With the potent combination of Siddharth, Hansika and Santhanam, director Sundar C. has readied another comedy, Theeya Velai Seiyyanum Kumaru. Nikhil Raghavan writes

Sundar C. can’t help being typecast as a specialist director of comedy films though the label doesn’t appeal to him. His forthcoming Theeya Velai Seiyyanum Kumaru is also in that genre. “But,” says Sundar, defensively, “this is a modern, classy and stylish film with humour being integral to the screenplay. There are no slapstick scenes or double-meaning dialogues. Trying to break out of the mould I was getting into, I have worked hard on the screenplay to give a different kind of feel. Theeya Velai Seiyyanum Kumaru is a feel-good film and I am sure there will be a satisfied smile on your face when you walk out of the theatre.”

Feel-good factor

Theeya Velai Seiyyanum Kumaru has Siddharth, Hansika and Santhanam in the main roles. “Siddharth is a metro type of person, young and stylish. Keeping that in mind I wrote a screenplay for the urban-centric, multiplex audience. Combine Siddharth’s youthfulness, Hansika’s effervescence, and Santhanam’s humour and you can imagine the outcome! Theeya Velai Seiyyanum Kumaru is set against the backdrop of the IT sector. A casual, non-conformist attitude is what we usually associate with an IT professional. This is also typical of today’s youth and the film will endear itself to GenNext. It is the first time I am attempting a genre where humour has been built into the story.”

Sundar was hoping that his Mada Gaja Raja (MGR) would release before Theeya Velai Seiyyanum Kumaru. “After Kalakalapu, I sensed I was getting into a comedy groove. That’s why I did MGR, an out-and-out action film. Now that Theeya Velai Seiyyanum Kumaru is releasing first, I hope that I don’t get deeper into that groove. Maybe I will do a horror or ghost movie next! (laughs),” he says, matter-of-factly.

Comfort zone

After dabbling in direction and acting, Sundar finds that his comfort zone lies in the former. “Not because I am a bad actor, but because screenplay is my forte. In my view, the strength of any film is not necessarily the story, it is the screenplay. I have a simple formula: a scene should be a continuation of the earlier sequence and the audience should anticipate the next, through the screenplay. If this is achieved, any good story can be transformed into a better movie,” observes Sundar.

In the course of his 18 years in the industry, Sundar has directed 26 films and acted in 11. Apart from a cameo in two of his earliest films, he never believes in acting in his own films. “I feel it sort of intimidates the main characters when the director decides to do a role. A director should stick to his core responsibility and get the best out of his cast and concentrate on transforming his screenplay into celluloid.”

On why he prefers direction, Sundar says, “I love the challenge of direction, for, every day the situation changes. Down the years I have also realised that when my screenplay is sound, the daily schedules become easy to shoot. At times, it is more like a holiday. As for acting, it is definitely a holiday. I treat it as a bonus — the break from direction and letting someone else take the responsibility — as all I have to do is emote in front of the camera. But, as I said earlier, direction and screenwriting are my favourites and preference will always be given to them. A movie is how you tell a story through screenplay and I love watching the product evolve every day,” concludes Sundar.