If AI takes over, I'll do farming: Vijay Antony

Vijay Antony said despite being an action film, there is a humanitarian philosophy at its centre, and it is not about killing the antagonist but vanquishing what he stands for.
A still from Mazhai Pidikkatha Manithan
A still from Mazhai Pidikkatha Manithan

CHENNAI : At first glance at Vijay Antony, who is on a promotion spree for his upcoming film Mazhai Pidikkatha Manithan (MPM), one would be concerned for the actor, as he arrives at the promotional event without fully removing the burnt look from the sets of another film he is shooting for.

Sharing a friendly smile, he sits down for a conversation, along with producer Dhananjayan.

On the irony of an action thriller having a poetic title, Vijay Antony explains, “In the film, whenever it rains, the protagonist faces a lot of trouble. So he doesn’t like rain, which is the title.” Dhananjayan adds, “After a series of dramatic events in the character’s life, he chooses to remain reclusive. In fact, Vijay has no lines in the first 40 minutes of the film, which is a reflection of his aloofness. Still, the do-gooder in him awakens when he sees an injured dog, and he unintentionally invites trouble due to his association with the canine. What happens next is what the film is about.”

Responding to why it took so long to get associated with director Vijay Milton despite being friends for decades, Vijay Antony says, “We have been planning to unite for a project for years. I was supposed to act in his film titled Koyambedu, but it didn’t materialise. Later, after the first Pichaikkaran, he narrated another story, but I had to decline as it was too commercial for me at that time. MPM came at the right time.”

Dhananjayan
Dhananjayan

Talking about the efforts to bring late actor-politician Vijayakanth on board, Dhananjayan says the director was so keen to film the actor. “Vijay Milton came to all compromises to accommodate Vijayakanth’s ill-health. First, he wanted to film the actor for half a day, then just two hours, and then he was also game when the latter’s health necessitated that he shouldn’t be over-exposed to light. We even had plans to bring in him through AI, but our efforts didn’t pay off. If it did, Vijayakanth’s short presence would have been the most powerful part of the film.”

On the topic of AI, Vijay Antony ponders over the fears of AI replacing humans. He says, “Artificial Intelligence only reduces the unnecessary manual effort but doesn’t remove humans from the picture altogether. For a song, you are required to record a singer, and only then can you incorporate AI.” He then adds on a lighthearted note, “Let’s assume AI is going to make humans jobless. Let’s do farming.” The actor then hammers home his point. “I don’t believe in vilifying the technology; we did not think twice before letting go of bicycles when motorcycles were introduced.”

Vijay Antony then goes on to talk about the one piece of advice he would like to give composers who are trying to break into the industry. “My advice to youngsters is to focus on re-recording, for which story knowledge of a film is essential. Ilayaraaja’s work in films teaches you about that like nothing else does. We usually look down on relationships with a huge age gap. Raja sir would have justified even such a romance in Mudhal Mariyadhai with his re-recording score.”

Coming back to MPM, Vijay Antony reveals how despite being an action film, there is a humanitarian philosophy at its centre, and it is not about killing the antagonist but vanquishing what he stands for. In his concluding statement, the actor says, “Mazhai Pidikkatha Manithan will appeal both on the technical and storytelling fronts. Powerhouse performers like Sarath Kumar, Sathyaraj, Saranya Ponvannan, and Megha Akash have elevated the film.”

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