interview As Sukumar wraps up his Mahesh-starrer ‘1- Nenokkadine’, he tells y. sunita chowdhary it’s sheer coincidence that all his heroes are bespactacled
Pinning down an elusive director like Sukumar for a tete-a-tete is an impossible task especially when he is wrapping up 1- Nenokkadine starring Mahesh and also when he has launched his production house Sukumar Entertainments Pvt. Ltd with two of his films scheduled to take off simultaneously. We found this math teacher-turned-director having a short but good time with his college buddies and a lecturer at the launch of his office recently.
One thing that strikes you suddenly is the visuals of his heroes sporting glasses — example Allu Arjun in Arya 2 , Naga Chaitanya in 100 % Love and now Mahesh in 1- Nenokkadine , he brushes it off saying it’s a mere coincidence. “Except a change in hairstyle, what more can you do to a hero’s look. I feel glasses can transform his appearance a bit. In our films a ‘Mr. Perfect’ is the one who wears spectacles and also people tend to think that the one who sports glasses is a good person.”
The director revels in giving a slight twist to his protagonist, in his background and character and leaves the audience to understand him as he unties the knots during narration and justifies his behaviour and makes us root for him. Sukumar however doesn’t like it when we say his men always have a shade of grey in them. He explains, “We all have a lot of emotions and we suppress most of them fearing rejection. Instead we sport a smile and move on in this world. Problems arise when we don’t enjoy all feelings like jealousy, selfishness and don’t express them. To achieve something, there must be a driving force and that could be jealousy which you term as negative. I still remember how envious I became when someone else scored more marks than me. What is wrong in accepting and expressing it? It is a pure emotion, tomorrow it might help you become a good person by driving you to work hard and score more marks.”
Sukumar admits that he invests a lot of energy and time on his films but what about money? He analyses the reasons for some of his films crossing budget limits. Remaining positive, he admits his flaws and expresses his eagerness to learn and rectify them. He avers, “I eat idli , you dosa and the quantum can be different. My priority is always to wrap up the film within the budget, I guess I will learn now since I am turning producer. There are many reasons why a film crosses the budget but the captain of the team should take the responsibility. I am travelling with these defects and with my experience as a producer, there could be a change in my decision making.”
The director says he completes writing a script in two months. The rest of the time is spent on execution; that takes around two years. He wants to be involved in a constant process of creativity and thinks being a producer will bring him that happiness. “I know what my assistant directors are capable of because they are always discussing some point or the other with me. I am very good at taking decisions pertaining to others but when it comes to me, I think ten times whether I am doing the right thing or not, ” he laughs.
There are many reasons why a film crosses the budget but the captain of the team should take the responsibility… with my experience as a producer, there could be a change in my decision making.