TAMIL NADU

Realistic film-making

Realistic film-making

Realistic film-making  

HE'S `MORE than a guru', director Vasanth gets started on the veteran director K. Balachander. ``I've been so mad about him. I've even seen his films with the NCC dress. I never thought I would meet him, let alone work with him. I adore him,'' the bearded director continues.

To get deeper into the flashback, fate had it that Vasanth was working as a freelance reporter with Indian Express and laterSavi. ``I met KB for the first time when I was asked to meet him for Savi magazine. I entered the room, saw him cleaning a telephone. He's such a simple person that I knew I was talking to KB himself only after he told me,'' Vasanth recollects.

There started the relationship that spanned several discussions on `his' movies. ``I finished graduation and I was looking for a job,'' and the rest, as they say, is history. Vasanth got to work with KB on 18 films including `Sindhu Bhairavi', `Punnagai Mannan', `Puthu Puthu Arthangal' in nine years.

``He has been ahead of his time, right from Aval Oru Thodarkathai, Aboorva Ragangal or Avargal or the controversial Arangetram.

In actors we have Sivaji, in directors we have KB. He brought reputation to the role of a director.''

Not that KB has been the sole influence in his life. ``I like his films but it has nothing to do with the type of films I do. To do his type of films, he is there. I have been influenced by other directors too - Maniratnam, Balu Mahendra, Mahendran, Bharathi Raja. I am trying to be as realistic as possible,'' he explains his style of film-making.

Each of his nine films have dealt with different themes and Vasanth is pleased with his contribution to the industry in terms of `introductions'. ``I introduced Jyotika, Simran, Surya, Suvalakshmi and Aasai was a break for Ajith too,'' he smiles.

His next `Ay, Nee Romba Azhaga Irrukkae' stars Shaam, Sneha and Trisha, and features five music directors - Murugan, Ramesh Vinayagam, Jaishankar, Aravind and singer Srinivas.

``It's a youth love story due for release in April. Shooting starts in December,'' says Vasanth. The director in fact is also working on a couple of other scripts - one for The Banyan, an initiative to create awareness on mental illness and portray the issue in the right context (the likes of `Sethu' give a misleading picture, he says).

``There is a market for realistic films,'' Vasanth asserts. The other script that Vasanth is working on is his `9-30 to 10'. ``It's a love story with Rahman's music. The caption for the film is `love unlimited','' he says. Vasanth incidentally conceptualised and wrote the script for the `Noorthukku Nooru' show - a tribute to his mentor.

By Sudhish Kamath

Recommended for you