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Interview Team : Jyothsna

It is not every day that one gets Ilayaraja to score for one’s debut film. And in that sense director Karthick Rishi is very fortunate and blessed. His first film Megha starring Ashwin Kakumanu and Shrishti is ready and the director opens up about the film to Senior Editor Jyothsna Bhavanishankar.


How did films happen?

I am from Coimbatore and had come to Chennai 12 years back. I had worked with director Subramania Siva. I readied the script for my first film Megha, approached producers, Megha happened and here I am.


Were you always interested in working in films?

Be it my family circle or friends circle, we are all film lovers. Every Friday, we always used to discuss films and the various possibilities in which a film could have been done. I felt I should take my film discussion to the next level and that’s how I landed in Chennai under director Subramania Siva. I was already into editing and photography which paved way to join him. With Siva, I have worked in Thiruda Thirudi, Pori and Seedan.


How was Megha conceived?

Megha was conceived a long time back. The problem with social media now is that they are always drawing parallels of any film with international films and say it has been lifted from them, from poster to script to concept. But I was very keen that my film should not be talked in such a sense. To do this, it is best that I take a story out of my life or from someone I know. That’s how Megha was born. Nobody can say that Megha is like a Korean film or a Japanese film. When I realized that the theme of my film has not been attempted before, I developed it with interesting incidents.


How did you convince the producer?

When I was an assistant director, I understood clearly the expectations of a producer. Therefore I readied the script as per that and registered it becoming a member in writer’s union. What I had registered then is my story today and there is no change. When a script is perfect, good producer will not ask for a change in it. I did not go behind many producers or heroes. If I go behind a hero, I will be wasting two years in my life. Today, people know that script is the hero and only when it is good, a film will succeed. I approached three producers. Albert James sir looked at the script from my point of view. When I had mentioned a ‘pause’ (in the script), he realized that a good RR only can fill in those spaces and felt that Raja sir only can do justice to it. I realized that my script has come to the right producer. My producers helped me bring out all that I had registered in the script on screen effectively.

If I go behind a hero, I will be wasting two years in my life


How did Ashwin come on board?

Casting was difficult. When you see Megha, you would feel that you are watching a couple in love through a candid camera. You would never feel that you are seeing two artists in action. I wanted a beautiful pair and it was quite difficult to get. When I saw Mankatha, I felt Ashwin would suit the role. I discussed the script with him, told that it would need a lot of dedication and that it would not be a cake walk.

The climax in my script is the toughest and I had mentioned the minutest of emotions in it. It also had no cuts. Ashwin took this piece, had performed it exactly the way I expected using a webcam and showed me the next day. I was very impressed and so were the producers. From then on he was the Mugilan of Megha. Ashwin will be a big surprise factor in Megha and girls are sure to go gaga over him. He will just not be a chocolate boy but will also score in action department.

Ashwin has played a forensic expert specializing in ballistics in the film. I don’t think there is any previous reference of a forensic expert in any Indian film before.

Girls are sure to go gaga over Ashwin


Heroine Shrishti

Fixing the heroine was a difficult process. The film is named after the heroine Meghavathy and her job is not to prance around the hero in four dance sequences and disappear. She had to look like the girl-next-door, had to be beautiful and also had to appeal to the boys. We saw around 6000 pictures and finally zeroed in on Shrishti as she fitted all the eligibility conditions. Although she is from Mumbai, she has the quintessential Tamil looks.


What is Megha all about?

The main knot of the film is - everybody has a threshold and when it is crossed, they end up with unfavorable results. So when a man crosses this limit, the consequences on him and the people around him is all Megha about.


What genre is Megha?

It is a romantic thriller. The screenplay is about the connection between the thriller portion and the romantic portion. You will be on a romantic ride but then suddenly there will be a jump and the mode will change to thriller. Screenplay will be much spoken about in Megha.


Working with Ilayaraja

Ilayaraja is the greatest blessing for us. Raja sir tunes are embedded in every one of us like a default apps in a mobile. When my script is from my life and I have not lived a day without Raja sir’s music, it is only natural that his music is within my script. So when my producer also felt that Raja sir music should be there, it made things easy for me. When we narrated the script he agreed and we were all quite delighted. During the RR work of the film, he hardly used to take 40 minutes of break in a day. Our team is really lucky to have Raja sir on board. We recorded the songs in Hungary and mastering was done in London. Megha has already created a big buzz around Raja sir’s fans and we are also approached to release the RR separately.

Ilayaraja is our greatest blessing 


Supporting cast

Jaiprakash does the role of Forensic Science director while Ravi Prakash is heroine’s dad and Meera Krishna is her mom. Vijaykumar has done ADGP role. There is a surprise character which will travel till the end of the film and a popular actor has done the role. I cannot reveal about this character now. It is a suspense element.


Cinematography and editing

R B Gurudev has done the camera work and every frame is meticulously crafted. I had wanted the love sequences to appear like a painting especially in the second half and we took the reference from Da Vinci’s art in terms of lighting and color. You would never realize the presence of camera in Megha which I really liked. Gurudev has done a wonderful job. We have used many tones in the film. Technically Megha will be superior, thanks to R B Gurudev.

Ram Sudharshan who has worked in Virumandi has edited the film. He wanted the script before editing and he took around 40 days to edit it. You will not be able to take your eyes off the frame till the last credit, that’s how Ram Sudharshan had cut the film. Megha is not a film that is stretched from a 15 minute short film. It is a screenplay that deals with the lives of two people in two and a half hours time. The audience need to feel that they have lived with the couple and Ram Sudharshan’s editing helped to achieve this feel.

Megha is not a film that is stretched from a 15 minute short film.


Where did you shoot?

The script demanded that even for a song sequence, you cannot get out of the story. Songs will cross you as a scene. There is no sudden jump to Ooty or Switzerland. The place of happening is Chennai. If I bring in locations that are not in line with the script, then, audience will be reminded that this is cinema. I had the liberty to shoot anywhere but since the script demanded Chennai, we shot in live locations in Chennai.


Have you committed to any other project?

The script is ready and announcement will come after the release of Megha.





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