chatline Kollywood's famous cousins Venkat Prabhu and Yuvan Shankar Raja on the making of the potboiler Goa
The Goa passengers behave like a bunch of boisterous teenagers. All young and raring to go, they are oh-so excited that their journey hits its destination — the theatres — this Friday. We pin down director Venkat Prabhu and cousin Yuvan Shankar Raja for a sneak peek into the film amidst the frenzy at an event in Chennai. Excerpts from the interaction:
Venkat: The music for Goa will be talked about. I'm sure people will appreciate the songs and the background score.
Yuvan: I'm positive the songs will become more popular after the film's release. When I watched the unedited version of the film, I was immensely impressed. It had me glued to the seat for 3 hours and 15 minutes. A breezy entertainer, it will appeal to the family audience. I like the way you've handled the subject. I sent you an SMS that read “I'm proud of you, brother.”
Venkat: True, thanks. Now, we've edited the film tightly; brought it down to two-and-a-half hours. And you know something, I've reduced the dialogues in the end portions and let the music take over. Must say, the re-recording has given the film more power. The scenes are more intense. I think you've worked wonders for me because you are my brother!
Yuvan: Yes, the brother sentiment works well (smiles). Talking about re-recording, I usually take 20 days. But for Goa, I completed it in seven days.
Venkat: A highlight of the music is the song featuring the five of us, including Premji Amaren, Karthik Raja and Bhavadarini. Through this song, I pay tribute to all the talented elders in our families. The screenplay was tweaked in such a way the song is seamlessly integrated into the film. It's shot in Theni and its vicinity, where my dad and uncle grew up.
Yuvan: For me, the best part of the journey was when I was in Malaysia for a composing session and, to my surprise, I found you and the entire Goa crew there. Remember, we had this huge get-together? Can't forget those lovely moments.
Venkat: The entire Goa experience was an exciting one. Hope people love the film as much as we loved making it.
Yuvan: I'm sure they'll like it. It's a fun film with a good dose of humour and music.
Venkat: Remember Yuvan, since childhood we've been interested in cinema. Guess the environment we grew up in shaped our taste. In my family, I was considered hero. Everyone wanted me to get into acting. Karthik would don the director's role and shoot with a handy cam. I was the hero of his film! We got together to make a film called “Wanted”. It never happened. But today, we are all in the industry playing independent roles. You entered the industry before I did.
Yuvan: Yes, I had done a couple of films when you came up with Chennai 28, produced by S. P. Charan. When I heard the storyline, I was sure the film would click at the box office, so I agreed to compose the music.
Venkat: You came up with such a good score without even accepting any remuneration!
Yuvan: It was not the money that mattered, but the relationship. I was glad you got a film and I was sure of its success. My dad called you — it was his happiest moment too.
Venkat: Oh, how can I forget that? Our families bond in a special way. We all (brothers and sister Bhavadarini) play together and have our fights. It's fun. But I do have a grievance. You never take calls in the midst of work...
Yuvan: Now, now, come on... (laughter)
Producer: Soundarya Rajinikanth
Director: Venkat Prabhu
Cinematographer: Sakthi Saravanan
Editor: K. L. Praveen, N. B. Srikanth
Cast: Premji Amaren, Jai, Vaibhav, Sampath, Aravind Akash, Sneha, Piaa, Melanie, Shanmugasundaram, Vijayakumar, Chandarasekar, Anandaraj, Sathyapriya, Srilekha and Rekha Suresh.
Story: Three friends leave their village and go to “Goa” in search of a prosperous life.
Director's Cut: What happens when things don't go as planned? The lead characters come to terms with their own identities in a different place, in a different environment.