Director Thiru on his next flick, Samar, how he brought actor Manoj Bajpayee on board and more

Young filmmaker Thiru is gung ho about his upcoming project Samar. “My film was originally named Samaran, meaning ‘warrior’ in Tamil. However, as that title was already registered by someone else, we changed it to Samar, which also means ‘war’ in Tamil,” begins Thiru, who discloses that a chunk of the film has been finished.

The storyline

The action-packed entertainer revolves around the travails of a trekking guide, played by Vishal, who is forced to leave for Bangkok under strange circumstances. He witnesses a series of puzzling incidents there too and is initially flabbergasted, unsure of what to do next. He meets Trisha, an Indian girl working there. How he overcomes the problems he encounters is what the film is about.

So, how did Thiru arrive at the plot? “I have to tell you about the roles Manoj Bajpayee and J. D. Chakravarthy play in the film. That’s because it was their roles that helped me fashion this storyline. I was thinking about how two enormously wealthy people, for whom nothing is impossible, would handle a particular issue — that’s when this plot came up,” says Thiru, who had earlier directed the Vishal-starrer Theeratha Vilayaatu Pillai.

For the first time, Manoj will be seen in a Tamil film. Thiru says he had a tough time getting Manoj on board.

Says the director: “Once I finished the script, the first person to come to my mind was Manoj. After I decided to approach him, it took three months for me to even narrate the story to him. It was only when I heard what Manoj had to say that I realised his concerns were valid. He said he wasn’t sure if he would be able to give his 100 per cent to the role without knowing the language. However, when I narrated the climax to him, he said, ‘Is this your film’s climax? Then, I’ll do it.’ He had no second thoughts about doing the movie thereafter.”

It might have taken quite a bit of effort for Thiru to get Manoj on board, but the director is delighted with his decision and says Manoj is a thorough professional. “It’s a joy to work with him. On the first day of shoot in Bangkok, I had envisioned several scenes on the 60th floor of a hotel there. I had made elaborate arrangements for shooting when Manoj arrived. Looking up at the hotel, he asked me, ‘Are we shooting on top?’ I said, ‘Yes, why? Is there any problem?’ He replied, ‘I have vertigo.’ But then, in 10 minutes he was ready to shoot on the 60th floor.”

All is well that ends well and Thiru is on the verge of completing Samar. He says, “Only the climax and two more songs remain to be shot. Once that is done, my film will hit the screens. Expect it to happen by August end or by the beginning of September.”