Director Suseenthiran has an impressive track record. With six out of his seven films becoming superhits, he can easily claim to be one of the top directors in an industry that has been plagued by flops. Instead, all he does is just sport a gentle smile when you broach the topic of Paayum Puli, his eighth film which is to hit screens on September 4.
“This film too will win. I knew this fact even while making this film,” he says with the conviction of a man who has seen it all. In fact, Suseenthiran settles down calmly for a chat and has the look of a man who has no worries.
Interestingly, Paayum Puli, which has Vishal and Kajal Aggarwal in the lead, is a film that is about an undercover cop. “The story is set in Madurai, and very simply, it tells you what cops will do if criminals try to harm one of them. Cops stick together in times of crisis. Until the second half of the film, the hero will not be seen in a police uniform,” begins Suseenthiran, who clarifies that the film is not based on the life of police officer Alwin Sudan. “It has nothing to do with Alwin Sudan. The story is inspired by certain incidents that happened in real life. That’s all,” he says.
While Suseenthiran does not believe in shooting fight sequences for every film, the films in which he has had them have been spectacular, the fight in Naan Mahaan Alla (2010) being a case in point.
Ask him if this film has fights and he says yes. “The climax fight will be special. We shot that one sequence for six days in Karaikudi,” he says and goes on to heap praises on his cameraman Velraj, who calls ‘the Night-effect King’.
“His work in the film is brilliant. You can only watch and admire how he works,” he says.
The director is popular not just for the hits he delivers but also for the concern he has for those who are struggling to get a foothold in the industry.
Several people in the industry who are stars today starting from Appukutty, whose film Azhagarsamiyin Kuthirai (2011) went on to win a National Award, to Suri, one of the more popular comedians today, say they owe their popularity and careers to Suseenthiran. In fact, not many know that Suseenthiran introduced 63 new faces in his first film Vennila Kabadi Kuzhu (2009).
Quiz him on this habit of his and he says,”I haven’t helped many people. Just a few.” When we get to the part about discussing ambitions and dreams, Suseenthiran says his biggest dream has already been realised.
“For any assistant director, turning a director will be his dream. I too had that dream and that was my biggest one. I realised it the day Venilla Kabadi Kuzhu released. The first half of that film was based on my life. The rest was on my dad’s. The relief that one gets when one sees one’s first film being released is something that cannot be explained. It has to be experienced. I was an assistant director for almost 11 years.God has been merciful to me,” he says.
Apart from direction, Suseenthiran is also now producing a film titled Vil Ambu. Needless to say, the director is a close friend of him. “Ramesh Subramaniam has been my roommate for 11 years. The film is about two people who are not connected to each other. Sri and Harish play these two characters.It is an interesting film which has come out well. I wanted to help my friends and so decided to make this movie,” he admits.
Suseenthiran has a way of winning people’s affection. Colleagues who have worked with him often invite him to share their joy during their important moments. Actress Saranya Mohan, who played the lead in Vennila Kabadi Kuzhu, is one such person. The actress, who is to tie the knot soon, has invited Suseenthiran to her wedding. “She is a brilliant artiste. She is a Kuchipudi artiste and can emote well. Yes, she has invited us and my wife and I will be going to Kerala to attend her wedding,” he says.