CHENNAI: Directing a ‘mass hero’ like Vijay is a huge responsibility, admits filmmaker Bharathan. He’s familiar with Ilayathalapathy from his Ghilli (2004) and Madhurey (2004) days. (He has written dialogues for both, besides wielding the megaphone for Azhagiya Tamil Magan, 2007). He was busy with the final mixing work as we caught up with him.
“It has been a week since the crew had some proper sleep. Though the film has come out well, I keep improvising small things, till the last moment, giving ‘finishing touches’. This is the movie to watch out for this year,” he gushes. The team is extremely happy with the response and feedback that they have been getting on the songs and trailer. “People, especially the youth, love Vijay,” he says.
Bharathan was the first person to be approached by Vijaya Productions when they had got bulk dates from Vijay. “I don’t see myself as a director when I work with Ilayathalapathy. I am an ardent fan of his. In fact, the whole script was written for him. I had an outline initially, which Vijay liked, I developed the plot accordingly. The film has loads of pleasant surprises for the audience. No other actor could have done Bairavaa,” he smiles.
What can he shares about the full-on commercial venture, Bairavaa? “The film loosely revolves around how the protagonist saves people’s lives every time they face some issue. Like the deity ‘Bhairava’, this lead character protects everyone. Parallel to this, there’s action, romance, sentiments, and comedy,” he shares.
The film that was shot in Hyderabad and Rajahmundry was completed in 120 days. CE finds that for one song alone, the team went to Switzerland. “We had put up a set that resembled Koyambedu market in the city. A Bhairava temple was also recreated,” he says.
Vijay has been given the kind of role, which he hasn’t done in his 59 movies earlier. Contrary to the reports, he doesn’t play dual characters, clarifies Bharathan. “After Pokkiri (2006), this is the next Vijay film that is releasing for Pongal. Initially, when we started shooting we decided that we release in January. Everything got over as per the plan. Expectations are high, overall. It would be a wholesome paisa vasool entertainer. I could see the excitement,” he adds.
Illayathalapathy has grown as a better technician, says Bharathan. He has known the actor for more than a decade. “We all know that he’s a great actor. What hasn’t changed though is his thirst to push new boundaries, his boundless energy and his enthusiasm to take on anything that comes his way. From the fight sequences,
camera angles to shot improvisations and songs — Vijay knows it all,” he says.
He added that in Bairavaa, Vijay hasn’t used a body double for action sequences.