Arun Vijay, who plays a light-hearted role in his upcoming Deal, tells malathi rangarajan that the film will appeal to the youth as well as the family audience

All Arun Vijay needed was a producer, who had faith in his hero. He found him in his father-in-law and his Feather Touch Entertainments and the result was a spate of grossers — Malai Malai, Maanja Velu and Thadayara Thaaka. The combo is now gearing up to strike gold for the fourth time with Deal.

Frankly, TT with its strong line, lilting tunes and excellent action choreography deserved to have done even better at the BO. “Yeah, but the ‘A’ tag caused a slight dent. Despite violence being suggestive, we couldn’t manage a ‘U’ certification. And though it was doing really well we had to pull it out because some major films were awaiting release. But this time we are being very cautious. Deal will be a full-fledged entertainer, humorous and action-filled — all these with a U tag,” laughs Arun. “I’m confident it’ll also hit the bull’s eye.”

The audience that missed out TT at the cinemas caught it on YouTube. “And the response was tremendous. It’s had 21 lakh hits so far, and as I’m active on FB (account id - Arun Vijay) and Twitter - @arunvijayno1 their feedback has boosted my morale. If this encouragement gets converted into tickets at the theatres, Deal should be in the safe zone,” is Arun’s calculation. For that the film has to appeal to youth, the main segment of theatre goers. “Exactly, that’s why we have packaged Deal with utmost care. It will cater to our target audience, the youth, and satisfy the family crowd too.”

Why has he allowed a gap between TT and Deal? Shouldn’t he have struck when the iron was hot? “Come on, it’s not been long. I did get offers after TT, but the roles were on similar lines,” he explains. “We were clear that it had to be a proper entertainer. When Sivagnanam met me with a teaser of the film he had planned, I was impressed with his professional approach and self-confidence. Even at the shooting spot, for a first timer he was very sure of himself. Every shot was perfectly planned.” Sivagnanam was co-director to Panneerselvam, who made the critically acclaimed Renigunta. “Deal will be very different from TT. Fast paced, it follows the action-packed travel of the protagonist,” says Arun.

The rapport between Arun and Magizh Thirumeni, the director of TT, was evident and the surmise was the successful duo would team up again. “Probably we wished to take a break from each other,” Arun guffaws. “But we could be teaming up again soon, and this time it will be for an outside banner. It should be a film that takes us to the next level.”

In the past five years it has only been home productions for Arun. “Now that I have proved my viability, I’m looking at outside projects,” says Arun. That Arun plays a light-hearted role in Deal should be a welcome change, because be it Paandavar Bhoomi, Iyarkai or Jananam it was always seriousness and sobriety with a dash of action. Satish (of Edhir Neechal fame) plays Arun’s friend, veteran Renuka plays his mom, Jayaprakash will be seen in a strong character and Vamsi, the villain of TT, continues to be the baddie in Deal along with dance master Kalyan.

What about the heroine? “It’s a bold, performance-backed role and we were keen we needed an actor who could deliver. Karthika was very effective in Ko and she had just begun work on Bharatiraaja’s Annakodiyum. So we brought her on board,” says the hero.

But for the director, cameraperson (Gopi) and action choreographer (Rajasekar), the rest of the technical team of TT is part of Deal. “Thaman’s music will be another highpoint,” says Arun. We’ve ensured that the songs in Deal don’t hamper the pace. We have montage numbers too.”

Is the shooting complete? “The talkie is over. Only a couple of songs have to be filmed.”

After a pause Arun adds, “I’m constantly looking out for challenging roles. I want to surprise the audience with every film. Deal is in that direction.”