a new quality standard. The teaser will be out this Deepavali, and the audio launch is scheduled for December, in time for the superstar’s birthday.
The Malaysia stint of the film is said to have been really ‘spirited’. “Yes,” laughs Venkat. In Langkawi, Piaa saw an old lady inside her room, and a hand near her in bed, and came out screaming. After that, even if we had to go get a cup of water from the next room, a group would venture out,” says Venkat, adding that the 45-day schedule there was a blast. “Our hotel had the best disco in town, and so…”
So, what’s the movie about? “It is a holiday film, but the focus is on relationships. It is shot from the point of view of the boys — their culture shock, and how they overcome it. You will come out feeling that India is good, but we are not sermonising with the flag in hand. There is love, and a comic element to carry the film forward,” says a happy Venkat. As for repeating his working with the same set of actors, he says it is easier working with a known team. And, the movie is big — the scale’s bigger than his first two films put together.
And yes, because it is Goa, there’s lots of glamour too. “The script demanded it,” chips in Soundarya.
Music has always been a strong point in Venkat’s movies, and this one is no different. His cousin Yuvan Shankar Raja is said to have come up with some rocking tunes for Vaali and Gangai Amaren’s lyrics. “You see, ours is a musical family, we can’t have a film with bad music!” says Venkat.
The cast comprises Premji, Jai, Vaibhav, Aravind Akash, Sampath, Sneha, Piaa Bajpai and Melenie Mary. And, Sneha plays a stylish upper-class lady, very different from what she’s done so far.
With huge expectations riding on the film, how does Soundarya feel? “I want this to be Venkat’s hat-trick. And, I couldn’t be happier with the way things have turned out,” she smiles.