Director Rajesh
Interviewer : Inian | Camera : Balaji | Text : Jyothsna Bhavanishankar
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Rajesh, who made everyone take notice of him in his very first film Siva Manasula Sakthi, is ready with his next, Boss Engira Baskaran with Arya and Nayanthara. He spoke to on the film, his project with Udhayanidhi Stalin and many more.

Your entry into the film world

Hi, I am Rajesh the director of Siva Manasula Sakthi. I am currently doing Boss Engira Baskaran which is nearing completion. I am an electronics and communications engineer and was working in Mumbai for sometime after my graduation in an ad company. I did many short films as an assistant director. This experience was very useful to me. It was at that time I got to work with director Ameer in just one schedule in his Mounam Pesiyade. It was a big breakthrough for me. I was not able to work continuously with him due to health issues.

After this, I worked with SA Chandrashekar in Sukran, Nenjirukkum Varai and a couple of films which helped me learn the important aspects of cinema like planning, scheduling, costing etc. Later, as I wanted to start on my own, I readied the script of Siva Manasula Sakthi and was approaching people. And then I got the golden opportunity to narrate the story to Srinivasan sir, MD of Vikatan, who told me that if he did not like the script, he will stop me in 15 minutes and I can leave as both our times are precious. It was fine with me and I started narrating the story. He liked it and immediately started on other formalities. That’s how I finished my first film with a lot of support and encouragement from Srinivasan sir of Vikatan.

My main objective was to bring repeat audience to my films which I think I have succeeded to a large extent. And many people have appreciated our work-acting of Jeeva, Santhanam and Anuya, Yuvan’s music, Sakthi Saravanan’s camera – it was a team work. All in all, it was a very pleasant experience.

In SMS, Arya had done a cameo and we became good friends. Hence when I decided to work for my next film with Arya, Vaasan Visual Ventures, who had done Naan Kadavul, had Arya’s dates and we formed a team to make Boss Engira Baskaran which can also be termed as a family entertainer. Unlike SMS, hero and heroine don’t fight in BEB. Baskaran is Arya’s name in the film which is about a small chapter in his life. Humor would run through in this film too. Arya and Nayanthara combination is new and they have performed well in BEB. Santhanam and Arya’s combination has worked out well. The same team of SMS is there in BEB also like cinematographer Sakthi Saravanan and music director Yuvan.

It is a common practice to call everyone as Boss these days. Hence the title of Boss Engira Bhaskaran appealed to me.

How was SMS received?

My main objective is that my film should be liked by the audience. I did not make a film to win awards or to please the critics. As an audience, I liked many films and had gone to the theatres repeatedly to watch them. In the same manner, I wanted to deliver such a film and I had targeted my work for a particular group of audience who liked SMS. However, there were also criticisms and negative feedbacks which I took positively in my stride and told myself that I would avoid such mistakes in future.

I did not make a film to win

awards or to please the critics

SMS, BEB - Did you plan for such titles?

No, I never planned that way and it just happened.

How was it to work with Ameer?

I worked for a very short period with Ameer - 20 days in Mounam Pesiyade. Although it was his first film, his work was like that of an established director. I clearly recall critic Madhan’s words that good films can be expected from Ameer and his words have come true. Ameer is taking Tamil cinema to a higher level. It was a good experience working with Ameer.

How did you convince the producer for BEB?

I had just an idea and not the entire script when I was discussing with the producers about BEB. After I completed the script, we met Arya and he was also impressed. Till this time Arya has not done a full-length comedy film and he found the script of BEB new and challenging. He understood that it is a new genre which would fetch him good name. And that’s how everything fell in place.

Did Arya and Nayanthara meet your expectations?

To be honest, both of them have exceeded my expectations. We had many rounds of discussions about their characterizations and there were good inputs from Arya’s side too. Yes, what I had expected from the characters of Baskaran and Chandrika, both of them have delivered it.

Nayanthara was very disciplined

and punctual

It is said that Nayanthara is troublesome at shoots. Your comment?

I have never had any such experiences. As far as BEB was concerned, Nayanthara was very disciplined and punctual. She was extremely professional too. She used to report for an 8 AM shoot at 7.15 AM with complete make up. She went to her caravan only when ‘pack up’ was announced. I have only one complaint against Nayanthara. She used to come very early to the shooting spot even before we could ready the location.

Tell us something about Arya?

Arya is very friendly. He cooperated completely during shooting and dubbing also. As there are many dialogues in the film, he dubbed for BEB for almost a month with total involvement.

Who is Udayanidhi's heroine? How did you convince him?

I knew Udayanidhi was trying to make his entry as hero but I am not aware of who gave him a narration and such things. When I got a chance to meet him, he told me that he is not for over-build up and heroism kind of film. He said that he is interested in a lively, sensible film which can be watched by everyone. He also told he liked my SMS which was trendy and liked by youth. I felt Udayanidhi can do a love story and told him a one liner of a love story which he liked and he immediately accepted. All other aspects like heroine, music director and technicians are not finalized. I will begin Udayanidhi’s project once I am completely done with BEB.

About Yuvan's music?

Yuvan is working with me for the second time and he has given me good numbers in BEB. Yuvan delivers best music when he is undisturbed. Once we tell him the situation and don’t torture him with our interferences and let him do his work, we get the best outputs. I got such results in SMS - oru kal oru kannadi, eppadiyo maatikitta and a small bit oru paarvaiyil pooka vaithal - which became huge hits. Even in BEB, I never disturbed him and he has given me good songs. We have a good understanding. In BEB, there are five numbers and each one of them belongs to a different variety - western, melody, folk number and so on. When I met him for re-recording, he added one more song saying that it would be a nice addition to the flow of the film. My gut feel is Yaarinda pendaan endru ketten from BEB will be a great hit. Na Muthukumar has penned all the lyrics and the combination has worked well.

Yuvan delivers best music when

he is undisturbed

What is Lakshmi Ramakrishnan's role in BEB?

Lakshmi Ramakrishnan is Arya’s mother in BEB. I liked her performance in Nadodigal. Her role in BEB would render a variety in her career.

If you want to be happy, watch


Why should one see BEB?

If you want to be happy, watch BEB. When someone is stressed and depressed, please watch BEB as the film will make you completely happy. I believe BEB will lighten you up. I feel a film should either give you happiness or hope. BEB will give both.

When are you going to do films with Ajith and Vijay?

I don’t know. As of now, such opportunities have not come my way and after BEB I will be working with Udhaynidhi.

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