After two remakes (‘Kireedam’ and ‘Poi Solla Porom’) and one period film (‘Madrasapattinam’), director AL Vijay’s next, ‘Deiva Thirumagal’ is ready to hit the screens on July 15 after being certified a clean ‘U’ by the Censor Board. It is the first time that AL Vijay and Vikram are working together.
The film ran into a few hurdles like the confusion on title and also rumours that categorised the venture as an ‘art film’ and that it was a remake of the Sean Penn film, ‘I am Sam’ (2001). The director seeks to clarify all doubts and says, “‘Deiva Thirumagal’ is not an art film. It’s a commercial family entertainer that revolves around Vikram’s character, Krishna, who is in his thirties, but has the mental growth of a five-year-old.”
Apparently, the name of the film was never supposed to change at all. Vijay reveals, “‘Deiva Thirumagal’ is the confirmed title, but initially I wanted it to be ‘Deiva Maghan’ or ‘Deiva Thirumaghan’.”
Also playing prominent roles are Anushka and Amala Paul, who after ‘Mynaa’ is doing a mature role in this film. Santhanam’s comedy in this film will be different from what his fans are used to, and Nassar has a pivotal role as well. With GV Prakash Kumar’s background score, you will note that his music is a character in itself.
The director points out, “More than composing, it was re-recording that took a while and it won’t be exaggeration if I said that I observed the maturity of Ilayaraja’s music in his work. Nirav Shah’s cinematography is also amazing.”
As the conversation steers toward his star cast, it seems Anushka’s strong role has all of the director’s praises. Vijay says, “She simply rules the film. After seeing her in it, I feel that after many years, the industry has finally got an actress that can act like the yesteryear legend Savitri.”
He also cannot stop raving about the five-year-old Sara, whose onscreen father-daughter bond with Vikram is lauded every step of the way. “Finding Sara was like finding Amy Jackson for ‘Madrasapattinam’. When she was barely two, I had cast her (Amy Jackson) in an ad. Today, she is a top model in Bollywood.”
In fact, Mumbai-based Sara took to her Tamil tuitions with much dedication. Vijay recalls, “She would learn everything by heart. There is a question in the film – ‘Kakka Yaen Karuppa Irukku?’ which she poses to Vikram, to which he would reply, ‘Yaena Adhu Veyyil la Suthardhunaale’. But she would end up saying his line as well, thinking that he has forgotten his lines,” he quips.
Talking about Vikram and his character he says, “The film is inspired from real life — I’ve seen what my cousin had to suffer. While doing ‘Poi Solla Porom’, I expressed my desire to work with Vikram. At that time, I had a rough script of this film, which I narrated to him in two lines.”
This led to a full fledged script which later materialized and was narrated to him for two hours, while on a trip to the US. The director states, “Vikram’s performance is the USP of this film.”
With a heartfelt message — ‘Love is life’ and powerful performances, it looks like this director has done it again.
So, what’s next?
“I want to work on a different genre in every film of mine. Next I want to do an action-thriller, with Vikram ofcourse!”