Thala Ajith’s Vedalam has been declared a super hit and is still running to packed houses. The fact that it is said to be the highest box office opening for the actor should be saying a lot. But not so, says director ‘Siruthai’ Siva, confident that there is more to Ajith, such being the actor’s range and depth.
The songs in the film, especially Aaluma Dolumaa, have been a cracker for his fans who have been going berserk, shaking their legs to the hilt in the theatres.
Three straight hits in his career since the debut movie Siruthai followed by Veeram and Vedalam have given an exalted status to Siva. Add two huge hits of Sowriyam and Santham with actor Gopichand in Telugu, and you get the most enviable and saleable director down south—Siva.
Acceding that he had expected Vedalam to be a crowd-puller, but not the kind which would set cash registers ringing overtime, Siva says it all boiled down to the confidence factor when Ajith entrusted the responsibility of the film when the shoot of Veeram was in its infancy stage.
Siva says he had mentally started working on the script long before Vedalam went on the floors. A family entertainer sans any double meaning entendre and projecting women in good light was piece-de-resistance. And what surprised Siva was women comprising a good chunk in the audience. “It was my ultimate joy, savouring the happy faces from close quarters, as one among the audience. The sheer ecstasy is a keepsake moment, something I will live with forever.”
Armed with a cinematography degree from the Adyar Film Institute, Siva says there was the burning desire to direct which was spotted by actor Nagarjuna during the making of a Telugu movie. “Though my first film as a director happened with Gopichand, I owe it to Nagarjuna for igniting in me the desire to direct.”
A gold medallist in cinematography and learning the ropes from famed lensman Jayanan Vincent, Siva did not see it apt to don the double hat of cinematography and direction. “I have had my fill, handling camera to my heart’s content. There are endless avenues for a director to make a kill, not just on the monetary aspect alone.”
Having stuck to the guns with Ajith for a while, Siva says he is happy with the space and freedom. Directing other big names in the south will be the ultimate test for Siva, but as of now he has not looked beyond Ajith, the bond having grown stronger every day and at every turn.
Siva feels the language is not a barrier for a director if he is backed by a good script and a team prepared to walk the extra mile. “For me, the planning is important before I take the plunge. There is the room for improvisation, which I leave it to the artistes, but the initial push has to be from the director.”
The long stint in the industry has made Siva realise that there is no formula as such to guarantee a success. But anything done with honesty, zeal and guarded in not hurting the sentiments of people is how he looks at the future road meeting the audience expectations.
Not in the number game and the urge to be one up on the other, Siva is in the best phase of his career. If it has taken wings, he has worked hard on that and will surely pole-vault to newer heights.
The director says a hat-trick with Ajith is on the cards, but he would be happy if it comes from the horse’s mouth as the actor is recuperating from a surgery and confined to compulsive rest.