Australia-based filmmaker Julian Karikalan has directed an English movie titled Love And Love Only, for which Ilaiyaraaja has scored the music. The debutante director tells City Express, “I am a huge fan of Ilaiyaraja and I came across a YouTube video link of his, in which he says he was willing to support deserving newcomers. That’s when I thought of approaching him.”
He completed the rough cut and met Ilaiyaraja in Chennai. “He watched the whole film and made me wait outside for sometime. I was quite nervous. Then, he told me that he liked my approach. After a few sessions, everything fell in place. Without his music, my film wouldn’t have been what it is now.”
Interestingly, Julian tells us that the film will not have a theatrical release. “That’s one of the reasons why Ilaiyaraja wanted to help me out. I am planning to explore the online market,” he shares. The film has two songs written by Julian and the music was recorded in a week. “One of the songs were released online on Valentine’s Day, followed by the album which has 21 tracks. In fact, this is the first time he has composed songs for an English language film,” he adds.
Julian is all praises for the legendary music composer. “He told me that if it was an ordinary film, he would have done the music immediately. That’s a huge appreciation in itself. I never imagined this would happen. He is down-to-earth, and I still cannot believe that I had conversations with him,” he gushes. Julian obsorved the process of composing music while Ilaiyaraja was finalising the background score. “He played the keyboard for the entire film. I have heard people saying he can compose music in less than 20 minutes and I got to witness that. He is a true genius.”
Born in Madurai, Julian, a digital-media developer, settled in Australia in 2003. Films are his passion. Love And Love Only is a self-funded movie and was shot during weekends. While Rohit Kalia, an IT professional, plays the male lead, Georgia Nicholas is the leading lady. “I spent nearly three months rehearsing with the heroine. I wanted to make a film about student life as the media here was projecting Australia as a racist land where Indians were the target. I wanted to capture the real struggles, which are primarily cultural and financial,” he elaborates.
The supporting cast includes popular Indian theater artistes in Sydney. Having premiered the film in some film festivals, Julian is confident that the response from the audience will be positive. “For 130 minutes, I could see the audience cry, laugh and enjoy. Everything was because of Ilaiyaraja’s music. I am sure this will be a different kind of multicultural experience when you watch it. The western audiences who aren’t familiar with him will fall in love with his music,”he assures.
Julian believes that the concept of marketing a movie online or offline has changed these days. “Why should I care about the people who don’t care for my movies? With a lot of issues like piracy, filmmaking is under threat. There is a need to combine the old and the new to reach out to audience across all age groups. The pay and view mode can definitely bring in the change we wish to see,” he adds.
(‘Love And Love Only’ will be released online using Vimeo’s streaming service VHX and on Amazon’s VOD platform)