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Ameer’s secrets revealed
By Behindwoods News Bureau.
May 06, 2008

After all the accolades at Berlin, Ameer was back in Chennai for a felicitation organized by the Press Club and he was caught in an unusually talkative mood. Many interesting anecdotes flowed as we saw the lighter side of Ameer and a bit of history, maybe the makings of an autobiography.


Ameer, Vikram, Gautham and Kaaka Kaaka

It was in 2001, immediately after the release of Minnale and a few months after Mounam Pesiyadhe. Those were the days when Ameer and Vikram were very close friends (not that they are enemies now). Goutham wanted to narrate a script to Vikram but he suggested that his friend should listen to the story on his behalf. So Ameer (at that time pretty anonymous in Kollywood) went to Goutham for the narration. Goutham was in full flow, spelling out each and every detail of the movie, but there was just one problem; Goutham was blazing away in English and Ameer was able to catch very little of what he said. Going back to Vikram he narrated the bits and pieces he had captured and said that the rest had escaped his understanding. A busy Vikram could not follow it up. Kaaka Kaaka went to Surya, Vikram did Swaamy and eventually all turned out well. Till now, Goutham never knew that the person who had come to him to hear the story was the man behind Paruthiveeran!

Ameer, Vikram and the salary misunderstanding

This was during the days of Vinnukkum Mannukkum. Vikram sought a favor from Ameer, to get his salary cheque from the office of Supergood films. The office however refused to hand over the cheque to Ameer saying that they could not hand over the money to a complete stranger. An upset Ameer said that Vikram would not attend shooting from the next day. Well, that never happened but interestingly Ameer did direct Supergood Chaudhary’s son Jeeva in Ram and they didn’t even know that this was the guy to whom they once refused the cheque!

Ameer and the hero who did not speak

This was during Ameer’s ‘Mounam Pesiyadhe’ days. There was a press conference where Ameer was asked a poser: what is more important for a movie- story or hero? Admittedly, Ameer was not adept at handling these posers, and said- point blank- that it was the story. This obviously didn’t go down too well with the hero who left in a huff. Only after the film released and became a hit did the tensions ease. Who was the hero?

Ameer-Bala stories!

Friends, colleagues, associates, enemies- there might be many faces to this duo whose relationship often oscillates between two extremes. But Ameer talked a lot about Bala who in a way is his Guru in direction, at least Ameer did work as an assistant to Bala for some time.

1. Ameer, Bala and Balu Mahendra

This incident involves Balu Mahendra, a Guru like figure to both Ameer and Bala. This incident took place during the days of Mounam Pesiyadhe. Ameer had invited Balu Mahendra to the Puja of the movie, but he never came. This seems to have stuck on in Ameer’s mind and he asked Balu Mahendra about this a long time later. Balu Mahendra’s reply was both shocking and amusing. He said, ‘how could I have come to your function when you were at loggerheads with my favorite student’ (Bala). Now, does this mean that for Balu Mahendra, Bala came first and then Ameer?

2. Ameer-Bala: The chemistry

Having been together for a long time in Madurai nursing dreams of cinema, both Bala and Ameer were friends first. But as Ameer agrees, there was a rift in the friendship. Contrary to what we think, this rift wasn’t professional rivalry. As Ameer says, both he and Bala have inflated egos, that can’t easily coexist. The reaction between two highly reactive personalities is not always conducive for friendship and so they couldn’t remain friends forever. However, none has any grudge for the other; there is only mutual respect, understanding and a safe distance. In fact, Bala had come to see Ameer’s Paruthiveeran -which is a different story.

3. Ameer’s fourth generation viewfinder

After seeing Paruthiveeran, Bala is said to have handed over a viewfinder that he always carries around his neck to Ameer. As it turns out, the viewfinder has a bit of history to it. It was given to Bala by his Guru Bala Mahendra who in turn got it from his mentor Subrata Mitra. Bala also said to Ameer, ‘Pass on this heirloom to the best talent you can find.’

Enough material for an autobiography- What do you think?

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