Filmmaker Bejoy Nambiar of Shaitan fame gets talking about his upcoming film David, a bilingual in Tamil and Hindi. k.r. manigandan listens in

Bejoy Nambiar looks exhausted as well as excited. That’s understandable because the filmmaker is on the verge of completing David, a bilingual in Tamil and Hindi, and has taken ample care to tailor it to suit the tastes of the audiences in the respective languages.

Talking about the film, Bejoy, who made his Bollywood debut with Shaitan last year, says, “David is about two characters (called Davids) in two different periods and in two different cities. While the Tamil film has two narratives, the Hindi version has three in all. Vikram and Jiiva play the lead in Tamil, while Neil Nitin Mukesh, Vikram and Vinay Virmani of Speedy Singh fame play the lead in Hindi. As for the ladies, the Tamil film features Esha Sharvani, Tabu, Sheetal Menon and Lara Dutta (in a special appearance).”

Just as we wonder whether the Tamil and the Hindi versions of David are one and the same, Bejoy says, “No, they are two separate films. So, audiences who have watched the Hindi version can still watch the Tamil version and find it interesting and vice versa. Though the two versions have some elements in common, they have been tweaked to suit the sensibilities of the audiences in each language.”

At a time when directors in the South are looking to move to Bollywood once they taste success here, Bejoy’s decision to make a film in Tamil and Hindi has surprised many.

The director explains, “I grew up on Tamil films and have worked with the much-revered director Mani Ratnam. Even if this movie hadn’t happened, I would have still gone ahead and made a Tamil film. It is the kind of cinema I can relate to. Besides, it all depends on what a story demands — be it the setting, the language or the presentation. I took the Tamil version more seriously once actor Vikram evinced interest in the project. He plays a fisherman in Goa, and Jiiva, a musician in Mumbai.”

While the Tamil version will last 2 hours and 10 minutes, the Hindi version of David will be longer with three stories in it. But what prompted him to choose such a concept in the first place?

Says Bejoy: “The idea for this story began to form in my mind when I read about an incident. So, one of the two stories in the Tamil film is based on a real-life incident, while the other is purely fictional. Kamal’s Saagar has been a big inspiration for me. I enjoyed watching it so much that I always wanted to do a stage version of it while doing theatre. Undoubtedly, the fisherman character in one of the stories is because of Saagar.”

The highpoints

The young director, known for charting his own path, promises several interesting aspects in David. “First of all, this is not your regular Bollywood or Kollywood fare. Be it the story, music, treatment or performance, David has something unusual to offer, something never before done. The film doesn’t conform to a set pattern; yet, it is much more mainstream in its sensibility than what Shaitan was. Two characters with the same name in two different cities in two different periods — tell me, isn’t it something new? I am sure the audience here, which is open to innovation, will appreciate my effort. Besides, the two stories have been shot by two different cameraman — Randy and P. S. Vinod,” says Bejoy.

What about the music in David? “The music too is not of the regular kind,” says Bijoy, adding, “There are eight to nine songs in the film, all of them scored by different people. Anirudh has composed one song and Remo, two. After scoring a song, Remo was so impressed with the story that he came forward to compose another one for us. That’s not all, he also features in one of them.”