Inspiration springs from anything for the creative minds and director Gokul owes the title Kashmora (his film) to a novel that he read years ago. “The story is about black magic, something which hasn’t been showcased extensively in Tamil cinema before. You’ll see Karthi in three different avatars. One that of a powerful-humorous warrior, and the other is a typical youngster.You’ll have to wait for the movie to release to know what the third look is. We prepared more than 45 looks for him before finalising these three,” he says.
But what does ‘Kashmora’ mean? “I can’t explain it now, but I have given reasons in the movie why I named it so! When you observe a certain scene, you’ll exactly know why. The name was in my mind and I wanted to use this,” he adds.
Probe him more and ask if this intriguing title refers to a person, he grins, “It’s neither ‘yes’ nor ‘no’. People get curious to find out more when they hear this name and that’s what
A multi-genre film, Gokul says Kashmora has elements of action, comedy, horror and period flavour. “I have let the script, which took me a year to complete, evolve on its own from one genre to another. That way, it gave me scope for improvisation,” he says.
Karthi was not his choice while writing the script. “When I was writing the story, I never thought of Karthi, but later I felt it would be appropriate if he does it. I simply went with the flow and my gut feeling,” he elaborates.
Talking about his experience of doing a mega-budget film after Rowthiram (2011) and Idharkuthane Aasaipattai Balakumara (2013), he says, “I am a director and my job is to make films. When something excites me — it could be a story or a character— I forget about everything else. I focus on developing that, tell a story and write a screenplay accordingly.”
Gokul does not think about the economics when he does a film. “My focus has always been the story — big or small. I only go by my instinct. I tell my requirements to the production house and they take care of the rest. My previous films were different from Kashmora and I had an urge to explore this mythic-fiction genre,” he shares.
Whatever the nature of the film he makes, Gokul has his heart in the right place. “The more you learn; the more you know, the more you get confused. After all, filmmaking is a shared responsibility and it takes a lot to make a good film. Creativity alone cannot make you successful, it has to be coupled with positive energy and good attitude,” he chuckles.
Giving us some more details about the film, he says, “Nayanthara plays Ratha Mahadevi, the princess of Vikranthaka Rajyam. She’s one of the highlights. Everything is fictional — the names, the kingdom etc. It will be an enjoyable ride for the audience as I have balanced the script — it’s both engaging and entertaining.”
The film was shot in Thiruvottriyur and many sets were made in the city. “We put up more than 25 sets in and around the city to complete the shooting. We got a piece of land for lease in Vanagaram that had many acres. Around 60% was shot on sets. Normally, I like natural settings, but for Kashmora, we didn’t have any choice. Everything will be larger than life and real,” he assures.
Speaking about the technicalities, he claims that Kashmora is the first film in India to use a 360-degree omni-directional camera rig for shooting a particular sequence. “Besides this, we have many VFX work and in fact, we’ve used the 3D Face Scan Technology to make Karthi look natural.”
We couldn’t help but ask him about the uncanny resemblance of the poster, which reminds us of SS Rajamouli’s magnum opus Baahubali. Gokul laughs, “Oh, does it? I look up to Rajamouli. After Magadheera (2009), he set a bench mark. But you can’t compare Baahubali and Kashmora! He has been an inspiration to me. I have spoken to his father and he knows how much I admire him.”
Gokul admits that he is still reeling from his Kashmora daze! “Kashmora took all my time, and I can think of anything else only after I come out of it....after Diwali. I am eagerly looking forward to audience’s reactions,” he says adding that a sequel to Idharkuthane Aasaipattai Balakumara is on the cards. “But I’d love to make this in a different genre. I’ve not thought about the cast, but I’d love to make another film with Vijay Sethupathi. We get along very well,” he smiles.