A Sasikumar-starrer is typically set in a village, with him donning a handlebar mustache, clad in a veshti, and usually wielding a sickle. However, there’s evidence of none of this in the trailer for his next release, Asuravadham. “I won’t call it a city subject. It’s an action-thriller set in a small town,” says director M Maruthupandian, who returns to filmmaking after his 2015 Bobby Simha-starrer, Chennai Ungalai Anbudan Varaverkirathu. “The story demanded that he be in such a get-up and it wasn’t a deliberate move from us to change his looks. Sasikumar sir too liked it and agreed immediately. Everyone who has seen the trailer is surprised by the makeover. As a director, it feels good.”
Maruthupandian says the story of the film is evident in its title. “It’s about how a person, who is considered an asuran, is destroyed.” The trailer shows Sasikumar as the hunter who sends baddies looking for cover. “Some people might look ordinary but what they’re capable of can be immense,” he says.
The director got the opportunity to narrate his script to Sasikumar, thanks to Sundarapandian-cameraman Premkumar. “My classmate and friend Premkumar recommended my script to Sasikumar sir. He then listened to it and was impressed. That’s how the film took off,” says Maruthupandian who calls working with Sasikumar an experience he’ll “cherish for a long time.” He also adds that getting the work done was easier with Sasikumar as the latter’s also a director. “That made a lot of things very easy for me. This is a genre he hasn’t done before, and yet, being a director himself, he could understand what kind of treatment the script needed, and tweaked his performance to suit the film. If he were just an actor, he wouldn’t have thought about these things. It was a breeze working with him.”
The film stars Nandita Swetha as the female lead but she isn’t shown in the trailer. “It was intentional to do that. She plays an important role in the film and we wanted to maintain the suspense,” says the director, who feels that she has done a splendid job. “She is also very involved in the process of filmmaking.”
The film also stars Aadukalam Murugadoss, Namo Narayanan and Malayalam actor Sreejith. On the technical front, the music in the trailer too was appreciated. “It’s by Govind Menon, one of the founders of the Malayalam musical band, Thaikkudam Bridge,” adds the director. “He’s composing music for Vijay Sethupathi-starrers, 96 and Seethakaathi, apart from Balaji Tharaneetharan’s other film, Oru Pakka Kathai. However, I guess ours will be his first film to get released,” says a smiling Maruthupandian. Asuravadham, which was shot extensively in Dindigul and Dubai, is targetted for an April 13 release, in the hope that the ongoing strike issue gets solved by then.