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Vishal is gearing up for his next release, Thoranai, a bi-lingual again, says Malathi Rangarajan

Interacting with seasoned police officers, seeking their advice on many aspects of the role and working out relentlessly to keep himself fighting fit — Vishal gave his utmost to the character he played in Sathyam. Its fate at the turnstiles must have been disconcerting. “No way, quite a few sympathised with me. But my dad has always told me to keep doing my job, irrespective of the results,” says Vishal. More than bravado, the words are those of a young man who doesn’t give up.

His next

Now Vishal is all set to return with a bang. Saba Ayyappan wields the megaphone for Vishal’s next release, Thoranai, said to be a ‘search drama’ “You could describe it so,” laughs Vishal. Thoranai is the story of a man who comes to the city looking for his lost brother. Surprisingly, the debacle of Sathyam hasn’t deterred its hero from teaming up with a first-time helmsman once again. “I’ve always been working with new directors. And I stand by Rajasekar (the director of Sathyam). I feel he worked to the best of his ability,” he reasons. Sad that his best wasn’t good enough! But at some point the output ought to have rung a warning bell — after all Sathyam was a home production. “Let’s be practical. We are filmmakers, not astrologers.”

Vishal avers that he goes by his gut feeling when accepting or rejecting an offer. “Intuition decides my career moves,” he smiles.

Vishal prefers to work in one film at a time. “Working in a film is like being with a girlfriend. You have to be loyal to it till it lasts,” he laughs aloud.

Before Sathyam he had plans of donning the director’s cap. “But post Sathyam I decided I needed more time.”

Vishal loves comedy. “I’m a great fan of Goundamani,” he guffaws. He attempted a little humour in Thamirabharani and more in Malaikkottai. “But just wait for Thoranai, where the accent is on healthy fun.” He is equally thrilled about acting with Prakash Raj for the first time.

“We also have Kishore, (remember his brilliant portrayal in the recent Vennila Kabaddi Kuzhu?), Lal, and of course, Shriya Saran, a long time buddy. I was nervous when I first shot with Prakash Raj. I don’t think I felt that way even when I stood before the camera for the first time. It was a scene in which I confront him. The way he rolled his eyes and delivered the dialogue was incredible. I was so anxious to have the scene canned. An out-of-the-world experience,” he goes on.

According to Vishal, if the music of a film is a chartbuster half the battle is won. “And Mani Sharma’s score for Thoranai will be one of the best albums of my career so far,” he says. Having brother Vikram Krishna as producer is a major plus for Vishal. “We have experienced failure together. Vikram has a lot of knowledge as a creator. And when I do a film for him, my responsibility is more. All the same we have our share of arguments,” he smiles.

After Thoranai Vishal will begin work on TheeraadhaVilayaattu Pillai, an outside project to be directed by Thiru, a newcomer again.

Much of the shooting of Thoranai is taking place in Hyderabad. Incidentally, the film is a bi-lingual — it will be called Pista in Telugu. Working in two languages simultaneously should have its advantages, “Yes … and disadvantages too,” he smiles. “The work is two-fold as we shoot with a different cast (except of course the main players) for each language and we have to find a script that would appeal to the tastes of filmgoers in both the States. The advantage is that you cater for a wider audience and hence the popularity is more.”

The Thoranai unit is moving to Ladakh for shoot. “I’m excited. I’ve always wanted to shoot in the Himalayas,” says Vishal. With a home production backing him to the hilt, anything is possible.

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