Thirumurugan is back with Muniyaandi Vilangiyal Moondram Andu, which has an enchanting rural backdrop
There is earthy charm in Thirumurugan’s creations, be it a television serial or a feature film. Em Magan, his first big-screen venture, boasted a robust storyline backed by rustic innocence. The film, in fact, owed its success to the realistic father-son relationship that this director from Karaikkudi portrayed, and it went on to win for Thirumurugan the State Government award for best director.
Awaiting the release of Muniyaandi Vilangiyal Moondram Aandu, his second film, that hits the marquee today, Thirumurugan talks about his work and experience in the industry. Excerpts from the interview:
Let’s begin with your beginnings in the industry…
Well, there is absolutely no family history. In fact, my film entry was a bolt from the blue to them. After graduating in zoology from Alagappa College, I applied for a course in direction at the film Institute, Chennai, without my family’s knowledge. I was lucky to get a seat, and here I am.
Was Metti Oli the first TV serial you directed?
No. I did many such as Chinnath Thirai-k-kathaigal, Akshaya, Sathyaa and Kaaveri. But, Metti Oli was my maiden mega serial, and I also wrote its story, again a first for me.
How did the transition to movies happen?
Even as Metti Oli topped the ratings, ‘Sathyajothi Films’ Thiyagarajan insisted that I direct a film for his banner. Once I was through with the serial, I finalised a script. He loved it and Emdan Magan was born. (It was later rechristened Em Magan).
The father is a strong character in Em Magan. Was he fashioned after someone you knew?
Yes, my father. Our relationship was very similar. When my father saw the climax of the movie, he was in tears. Overcome by emotion, I too left the theatre without meeting him.
Why this long gap between your first and second film?
My father passed away a few months after the release of Em Magan, and I was deeply affected. But the birth of my daughter cheered me up, and I picked up my pen again to script Muniyaandi Vilangiyal… Incidentally, Muniyaandi is my father’s name.
But, it’s a rather lengthy title. Did you have tax exemption at the back of your mind?
The Government’s announcement has been the reason for many good titles, I should say. I wanted to have a title reflecting the theme. The story revolves around a college in a rural area, and it is about how a small family is affected by caste politics, love and other problems.
Is it autobiographical?
Not exactly. But it is based on some real incidents.
It’s the same combination — Bharath, Vadivelu, Vidyasagar and Thirumurugan — again.
But, with a different backdrop. Besides, we have added one more feather to our cap — Vairamuthu has joined our team.
Do you find any change in Bharath?
Yes… he has matured as an actor and his looks have also improved.
And, how is Poorna, your heroine?
She was selected from 200 new faces. She has done a good job; her dance movements are fantastic. Tell us something about Vadivelu’s role
Ah! He’s a part-time witch doctor! He is also an attendant in the college. The comedy, I can vouch, will blend with the story and cause a riot.
What do you think is the highlight of Muniyaandi?
The greenery, with all those farms and coconut groves, is breathtaking. We have shown a college situated in a rural area. Our cinematographer Vaithi has done a wonderful job. Four murders take place in the film, but we haven’t shown blood anywhere. Bhaskar Sakthi’s dialogues are very real. Will you return to the small screen?
After I finalise my next project. How can I forget my roots?
S. R. ASHOK KUMAR