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The Rediff Interview / Perarasu
'Tirupathi will be a big hit'
April 17, 2006
Perarasu's Tirupathi, produced by AVM, with Ajit and Sada in the lead, is one of the most eagerly waited films of the Tamil New Year. Perarasu's first two films, Thirupachi and Sivakasi, were huge successes. So, naturally, expectations are high. It is also a big test on Ajit's position at the top, which he has reclaimed after Paramasivan.
On the eve of release, a very relaxed Perarasu spoke to Shobha Warrier about his expectations and more.
When we spoke before the shooting of Tirupathi, you said it was a big responsibility making a film for AVM. Now that the film is ready for release, how do you feel?
I feel quite happy that I have made a good film for AVM. I have belief in my film, and strongly feel that, like Thirupachi and Sivakasi, this also will be a big hit. I am confident about the outcome.
When we began shooting, I knew I had a huge responsibility as everybody expects me to give a bigger hit than Sivakasi. Many distributors told me they were buying the film because it was made by me, and they had belief in my abilities, which is frightening as well as heartening.
I remember asking you when you would be able to sell a film as a Perarasu film...
I think I have reached that stage with Tirupathi. Many people told me that the combination of AVM, Ajit and Perarasu is very good. Now I know I have to keep up their confidence in me. I also know that a banner like AVM and a big hero like Ajit have put their faith in me. Then, there are those who made my two earlier films big hits. So, I have to live up to the expectations of all these people. People expect comedy, action, love and sentiment in Tirupathi too. I should not disappoint them.
Now, if it is a Perarasu film, as you said earlier, all the commercial ingredients will be there. Don't you think you should break away from this image and do something different?
To tell you the truth, I want to. But the fact is I will not be able to do it right now because people expect certain things from me. When the climate changes suddenly, people fall ill. Similarly, I cannot afford to change my style and shock people. They go to a theatre to watch a Perarasu film with certain expectations. If the film turns out to be something else, they will be shocked. Even if it's a good film, they will not accept it.
So, you feel as if you are trapped in an image…
You can break away from it slowly. You can experiment only after you make at least six films. After that, you can do away with some of the commercial elements and make good films. My films will always be commercial films, but I will make them differently like say Mani Ratnam's Mouna Raagam, Cheran's Porkalam, Bhagyaraj's Antha Ezhu Naalkal, etc. You can't make commercially unviable films because films are not like short stories or paintings, which are personal works. A lot of money is involved in the making of films, so the makers have to get their money back.
You said earlier that, unlike in Sivakasi, where a 'sister-sentiment' was given prominence, Tirupathi will have a 'friend-sentiment'. Could you elaborate?
Sentiment is very important in all films, not just Tamil films. You can have fights, songs, comedy, etc. but what makes a story strong and attractive is sentiment.
How different was directing Ajit, compared to Vijay with whom you had done two of your earlier films?
Both are full of energy, honest and hardworking. What has impressed me about Ajit is his self confidence, and his will to succeed. He is always urging himself to excel. This rubs on to all the others on the sets. Another thing I noticed about him was, even though his body was giving him a lot of pain, he insisted on doing all the stunts himself. Not all can overcome such physical pain. He had been bearing the pain since his bike accident years ago. I felt very bad seeing him go through the pain while doing stunts and dance numbers, but he was very, very dedicated and insisted on doing all of them himself.
What is the highlight of Tirupathi?
The sentiments, of course, but I would also say that the comedy by Ajit will be a major attraction.
He hasn't tried comedy before...
Yes, so he was scared and doubtful in the beginning. I told him he could pull it off though. His fans are going to see a different Ajit. It has all come out really well.
Ajit is one hero, after Rajnikant, who gets an excellent opening in Tamil Nadu.
Tirupathi will have not just a great opening, but it will run for many, many weeks too.