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Interview Team : Jyothsna; Arjun

Director Sasi who has given us films like Poo, Dishyum, Roja Koottam is ready with his next offering Pichaikkaran with Vijay Antony as the lead. The film is ready to hit the screens this Friday the 4th March and Sasi discusses about the film with Senior Editor Jyothsna Bhavanishankar


How was Pichaikkaran conceived?

I came across a true incident in a newspaper which I turned into a film.


Did you keep Vijay Antony in mind when you wrote the story?

Till now, I have never written a story, keeping any hero in mind, but I have started that pattern now. In  the future, I might write a story having a hero’s dates in mind.

Pichaikkaran is about a millionaire. Vijay Antony’s looks perfectly fitted my vision of the key character in the story. That’s how he became part of this film.


What is Pichaikkaran all about?

Just because the title is Pichaikkaran, don’t jump to the conclusion that I have come to talk about beggars and their lives. Bala has already done that in Naan Kadavul. I wanted to add a tagline – a story of a millionaire. But for some reasons, I did not do that. As I said earlier, this is the story of a millionaire. He leads a life of a beggar for some time in his life. The experiences during that period, his learning curve, the difference between the same people he came across while he was a rich man and later when he turned a beggar- these are the aspects I had discussed in my film. It is a unique story.

Bala has already done that in Naan Kadavul


Vijay Antony as a producer/actor/music director


When I finished narrating the story to him, Vijay Antony said, “Let’s do this like a Korean film”. As a producer Vijay Antony was ready to do anything, spend any amount of money. But I was very keen on one thing.  I don’t want my producer to incur loss because of me. It’s ok if I don’t get my salary. The reason I am saying this, if I had shot the film like a Korean film as per Vijay’s wish, it would have taken around 150 days of shooting. He might have said this as a producer but as a conscientious director, it was my duty to spell out the details to him. I am completely aware of the business for me and Vijay Antony in the industry. I chose my path and completed the shoot in 67 days and Vijay was always supportive.


There were many scenes in the film that required Vijay Antony to move around in busy, crowded places and beg for money from people, which he did without hesitation. People in fact booed him saying that why can’t he go, earn a  decent living when he actually looked fit and healthy. For a background shot, he slept in a platform along with many beggars for more than forty minutes. These are just a few examples of his dedication.

Music Director

Vijay Antony was introduced as a music director in my film Dishoom. That’s our first combination where we chose five from thirteen songs that he had composed.  In this film, I told the situation and he composed; after I okayed it, he completed and showed it to me. This was a new experience. Since I had okayed in the beginning, there were not any major correction. I was satisfied on that count too.

Vijay Antony slept in a platform along with many beggars 



Satna Titus is from Kerala and was supposed to be in Saleem but could not be there for some reasons. So when Vijay Antony showed her photographs for this film, I was fine with her looks and when I auditioned her, she passed the test. That’s how she came into the project.


Supporting cast

Vazhakku Enn 18/9 Muthuraman and Bucks (Bagavathy) play important roles. They have done extraordinarily well. They made me feel that I could have done a full length feature film with them.


How did you go ahead with a title Pichaikkaran?

My titles have been Poo, Roja Koottam and the likes. This title was entirely Vijay Antony’s choice. You can even say that he was adamant on this title. At this juncture, I would like to express in very crude term that Antony has a thara local taste and that’s why he gets naakka mookka, dilamo dilamo and the likes. He knows the pulse of the front benchers thoroughly.

Having said that, I would like to reiterate that this title is 500% appropriate for this film. Vijay told me that I would know the worth of the title during the release of the film. Pichaikkaran was sold even before the audio launch which is a rarity these days and is a very difficult thing to achieve. When the distributor was probed to find out why he was buying the film, he said, “I look at the confidence with which you have titled the film and I am sure about the product and that’s why I am buying it”.

Vijay Antony knows the pulse of the front benchers thoroughly


Why is there a gap between your films?

Usually I take a 2.5 to 3 years gap, but for Pichaikkaran, it is a shorter break I should say. I am afraid and apprehensive that I might lose the name that I had earned so far by making a mistake with my film. Therefore, I take time to conceive a story that transcends time. I am not saying I am successful in it, but I am trying with every film of mine.


My first raw material is the story. I keep analyzing what would be different in it and  how would it attract the audience. I am not someone who will go with a big hero, heroine and a music director and cook up some story. I have not got that kind of a life. As a believer in a good story,  I need to get attracted towards it, I need to work on it and then bring it to shape. This takes time. After this, when I wait for the hero, it takes some more time.

I am not someone who will go with a big hero, heroine and a music director and cook up a story


When will you direct Vijay and Ajith?

I have just now come to Vijay Antony, Vijay will happen soon. I am walking towards the goal, it will happen soon

I have just now come to Vijay Antony, Vijay will happen soon


How is it to teach BOFTA students?

Whatever I know, I am teaching and I am learning a lot from the students. I am discovering from them, what should be narrated and to what an extent something has to be communicated for the current audience. Their thought processes are in unimaginative terrains. This is new to me. I am someone who has learnt from the books but they have equipped themselves from the digital media. That perspective is new and useful to me.  

But whatever be the time period or the audience, one thing that will always remain permanent is –heart touching stories alone will succeed. Value for that will always be high as we are all human beings and can relate to such stories. People who work with heart touching stories need not get scared. Only people who rely on grandeur should be on tenterhooks as to what they are going to do next.

Heart touching stories alone will succeed


These days social media play a major role in deciding the fate of a film. What is your take on it?

It cannot be avoided. In the olden days, we were talking in tea shops and barber shops but now that place has been taken over by social media. Communication and exchange of ideas were always there. Now it is in digital form, that’s all!  We need to accept that and swivel that for our benefit. After some time, there would come a time, when this form would get stale and something else may take up its place. We don’t have to fear about it. If we give good films we don’t have to fear social media.


Wish you the best Sasi for Pichaikkaran!


Jyothsna Bhavanishankar



We were talking in tea shops and barber shops but now that place has been taken over by social media



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