''I COULD SEE AN ARSHAD WARSI IN UDHAYANIDHI''

Interview Team : Arjun, L Karthik, Thanveer, Venkat, Jyothsna

A conversation with a director is something special. The only person able to throw enough light on the efforts behind the screen is the director. In that manner, the talk we held with director I.Ahmed, the man behind films like Endrendrum Punnagai and Vamanan threw great luminosity on his latest work, Manithan, which is a collaboration with Udhayanidhi Stalin.

''I could see an Arshad Warsi in Udhayanidhi''

How did Manithan come into being? Udhay actually said he was the one who approached you.

Right after Endrendrum Punnagai, Udhay had called me asking if we both could collaborate

Yes he is right. Actually right after Endrendrum Punnagai, he had called me asking if we both could collaborate. I accepted right away, because I held some gratitude towards him since he released my film Endrendrum Punnagai. Also working under a giant banner such as Red Giant Movies seemed like the best choice. Actually we were to work together on a love story titled Idhayam Murali but we had to keep it aside since it involved a high budget. So that’s how Manithan came into being.



Why did you decide to remake Jolly LLB?

When I watched Jolly LLB, I felt a lot more could have been done in the film

As I said we were to actually work on a script titled Idhayam Murali. While writing the script I didn’t expect that the project would turn out to be an expensive one so we kept it aside. Now, ever since Endrendrum Punnagai, people have been approaching me for working on a movie of the same genre. But I personally wanted to do something different. I wanted to work on a serious plot rather than a jolly, feel good one. While this thought was running inside me I watched Jolly LLB and I felt a lot more could have been done in the film. So that’s when I decided to remake Jolly LLB



Whenever a movie is being remade, there is a common question arising stating that ‘Why can’t they think on their own.’ How do you respond to this?

Irrespective of whoever is watching the film they will realize that I have made great changes to the script.

If I had to remake the film as it is I wouldn’t have done it. Irrespective of whoever is watching the film they will realize that I have made great changes to the script without spoiling the soul of the film. I also agree that there is no point in remaking a film as it is, saying the same story over again. But this is something like when a person sings a cover version of a song. Even though they are capable of composing their own song, they are really impressed by the song and are showing how the song could have been sung in another way.



Generally speaking are remakes a chance for movie makers to go on the safer side?

If I were to go on the safer side I would’ve chosen to remake a film which is a box office hit.

No. If I were to go on the safer side I would’ve chosen to remake a film which is a box office hit of the century. Jolly LLB, on the other hand, is a very refined film which won a National Award. I didn’t go for the numbers. I went for the feel and message the film was based on. I was proud to remake this film.



Udhay as an actor. How will you review the actor Udhay?

Udhay has performed on par with senior actors like Prakash Raj and Radha Ravi.

Udhay is a very very sensible guy. Being a producer and  actor at the same time, he knows what works and what doesn’t work. His ability to judge a script for it’s value is very strong. That is why even though he produced commercial films like Kuruvi, he also produced artistic movies like Myna. He wants to be a better actor, a better dancer, a better performer. He is constantly pushing himself and I could see that fire in him while he was working on this movie.I could see an Arshad Warsi in him.He has performed on par with senior actors like Prakash Raj and Radha Ravi.



Who made the call to choose Santhosh Narayanan as the film’s composer?

Santhosh as a composer isn’t afraid to experiment with sounds.

Choosing Santhosh was actually my call.  This film has a satirical touch to it. Santhosh as a composer isn’t afraid to experiment with sounds. He is the person who actually doesn’t want to take the taken path. I felt my sensibilities worked with his, which I liked very much. He is musically very strong and his work has elevated the film’s feel. Music for my previous film was composed by Harris, who is a great friend of mine. What happened was, we wanted to come out of our comfort zone and that is what led to the selection of Santhosh as the movie’s composer.



A new wave of directors has risen. Names like Atlee, Karthik Subbaraj come up. In that list who has impressed you the most?

The guts it takes for a director to do something different needs to lauded.

You are right, everyday I see a lot of new directors coming up. As a filmmaker I know how difficult it is to manage a big set. Atlee has managed to assemble such a huge cast and crew and come up with something which works in the box office. Karthik Subbaraj is starting out into new territories. He is not afraid to experiment. The guts it takes for a director to do something different needs to lauded. Adhik Ravichandran, the person behind Trisha Illana Nayanthara - I like him also. I’m impressed with these guys for sticking to what they believe and I wish them all the best.



What is your thought on films that ride on the waves of the hero or musician’s brand name but lack a convincing plot- a commercial movie in common lingo?

I think a movie should have a shelf life

There are two categories in filmmaking- filmmaking for money and filmmaking as an art. These sort of movies which make use of the hero’s brand value are prevalent everywhere. Even in Hollywood you will see movies like them. But I understand the thought behind such movies and I wouldn’t say it’s wrong. Personally I feel the movie should have all the commercial aspects, but the story should be the hero. I think a movie should have a shelf life. A movie must be able to stand the test of time.



Do you think such movies are robbing the people of a good story?

Generally in Asia, an artistic film doesn’t impress the audience

First of all, I’m not able enough to opiniate on this topic. But one thing is, what you don’t like another person might like. Generally in Asia, an artistic film doesn’t impress the audience. The reason behind this is, belonging to a middle class environment, the general movie goer wants to have a blast after a hard day’s work. I don’t think a movie that involves a deep thought process will impress him. For that to happen, the financial and literacy status of the general mass have to improve, which will not happen in a long time.



An actor whom after watching his  films you wanted to write a script revolving around him

Vijay Sethupathy and Vikram are two actors who I wish to make a movie with, not for their commercial value but for their acting skills.

As an actor, Vikram sir. The pain he undergoes to transform himself into a character is phenomenal. Vijay Sethupathi is also one such person who is able to act very spontaneously and naturally. These are actors who I wish to make a movie with, not for their commercial value but for their acting skills.


Tags : Ahmed, Manithan


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This page hosts exclusive interviews with actors, actresses, film technicians and related celebrities. The interviews are generally personal views of the guest about their projects and film related matters. People looking for information about actors, actresses, directors, music directors, cameramen and other technicians will find this page useful.