S.R.ASHOK KUMAR

Thirumurugan is back with ‘Muniyaandi Vilangiyal Moondram Andu’ that has an enchanting rural backdrop.

It’s a story centred on a college, spun around a small family. It will offer wholesome entertainment.

There is earthy charm in what Thirumurugan delivers, be it a television serial or a feature film. ‘Em Magan,’ his first venture, in fact, owes its success to the realistic father-son relationship that this director from Karaikkudi portrayed.

A robust storyline backed by rustic innocence made the film an instant hit, which went on to win for Thirumurugan the State Government award for best director.

Awaiting the release today of ‘Muniyaandi Vilangiyal Moondram Aandu’ (thereby hangs a tale), Thirumurugan talks about his work and commitment to the field. Excerpts from the interview:

Let’s begin with your beginning…

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 Azhagappa College, I quietly applied for direction course in the film Institute, Chennai. The family didn’t know about it. I was lucky to be admitted and here I am.

Was ‘Metti Oli’ the first serial you directed?

No. ‘Chinnath Thirai-k-kathaigal,’ ‘Nallur Kaaval Nilayam,’ ‘Akshaya,’ ‘Panchavarnakkili,’ ‘Sathyaa,’ ‘Kaaveri…’ were all directed by me. But ‘Metti Oli’ was the first mega serial and for the first time I directed a story that I had written.

And how did the transition happen?

Even as ‘Metti Oli’ topped the charts, Mr Thiyagarajan of Sathyajothi Films insisted that I direct a film for his banner. Through with the mega serial, I finalised a script and showed it to him. He loved it and ‘Em(don) Magan’ was born.

The father is a strong character in ‘Em Magan.’ Was he fashioned out of someone you knew?

Yes, my father. Our relationship was something 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?

My father passed away a few months after the release of ‘Em Magan.’ I was deeply affected. But the birth of my daughter cheered me up and I picked up my pen again to script ‘Muniyaandi Vilangiyal…’ Muniyaandi, incidentally, is my father’s name.

But it is a rather lengthy title. Did you have tax exemption at the back of your mind?

The Government’s announcement has been the cause of many good titles, I should say. I wanted to have a title reflecting the theme. It’s a story centred on a college in a village.

It is about a small family, and how it is affected by caste politics, love and some unique problems.

It is a wholesome entertainment of romance, comedy, action and sentiment in a beautiful rural backdrop.

Is it autobiographical?

Not exactly. But it is based on some real incidents.

Again it is the same combination — Bharath, Vadivelu, Vidyasagar and Thirumurugan…

But with a different backdrop, the dimension will be different. And now we have added one more feather to our cap – Vairamuthu has joined the team.

Do you find any change in Bharath?

Yes… he has matured and is now physically well-built.

About Poorna…

She was selected out of 200 new faces. She has done a good job; her dance movements were fantastic.

What would you highlight as ‘Muniyaandi’s’ speciality?

The greenery, with all those farms and coconut groves. It is breathtaking. We have shown a real rural college, raw and lively. Our cinematographer Vaithi has done a wonderful job. There are four murders happening but we haven’t shown blood anywhere. Bhaskar Sakthi’s dialogue is based on realism.

About Vadivelu’s role

Ah! The part-time witch doctor! He is an attendant in the college. The comedy, I can vouch, will blend with the story and cause a riot.

Will you return to the small screen?

Of course. After I finalise my next project perhaps. How can I forget my roots?