Cinema

A serious turn

Vadivelu in 'Tenaliraman'  

When filmmaker Yuvaraj Dhayalan, who turned 27 recently, was selected by comedian Vadivelu to direct his crucial comeback film, Tenaliraman, it surprised everyone. The odds weren’t in his favour: he is young and his debut film Potta Potti 50-50 didn’t make much impact.

“I felt I was walking on thin ice when I started,” he says. How long did it take for him to convince the actor to do this film? “It took around 10 days for him to fully listen to the script. And even as I was narrating it, he would act out certain scenes and ask for my feedback. His involvement really calmed my nerves.”

Despite Vadivelu being accommodative of his views, it wasn’t easy for Yuvaraj. “It took a while for the team to get used to taking instructions from a 26-year-old. Also, I had to work with 350-400 junior artistes in many of the scenes.”

The original idea was to adapt Birbal’s stories. “But then, I read somewhere that Vadivelu had expressed the desire to act in the adaptation of Tenali Raman tales,” he says.

Right from the beginning, Yuvaraj knew that commercial success was essential for his career. But there was also another challenge: how could he rebrand Vadivelu to an audience that has known him for too long?

“We have seen him getting manhandled in movies so far and I didn’t want my film to feature the actor in that mould. There is another side to Vadivelu — his understanding of social issues. This is the side that I have tried to capture.”


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Printable version | Nov 25, 2021 11:32:11 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/cinema/a-serious-turn/article5879509.ece

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