Gautham Vasudev Menon talks about why people should watch Neethane En Povasantham, which is releasing on December 14

They say winners don’t do different things, they just do things differently. Gautham Vasudev Menon has been doing just that, right from his first film, Minnale.

The director hasn’t changed one bit, if one is to go by what he has attempted in his next film, Neethane En Ponvasantham (NEP).

Says the popular director: “Neethane En Ponvasantham is a love story. Some people may wonder why I am still making love stories when new types of films are emerging. . But why not? Everybody still loves a good love story. What is important is the treatment; it will be new in NEP.”

What’s new about it? Simple, till now, audiences are introduced to the characters in a film only when they watch it in a theatre. Gautham, for a change, has attempted to introduce his characters to audiences even before they come to the theatres.

“When you watch this film, you will notice a title card that says ‘Moments from Varun-Nithya’s love story’. That’s what stands out in Neethane En Ponvasantham. The camera captures glimpses of these two people, right from the time they are kids, to the time they enter school, college and later.”

Gautham chose to disclose details about his lead characters, their names and looks through ads and trailers put out right from the time he started filming NEP — a refreshing move in an industry in which most directors try to keep even the looks of their characters a secret.

“From the time Varun and Nithya get introduced to each other till they are about 25, all the interesting moments in their lives cannot be encapsulated in two-and-a-half-hours. So, what I’m putting out now are some of the moments you might not see on screen. I want audiences to know who Varun and Nithya are even before they come to the theatres. The audience that wants to watch this film would have checked the trailers online and on TV,” says Gautham.

But what about those who haven’t watched the trailers? Will they be able to relate to the story? “Absolutely, it is not rocket science. It’s a simple, down-to-earth film which has friendship, love and travel in equal measure. Anybody will be able to relate to it.” Gautham says a number of factors have contributed to the delightful way NEP has shaped up. “The first is Raja sir’s music. The audio has fetched a good price and has created a buzz. The film, packed with songs, can be regarded as a musical. Next, I’ve got three very good actors — Jiiva, Nani, (who play the lead in the Tamil and Telugu versions) and Samantha, who is outstanding in the film. If things go well, there might be a sequel.”

Gautham is known for showcasing the finer aspects of relationships. Are they inspired by his life?

“Not every moment is from my life. But when I put the lead characters in a situation, I go back to what I have done in a situation like that, or think what I would have done,” says Gautham. But what is NEP about? “This film is about two people who are crazy about each other but somewhere things are not working out. It is about that 10 crucial minutes after a break up. What one does then assumes significance, with regard to making or marring the relationship.”

What does he plan to do next? There have been reports that he is planning to make Vinnai Thaandi Varuvaaya 2. The director clarifies, “After NEP, I’m not doing anything other than working on the Suriya film, which is big for me. Photon is producing it. I’m on the verge of finishing the script after which I’ll narrate it to him. Once that is done, we’ll announce the name of the project. It’s an action film that will conform to international standards. We intend to start this film on March 15.”

Finally, ask Gautham why people should watch NEP, and he says, “To know what love is.”

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