Filmmaker Vijay knows his limitations and doesn’t meddle with subjects he’s not comfortable with. He has successfully warded off commercial challenges to emerge as a filmmaker with an eye for realistic portrayals. Take Arya in Madrasapattinam (2010) or Baby Sara in Deiva Thirumagal (2011) for example. Most of his movies ride strong on the wings of visual beauty, portraying strong emotions, values of family, love and change.
The filmmaker, whose last directorial outing was the Vikram Prabhu-starrer Idhu Enna Maayam (2015), is back with Devi(l), featuring Prabhu Deva, Tamannaah, and Sonu Sood, which hit the screens this Friday. He says, “Films are nothing but extension of life. So, I try to be as realistic as possible when I write the scripts.”
He adds that Devi(l) is a character-centric film that’s based on the murder of a Bollywood actress in the early 90s in Mumbai. “I discussed the idea with the Hollywood filmmaker Paul Aron, who had co-written the story. Prabhu Deva is making a comeback to acting after 11 years. I make sure that I work on a different genre in each film. That way, genre of Devi(l) is new to me,” he smiles.
The Kireedam filmmaker who looks up to directors like K Balachander, Bala, heaps praise on his guru Priyadarshan. “Their films portray women in a good light. Also their movies distinctly reflect their vision and ideologies! An ideal director is someone who can distill human emotions, keeping the nuances of human nature in mind and project his vision on celluloid. Priyan sir is very honest and down to earth. After knowing him, I realised that this is the kind of filmmaker I wanted to be. I asked if I could work with him and learnt many life-lessons. I find Manikandan (Kaaka Muttai, 2014), Karthik Subbaraj and Pa Ranjith’s films equally interesting,” Vijay explains.
The man of few words continues the conversation, and laughs by saying, “My mother would be the first person to question me if my heroines share less amount of screen space than the heroes. Showing the woman exercising autonomy in terms of everything is necessary in today’s filmmaking.”
Vijay believes that films that are close to reality always succeed. Up next, he has a yet-to-be-titled flick with Jayam Ravi in his kitty and the Tamil remake of Malayalam hit film Charlie (2015) with Madhavan. “Ravi and I have always wanted to work together. He’s like a brother to me. I liked his previous film Bhoologam (2015). This project is going to be different from what he and I have done before in our career. This one will have a fair mix of love, action and sentiments. Sayyeshaa of Shivaay (2016) fame is the heroine. Ravi has been working quite hard for this film. I’ll be starting Madhavan’s film by November end,” he says.
Quiz him if he has any dream script, and he grins, “Of course! I have been researching on the subject for the past three years and I am done with the script. It has been titled Kumari Kandam, a periodic love story. But it will take at least more than three years for me to focus on it as I am already busy with a few things.”
What does he do when he’s not working on films? “I love cricket and that keeps me occupied. It’s one of my stress-busters,” he says. With Devi(l) just released in Hindi as Tutak Tutak Tutiya and in Telugu as Abhinetri, how does he feel? “I think I have made a good film. Let’s wait and watch,” he tells us.