interview Director K.V. Anand gets candid on the making of ‘Brothers’

Even as the audience’ memory of Rangam is still alive, director K.V. Anand’s next Brothers (Maatraan in Tamil) is striking the theatres on October 12. Lot of research and detailing went into the movie, says the director.

“Each director has a different point of view. I have shown the twins not as abnormal people but as the blessed ones. There are eight kinds of conjoined twins. But we are presenting only the concept. It has all the emotions. I ensured logic and realism but made a commercial film out of that.”

The director says Brothers (Maatraan in Tamil) was inspired by an article he read while on a Chennai-bound flight about Thai twins.

The article was about Eng and Chang who lived in the 19th century and he found their lives interesting and then thought of making a movie about conjoined twins.

He was always intrigued about how they could love a girl, what they would do after the marriage etc. Anand elaborates, “An American company gave them a job and after completion they got married to twins and each couple had seven children, but they remained conjoined till death. But they have nothing to do with the film. Right in the beginning I show how they are born, how they go to school, the toilet, how they bathe, how they react when a girl sees them — all that is necessary for the film. There is no celebration of abnormality.”

The auteur informs that he had not seen Charulatha but did watch the Thai original alone. His assistants watched the film and said it bears no resemblance to Brothers. Brothers went to the sets six months before Charulatha did, he informs.

Anand recollects conducting the first photo shoot for Suriya when he was 23, and was the cinematographer for his debut film Nerrukku Ner. He avers,

“He was pure like milk and very innocent. I didn’t think he would survive in this industry but he’s a great learner and Ameer, Gautam Menon and Bala’s films sculpted him as an actor. He still retains that innocence but has become lot more professional. I narrated this story to him before Ayan (Veedokade) , he was my first choice but I wasn’t sure of the VFX etc. While I was busy with Rangam , he called me and asked if we could do that story. As an actor he’s aware of the difficulties involved in that film, he appeared to me like a bird getting into my cage and I grabbed the opportunity.”

Having gone through the complexity and the laborious process involved in the making of the film, Anand is very emphatic about not directing a remotely similar subject or genre if offered again; It is a cinematographer’s duty to focus on double role characters but when it comes to a story like Brothers the director’s involvement is imperative till the finish. He heaps praises on Suriya who went out of his way to make it perfect.

“Suriya gave 110 days for one character and 35 days for the other. The VFX man said that the look was bad at the head and we went for an 18-day re-shoot. He had to dance twice. Also without the team the film wouldn’t have been possible. We shot most of it in Latvia. There is not even an unnecessary 5 seconds in the film.”

Anand is equally in awe of his heroine. “Kajal is very sharp, even before I finish instructions, she is ready with the dialogue. We are aiming for a October 12 release. I’m happy and tense too, happy because the film turned out as per my expectation, tense about the audience’s reaction. It’s like waiting for an exam result.”

y. sunita chowdhary