Murugan doesn’t hunt for sport, he is emotionally involved in the act. For him it’s part passion, part revenge. He never shoots buried in the greens and goes for direct combat, taking the wild cat down with an unusual method he developed. And it’s this strange trick that forms the USP of Vysakh’s Pulimurigan. “The film is built on a novel concept, something that took us a couple of years to execute on screen. And it’s not a film dedicated to action aficionados, we have blended in all other elements to make it a total entertainer. Along with action there is drama and humour leaving no frame dull or sluggish,” says the director.
With more than two years in making and a mammoth budget, Pulimurgan has the superstar playing the title role. Vysakh agrees it’s a character partly shouldered by the Mohanlal’s stardom. “It’s a man who fights a tiger and you cannot cast any random actor to play him. For that you need someone with an aura of heroism, and when it comes of Mohanlal he is a brilliant actor too.”
Pulimurugan ‘an action adventure’ as Vysakh calls it, unravels in a village bordering forest. “The villagers live in fear of tiger attacks and the hero is more like their saviour,” he says. Pulimurugan also comes with an impressive cast as Kamalinee Mukherjee plays Murugan’s wife while Telugu star Jagapathi Babu steps into another key role. Makarand Deshpande, Kishore, Lal, Suraj Venjaramoodu, Vinu Mohan, Bala Siddique and Namitha are some other names in the list.
According to Vyaskh it was a tiger who decided the schedule of Pulimurugan. “The animal had his own timetable and at some days he will not be in a mood to ‘act’. He might cooperate for an hour or two, mostly early morning or late evening and that was it. So in effect the entire crew was waiting for hours for the tiger to participate.” He says their decision to use a live tiger without resorting to special effects caused maximum delay in production. “Since it’s not allowed in India we went to a number of countries including South Africa, Vietnam and Thailand.
The maximum number of days went to can the tiger sequences that come to hardly 10% of the total film. I think it will be the first film in history to feature an original tiger-man fight. It’s not easy to execute a sequence where a man fights a fast and ferocious animal.”
He says the one highlight of the film will be it’s impressive climax clocking nearly 20 minutes. “Then the unique concept we used for the tiger sequences, action choreography by Peter Hein, cinematography, music - they all are remarkable,” he says. Pulimurugan, produced by Tomichan Mulakuppadam under the banner of Mulakuppadam Films, hits the marquee today.