It is no secret that director A R Murugadoss has successfully developed the perfect formula for an all-out commercial entertainer. And with actor Vijay struggling to regain his foothold as a mass hero in recent times, their coming together for the much-awaited ‘Thuppakki’ might just be the answer that the actor has been looking for.
The duo, which had previously worked together on S J Surya’s ‘Kushi’, for which Murugadoss was the assistant director, has sure taken quite a while to come together for a film.
“We were not very close during the ‘Kushi’ period, but we always wanted to do a film after I began directing,” begins to explain Murugadoss. “But Vijay would want to listen to a complete story and whenever I had one, he would have already committed to another project,” he adds. In fact, Murugadoss had scripted ‘Thuppakki’ to film it in Hindi with Akshay Kumar in the lead role and the project had been postponed due to various reasons.
As it turned out, Vijay seemed to have the time to listen to scripts at that point. And when the two of them met, there seemed to be no reason why they should choose not to go ahead with the project. In the film, Vijay plays the role of an army officer and the entire film takes place in Mumbai. “I have always had an inclination towards the uniformed services. I feel that army men are above everyone else because they risk their lives to safeguard others. That’s why I wanted my hero to have a military background. And Mumbai was chosen to give the audience a new feel,” he explains. Ask Murugadoss what ‘Thuppakki’ has in store for Vijay’s fans and he says, “Vijay has done action flicks before, but we wanted him do it in a stylish way. Usually, his films have all the commercial elements, but in a raw form. Thuppakki is also a commercial film, but we have given it a makeover and the presentation will be different,” he says.
Murugadoss adds that Vijay is not just a commercial hero, but a talented actor as well. “Vijay is very sharp. He picks up everything easily - be it Hindi or dance movements. His grasping power is amazing,” he says. Murugadoss will start shooting ‘Thuppakki’ in Hindi soon and though he says he doesn’t know if Vijay will make an appearance in that film, he reveals a little something, “I might direct Vijay in a Hindi film at the right time.”
And like in most films of his, Murugadoss had made sure that his latest will also have a strong female character. “If you take the action bits away from the movie, it’s a beautiful love story. So Kajal (Agarwal) has a major part in the film,” he says.
Murugadoss also says he had purposely asked composer Harris Jayaraj to go for new sounds. “There were complaints that the music sounded repetitive in my earlier films. So we wanted it to sound different this time and completely shunned familiar sounds,” he says.
Thuppakki was also in the news for being in a battle of titles with Kallathuppakki. “We registered the title and wanted to keep it no matter what. I didn’t want to change the title after I completed half the film, because then, I would feel like I’m working on a new film altogether. Moreover, the difference between the two titles is much like the difference between right and wrong and that made me to not back off,” he says. But the director is quick to add, “Don’t jump to the conclusion that everybody will carry pistols throughout the film. We just wanted a stylish title that conveyed the flavour of the film.”