T. KRITHIKA REDDY
With ‘Arumugam’ set for release next week, actor Bharath opens up on ‘real’ scripts, working with reputed directors, staying power, hip-hop and more.
Actor Bharath is busier than a bee buzzing over the honeycomb. Despite back-to-back shooting schedules, he takes time off for a nakhra-free chat. His last film ‘Seval’ was many moons ago. ‘Arumugam,’ slated for release next Friday, has a big canvas, and is directed by famous director Suresh Krissna. Over to the oh-so-buoyant Bharath:
ALL ABOUT ARUMUGAM It’s a film with all the ingredients of a mass entertainer. When the director narrated the script, I liked it instantly. ‘Arumugam’ is about a simple boy, who loves his mother deeply. He cannot come to terms with her death. Ramya Krishnan plays the powerful antagonist a la Nilambari in ‘Padayappa.’ The clash between her and the hero forms the crux of the film. There’s a smorgasbord of emotions involved.
DIRECTOR’S CUT Suresh Krishna is an unassuming director. Despite having given scores of successful films involving top stars, there’s an air of amiability about him. I’m used to a loud acting school. But here, he taught me to emote with my eyes. The film is replete with subtle emotions. It was a learning experience.
ROMANTIC RENDEZVOUS The love portions involving Priya Mani and myself are laced with humour. She’s a natural actor and our on-screen chemistry is good.
JAB HE COPIED There is so much buzz about ‘Kanden Khadalai,’ a remake of Bollywood hit ‘Jab We Met.’ It’s a tricky job to re-do a film that’s made a huge impact on the audience. There’s no point in tweaking the script or improving upon someone’s acting. So we just stuck to the original, except for some minor changes to suit our milieu. I simply did what the Hindi film lead Shahid Kapoor had done. I just copied his nuances. I knew if I tried something new, the soul of the script would be lost.
UPCOMING FILMS My ‘Thambikku Intha Ooru’ with director Badri is about a foreign-born hero who tries to trace his roots. Again a commercial entertainer, the script travels from one location to another. The other film I’ve been pencilled in for is ‘Tiruthani.’ It’s special because it’s my second film with director Perarasu (after ‘Pazhani’). It’s about a carefree hero who is suddenly faced with responsibilities in life.
STEPS TO FAME Yes, dance did help me gain recognition in showbiz. Till today, people remember me as the boy in ‘Boyz’ who danced with gay abandon. I am trying to experiment with different Western genres. In ‘Thambikku Intha Ooru’ for instance, I’ve tried a bit of hip-hop. It’s time we tried other forms as well — instead of just following our filmi/ folk steps. With the right music and interesting camerawork, dance numbers can enhance a film.
‘REAL’ FILMS I think Tamil cinema is getting more real. Film makers are realising the importance of realism. Some of the recent sleeper hits have proved that you don’t need velvety visuals, flamboyant song sequences or unbelievable action to make a film work. What’s important is the script. It has to be close to reality to strike a chord with the audience. I watched ‘Nadodigal’ recently, I was bowled over by its fresh script and simplicity.
VARIETY FARE I’ve been lucky to have worked with so many reputed directors. And it so happened that my scripts have traversed a wide range — from offbeat stories (think ‘Veyil’ and ‘Emdan Magan’) to commercial potboilers (think ‘Pazhani,’ ‘Seval’ and ‘Nepali’).
I had no godfather in the industry. It was director Shankar who realised my dancing potential and signed me up for ‘Boyz.’ My career graph shows a mixture of hits and misses. I’ve taken the rough-and-tumble of tinsel town in my stride. Thankfully, hardwork pays. And I’m here to stay — sans regrets. Twenty films in seven years is quite a number, you’d agree.