Director Arivazhagan, who scored big with both his films Eeram (2009) and Vallinam (2014), is now ready with his next film titled Aarathu Sinam, the Tamil remake of Malayalam hit, Memories.
The film institute’s gold medalist says, “There are two sections to the story and both take place simultaneously. The first is about a cop’s personal life and the next is about a case he is investigating. I thought the title ‘Memories’ would be indicative of only his personal life and therefore chose to go with a different title in Tamil.”
But what exactly does ‘Aarathu Sinam’ mean? “You must have come across the phrase aaruvathu sinam in one of Avvaiyar’s works. The poetess had used the phrase to emphasise the need for one to keep one’s anger in check. Aaradu Sinam (uncontrollable anger) is the opposite of it. We chose the title to make people reflect on the thought, and also because it was apt for the story as well,” explains Arivazhagan, whose ability to narrate a story on screen in general and choice of visuals in particular, are quite renowned.
“I believe you must have a clear vision to make a successful film. That’s why clear visuals are one of the must-have factors. In Eeram, I opted for a blue tone as the film was a dark thriller. In this film, I have completely avoided that and chosen a warm tone. Since I wanted a different backdrop, I chose to set the story in Madurai. You will understand the reasons for it when you watch the film,” he adds.
Any filmmaker who chooses to remake a hit like Memories has to brace himself for comparisons and will also be under pressure to deliver. Arivazhagan is not immune to that. But he is unfazed by it and is confident of his film being as good as the original, if not better. “I have slightly changed certain portions to suit the mindset of our audiences. We require a racy pace and I thought the pace of the story could be increased through editing, visuals, movements and music. I have also extended the duration of the romantic portions in the film. Moreover, I have penned the dialogues from my own perspective. So, even if you have watched Memories, you will find my film fresh and know the difference,” says Arivazhagan, who also points out that he has used CG work very sparingly in his film.
Moving on, get him to comment on Arulnidhi, who has played the lead along with Aishwarya Rajesh of Kakka Muttai fame and Arivazhagan says, “Arulnidhi had several factors working in his favour like his physique, cute smile and a certain innocence that cannot be faked. He also has broad expressive eyes which directors usually prefer.”
Of course, the director is also floored by Arulnidhi’s professionalism too. “He is an artiste who gets involved in what he does. For me, working with someone like that is a boon, as I will not approve of something unless I am thoroughly satisfied. For instance, we would shoot sequences again and again until we got it 100% right. On some occasions, Arulnidhi would request for another take even if I was convinced about the shot. He is a very committed artiste.”
On Aishwarya, Arivazhagan says, “She is a natural performer. It is easy to extract work. Another good thing about her is that she has not fallen for the image trap.”
Arivazhagan’s bond with his friend and music director Thaman too is well known. The two have given some memorable hits in their previous films together. “In this film too, you will have such songs,” he is quick to add. “There are two songs, one of which is a family song by Vijay Yesudas. I have included the other song as I believe, as a director, I have a moral responsibility to announce to the public the need to abstain from consuming alcohol.”