Offbeat storyline, apt star cast, powerful script…director Sathyasiva reaches new heights with Kazhugu
The positive response to Kazhugu isn't a surprise — only a clear indicator that Tamil filmgoers welcome innovative subjects treated well. The cast with Krishna as the leading man, and the crew with Sathyasiva as helmsman, are happy that their attempt has got its due. Sathyasiva hasn't apprenticed under big names — director Panneerselvam who directed Thollaipaesi and Saravana Krishnan of Naesi aren't well-known. Yet, that producer Pattiyal Sekar's discerning sense saw enough potential in Sathyasiva and was willing to go with his Kazhugu, is commendable. “He liked the novelty in the line. It's been a seven-year struggle for me and I'm thankful to Sekar for launching this newcomer,” says Sathyasiva.
The milieu of Kazhugu is very new and could be one of the reasons for its success. Also, the story is both offbeat and powerful, and has humour woven into it in right measure. “Yeah, having been brought up in Munnar, I know and interact with these people, for whom scouting for bodies of mostly young men and women, who select the hills to jump to their death, is a profession. Not many know about them. So viewers have found the subject fresh,” says Sathya.
But why are they shown as boozers and smokers throughout? “Because they are so. Otherwise their work could be unsettling. In fact, I had such a person with me throughout the shoot to help me with on-the-spot details vis-à-vis the job. And we spent more on his drinks and cigars than we did on his food,” Sathya laughs. “Krishna, Karunas and Thambi Ramaiah represent real corpse hunters.”
Of the three releases Krishna's had, this is the first time that the hero has made his presence felt. Again Karunas and Ramaiah are very apt choices. “Even when I wrote the script I decided on Karunas for the role. He's a comedian who can portray light and heavy moods with ease,” certifies Sathya.
The director must have done a lot of homework for the story and screenplay of Kazhugu. “I wrote the story in a jiffy. But gathering material to make it all authentic took me a year and a half. I'm glad the toil has been worth it.” The release of Kazhugu was unduly delayed, even after the film had been completed. “Yuvan Shankar Raja was too busy with other films and we had to wait for the RR. But eventually the output has been brilliant and that's what matters,” justifies Sathya.
A first-timer polishes his maiden script over and over again till it gains enough sheen. But his second film sometimes fails to live up to expectation because the director doesn't have as much time to work on it. “In my case, you won't find it so,” Sathya stops me short. “My second film, Muktha Srinivasan's home production, is a script which has been ready for long. In fact, I wanted it to be my debut. This time too I've chosen a backdrop which hasn't been showcased in our films. Viewers will surely find it unique,” is his confident stand.
If Sathya delivers again, he'd prove that Kazhugu wasn't a flash in the pan.