Arun Vijay-starrer 'Mission: Chapter 1': Father on a mission

Director Vijay talks about his upcoming film with Arun Vijay titled Mission: Chapter 1, his return to the action genre, facing production delays in London, and more
From the sets of Mission: Chapter 1
From the sets of Mission: Chapter 1

Director Vijay’s films are anything but run-of-the-mill. The diversity in his filmography is an interesting facet of the filmmaker. If he helmed a biopic on the sprawling life of late politician J Jayalalitha in Thalaivii, he also directed a true-blue romance in Madrasapattinam and made a gangster drama in Thalaivaa, headlined by Vijay.

Add a horror comedy, a revenge drama, and a movie about animal care into the mix, it is clear that Vijay loves to dabble in a variety of genres. But at the core, the director insists it is the emotional connections that form the backbone of his stories.

Coming up is Mission: Chapter 1, with Arun Vijay, which is essentially the story of a father and daughter a la Deiva Thirumagal, but treated like an action story. “At the crux, Mission is a story about a father and daughter, and how they end up in London for the latter’s surgery. A few twists and turns later, Arun becomes a prisoner of circumstances, and what he does to come out safe forms the rest of the story,” says Vijay.

Vijay points out that there is a clear difference between films made for the theatre and streaming platforms. Insisting that Mission: Chapter 1 will provide the required adrenaline rush to the theatre-going audience, Vijay says, “The film is made on a big scale and our producer M Rajashekar was a pillar of support. He accommodated the budget and never asked us to trim the project.”

The backing of the makers notwithstanding, Mission: Chapter 1 faced a lot of external problems during the shooting. A major obstacle that came their way was when the UK underwent a mourning period following the death of Queen Elizabeth. With Vijay and Co initially planning to shoot the entire film in London, they had to quickly think on their feet to ensure they could get away with minimal losses. “All the shoots had to be cancelled because the locations were unavailable. We were a team of 65, and had to figure out a way to change all the locations, get the required permissions, and finish the film. It was quite the struggle, for sure,” he adds.

While Mission: Chapter 1 marks the first time the filmmaker is working with Arun Vijay and Nimisha Sajayan, he is reuniting with his Madrasapattinam star Amy Jackson. “The film is filled with action sequences. Despite suffering from injuries, Arun Vijay gave his 100 per cent cooperation and dedication. I want this to be one of the best films in his career.

It is also Amy’s comeback after 2.0. She has become a refined actor and I can see much difference from what I have seen in Madrasapattinam. She plays a jailer. We also have Nimisha Sajayan, one of the finest actors in the country. In this film, she will be playing the role of a nurse.”

While the film has a powerhouse of talents, Vijay credits two individuals to be the soul of the film — child artist Iyal who plays Arun Vijay’s daughter and composer GV Prakash. “Iyal is a talent worth looking out for. We have already seen that in Leo. Over the years, GV Prakash has become like family, and this bond translates into a quick turnaround time for our songs.

Initially, it used to take us an hour to come up with a song, but now, it takes us under five minutes. He has brewed magic in the film,” says Vijay. Signing off by explaining the reason behind changing the title from Achcham Enbathu Illayea to Mission: Chapter 1, Vijay says, “When Lyca Productions came aboard as co-producers, they wanted the film to have a wider reach. Thus, we went for a common title in English so we can release the film in multiple languages.”

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The New Indian Express