Lyricist Pa Vijhay, who is now looking to make his mark as a hero in the Tamil film industry, says that his next film Strawberry is not aimed at being just a commercial success. “When I came to the film industry, I wanted to highlight social issues through my films. When that was not possible through acting, I decided to do that in the films I direct. I believe my next film Strawberry will not only be a commercial success but will also seek to create awareness on an important issue in society.” The horror-thriller flick, which is inspired by some real-life incidents, looks to draw attention to the issue of students’ safety, both in schools and while commuting.
“Commercial success is necessary. But what is the point in making a movie without social responsibilty?” he says and adds that just as he was mulling over this thought an incident that grabbed headlines caught his attention and he finalised the plot of his film. “I believed that the horror-comedy genre, which is in vogue now, could be used to raise awareness on this issue by way of a thriller. That is what led to the creation of Strawberry,” he says.
“My belief in this project as a producer grew as soon as Samudrakani sir came on board. He has played an important role along with actress Devyani in this film,” says Vijhay, who has also directed the film. Explaining why he chose Avni Modi as the heroine of the film, he says she fit the bill of a research student studying supernatural elements.
The film presents details on supernatural elements and spirits. Are most of these points in the film based on facts? “They are,” says Vijhay and admits that he has had two supernatural experiences in his life.
“When I was a boy, I saw a spirit communicating through an Ahuja Board.In fact, that is just what we have shown in the film. The second instance happened when I was in Rome,” says Vijhay.
“We were a group of friends but all of us had our own separate rooms in the hotel. In the dead of the night, I felt someone strangling me. I got up scared. A little later, I heard a noise outside my door. I opened it to find someone handing me a water bottle. I suddenly realised that I did not see the person who handed me the bottle. I opened the door again only to find white smoke dissipating. Several other friends of mine too confessed that they had similar experiences that night,” Vijhay recalls.