I genuinely feel I can act: Balu Mahendra

Veteran director Balu Mahendra is all set for the release of his latest film, Thalaimuraigal, in which he finds himself in front of the camera for the first time

Published: 17th September 2013 01:13 PM  |   Last Updated: 17th September 2013 01:13 PM   |  A+A-


It appears to be a season for comebacks, what with so many yesteryear actors donning the greasepaint again and some even wielding the megaphone. Naturally, director-cinematographer Balu Mahendra’s latest film Thalaimuraigal has made news. After all, the last movie he directed was the Dhanush-Priyamani starrer Adhu Oru Kanakaalam in 2005.

Of course, the director does not think of it as a comeback as he feels he has always been connected to the industry, thanks to his film school. Now, he is happy that Thalaimuraigal is complete and ready to be released by the end of this month or early October. 

Balu’s movies have always revolved around relationships and this time it is no different – except Thiraimuraigal explores the relationship between an eight-year-old boy and his grandfather.

Incidentally, the character of the grandfather is being played by Balu himself, who for the first time, finds himself in front of the camera. “I genuinely feel I can act. Moreover what is more important is that I felt I was suitable for the role,” he says, while candidly admitting, “Also no other actor was willing to work within the allotted budget.

The grandfather is fanatical about his caste, language and religion and speaks Tamil while the city-bred boy knows only English. As they interact, the grandfather loses his prejudice over caste and religion, while the boy sees and learns things which he would not have dreamt of in the city. “It is a simple story. In a way, I am reliving my childhood by doing this film,” says Balu.

The ace director is also pleased that he has kept his promise to his producer to stick to the budget – the producer in question being actor-director Sasikumar. As the latter is a protégé of Bala and Ameer, Balu says that it is “all in the family”.  

The rest of the cast are all new faces. “There is Sashi, who has acted in 32 short films, Ramya, who is a model, and Vinodhini, a teacher from my film school, who plays my daughter in the film. The grandson’s role is played by Karthik,” reveals Balu.

This is the first time that the 74-year-old director is shooting in the digital format and with a still camera. “When what you are writing is poetry, it does not matter whether you are writing on toilet paper or bond paper,” says Balu, passing on this sage advice to his students as well.


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp