‘Malai Malai’ clicked because our team’s comfort level was high. Ego found no place there… says actor Arun Vijay who is all praise about newly released movie ‘Malai Malai’
At last, Arun Vijay is getting to taste the fruits of labour. Success has been eluding this young man for quite a while, but his never-say-die spirit has paid off. “ Malai Malai has been a gamble. But when I see the response, I’m delirious,” smiles Arun.
He is just back from a whirlwind tour of the State, visiting cinema halls where his film has been screened. “The encouragement has been overwhelming. Though my visits weren’t announced, in places like Madurai, people had queued up on the street where the theatre showing the film was!”
A lot of industry, analysis and planning have gone into the making of Malai Malai.
Right from the beginning, Arun’s performances, stunts and footwork could never be faulted. But, it was left to A. Venkatesh to pen a selling story and add the ingredients in right proportions. Even a solid hero’s role in Cheran’s hit, Pandavar Bhoomi, didn’t do much for Arun’s career.
The commercial route
Surprisingly, Arun went in for serious roles even in the beginning stages. But, it is the detour to the commercial route that has helped him out.
“Director Venkatesh wanted to first watch all my films and note areas that needed to be addressed.”
Probably for the first time, Arun has done some rib-tickling comedy in Malai Malai. The ruckus he creates with Santhanam is so unlike the Arun you’ve seen so far on screen!
He laughs: “Venkatesh convinced me that a commercial hero has to have a humorous side to him. ‘Haven’t you noticed Rajinikanth’s and Vijayakanth’s flair for comedy?’ he asked.
It isn’t just Santhanam, Harthi and ‘Ganja’ Karuppu, have also added flavour to the fun element in MM. “It has also clicked because our team’s comfort level was high. Ego found no place there.”
Venkatesh had worked out a winning strategy. And, producer Dr. N.S. Mohan, wasn’t willing to compromise on any score.
They roped in Prabhu and Prakash Raj for pivotal roles. “We’ve spent three times more than is normally allotted for an Arun Vijay film,” the hero candidly states. “Both the seasoned actors have helped bolster the film.”
“‘Kanal’ Kannan, Mani Sharma, Vaali — the technical crew is solid too. “Yes, it’s a joint effort and the credit goes to all, particularly my director.” The same group will come together for his next project, and Arun is already excited about it. So, is it again going to be a formula product? “Yes, I now wish to establish myself in the genre.”
Nowhere in MM is the protagonist projected as a super hero with his quota of punch lines, and that has proved an aiding factor too. “True, it has helped the masses identify with the part. I intend continuing in the same vein.”
What about his Malai Malai heroine? Arun is frank. “The leading actresses we approached weren’t willing to work with me. Though she’s happy now, Vedhika was also initially hesitant because she had earlier been paired with the likes of Simbu …”
Malai Malai’s success should change all that.