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'Once we realise we have badness inside us, we become good'

Last updated on: September 26, 2013 15:37 IST

'Once we realise we have badness inside us, we become good'

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Shobha Warrier in Chennai

Like his name, Mysskin is an unusual filmmaker.

All his films -- Chithiram Pesuthedi, Anjathe and Yudham Seiand Nandalala -- are quite different from the films one generally sees in Tamil cinema. But his last big project Mugammoodi failed to satisfy the audience.

As his new film Onaiyum Aatukuttiyum (Wolf and a lamb) gets ready to hit the screens this Friday, he talks to Shobha Warrier about the film.

What came first: the wolf and the lamb or the good and the bad?

The good and the bad came first. I was in the process of scripting a story when my assistant said, what if a criminal shares a room or his life with an innocent man?

We started developing this thought into a structure, but we couldn't come up with the right one. Then I converted it into something else -- what if he is actually a killer and the other an ordinary college-going boy. From the beginning, I called the killer a wolf. I didn't want to give him any name because I don't know anything about his life.

He appears like a thunder and then something happens and both have to run.


Image: Mysskin in Onaiyum Aatukuttiyum


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'Once we realise that we have badness inside us, we become good'

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How could you write about a person whose past you do not know?

I had the same query in my mind when I started writing the film. I only know him as a killer and that spoils my understanding of him or spoils the relationship. Anybody with a very bad past is not inhuman and anybody having a great past is not great.

Once we realise that we have badness inside us, we become good. That's the whole story.

His past is actually chasing him and he is running away from his past. When the boy meets him, he is going to be hanged. The boy questions whether it is right.

Are you dealing with the issue of capital punishment?

This movie is against capital punishment. I am trying to find an answer to the question, is it right to kill a man who now realises his mistakes and turns a new leaf, and becoming a noble man?

What has nobility got to do with hanging? Can you kill another human being just because he is bad?

That is what I am asking too. This question of goodness and bad is for a subjective decision. I want the audience to think and come to a decision and answer my question.


Image: A scene from Onaiyum Aatukuttiyum

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'I am a very socially conscious person and this is also reflected in my stories'

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Could you find the answers yourselves while writing the story?

No, I couldn't. I have not answered any of the questions; I have only questioned.

Are you being a socially conscious person as a writer and a film maker?

I am a very socially conscious person and this is also reflected in my stories. The beauty of this story is, when the whole world is in chaos, I am creating an imaginary situation realistically and I want the audience to be a part of it. It is like a dream.

When they go outside the theatre, they realise they have dreamed inside the theatre. Then they will ask, what is the connection between this story and my life, and that is where their enquiry starts, their reflection starts. This is what I am trying to do.

Are you trying to find answers to your questions through your writing and films?

I am digging deep into myself and there I see myself in front of a mirror. After completing the movie, I felt I had gone deep into myself and come out with some jewels and some injuries. I want to share this with the audience.

 


Image: A scene from Onaiyum Aatukuttiyum

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'I lost 25 kgs to act in the film'

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Don't you feel that there is a wolf and a lamb inside everyone?

Yes, that is what the story addresses. Everybody is both a wolf and a lamb. Everybody is a Buddha. What matters is how you deal with the wolf and the lamb inside you.

Who dominates in the film; the wolf or the lamb?

It is like God playing a dice. Sometimes the wolf dominates and hits the lamb and sometimes it is the other way round. It comes to rest when there is a positive answer.

Is one the alter ego of the other?

You are absolutely right. They are alter egos of each other; it is like everyone has two personalities.

Why did you decide to be the wolf in the film?

Very simple. This role has to be done without any decoration around it. I don't need an actor to enhance the story. So I wanted somebody who has some experience in acting. Then my assistant asked me, why don't you do it? I said, I cannot do it because I am so fat at 107 kilos. He told me to reduce weight. I became 82 kilos in two months!


Image: A scene from Onaiyum Aatukuttiyum

Tags: Buddha

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'The audience is always intelligent and I respect them'

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When we spoke about Nandalala, you had said that no actor was willing to act in the film and that was when you decided to act....

This time I did not want to go on asking everyone because I know it was a beautiful character. Also it is a window to my personality; I can go inside and see what is inside.

Was it a self-discovering journey for you?

Actually it was a great self-discovering journey. After Nandalala, this is the second time I have gone into myself and I am so happy about it

Could you see the wolf and the lamb inside you while you were writing or making the film?

There was a big wolf in me while I was writing and when I started working on the project, it got smaller and the lamb grew big. Now it is a big goat! (laughs)

Filmmakers generally think audiences are not intelligent enough to understand what they try to say and they go for overstatement. What do you say about this?

That is the prevalent idea but I don't buy it because there is no difference between me and the audience. I don't find much difference between the audience and the creator. Poems are half-written; the other half is written by the reader. Films are also like that.

The audience is always intelligent and I respect them.


Image: A scene from Onaiyum Aatukuttiyum

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'I take the blame on my shoulders when my movies are rejected'

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Does the acceptance or rejection by the audience affect you?

When my movies are rejected, it means that I have not conveyed the idea properly. I take the blame on my shoulders. I should not and cannot blame the audience

Did you feel bad when your last film Mukhamoodi was not accepted so warmly?

Yes, for a few days I felt bad. Then I realised I had not invested my soul and heart in the project and that was why I could not strike the right chord with them. I should have worked with more respect for the audience. I then decided that I would invest more love and passion and soul to my work and then I came up with this idea. 

Do you think you will strike the right chord this time?

I believe so. I will say I have struck the right chord with some good music from Ilayaraja.

Why is your production house named Lone Wolf?

Basically, I am a lone wolf! When I wanted to start a company, that is the only thing that came to my mind.


Image: A scene from Onaiyum Aatukuttiyum


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