A throwback to the 90s

A chat with filmmaker Vijay Kumar, whose thriller Uriyadi just hit screens

Updated - December 05, 2021 09:06 am IST

Published - May 27, 2016 01:13 pm IST - Chennai

A still from Uriyadi

A still from Uriyadi

Vijay Kumar was your typical IT employee, jumping from one company to another for eight years, till he couldn’t take it any more.

Like many of us, he was interested in films too. After watching a movie, he would dissect it and go into the whys and hows of the plot. He was so much in love with the medium that he knew that he had to get into cinema someday.

Between 2004 and 2007, he started writing scripts, hoping they’d become films someday. In 2007, he got himself a Canon 5D and made a short film on eye donation.

It was an ordinary effort, he admits, but that led him to the popular TV show Naalaiya Iyakkunar , where he impressed the filmmakers on the jury.

But Vijay’s journey into tinseltown was cut short by an untimely accident. At the same time, his then employer (Infosys) offered him a project in the U.S. Cinema had to wait.

“In the U.S., I wrote a script, scrapped it, and started work on another,” recalls Vijay. When he knew he had a grip on the subject, he quit his job and fine-tuned the script for a year, putting down on an “an excel sheet every shot angle, actor position, props, etc”.

That is Uriyadi , which released on Friday. A political thriller about two friends who seek to take revenge on the men who attacked their friend, Uriyadi — going by the trailer — has a good dose of violence.

“But I’ve not glamourised it,” clarifies Vijay, who also stars in the film. “The only reason the trailer had those action blocks was to send out a message to the audience that this is a violent product. I didn’t want to cheat them by putting in a comedy line or two.”

But, there’ll be a few light-hearted college scenes in the first half, before things take a different path in the second, informs the filmmaker.

The film was completed in October 2013, after which Vijay screened it to director Nalan Kumarasamy (of Soodhu Kavvum fame) and his partner Sameer Bharat Ram.

They loved what they saw and got on board, roping in a new editor to tighten the sequences and getting the band, Masala Coffee, to come up with some songs.

Uriyadi is set entirely in the year 1999. “It doesn’t really matter…because what takes place in the film is happening even today,” he says.

Promoting it right

A small film featuring newcomers needs massive promotions, and Uriyadi , on its part, roped in actors such as Arvind Swami and Siddharth to be part of some interesting videos. While the former recited a Bharatiyar verse in one of the teasers, the latter crooned an unplugged version of ‘Maane’.

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