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Directing a Tamil cowboy film

Last updated on: May 5, 2010 15:30 IST

Directing a Tamil cowboy film

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Shobha Warrier in Chennai

Chimbudevan, the cartoonist-turned-film maker, better known as the creator of Imsai Arasan 23aam Pulikesi for Shankar's S Productions, is now ready with his third film, Irumbukottai Murattu Singam, a cowboy film in Tamil.

The film shot by the Kerala State Award-winning cinematographer, Alagappan has Lawrence, Lakshmi Rai, Padma Priya and Sandhya in the lead.

After a long delay, the film is finally releasing on May 7, a perfect summer release for children, according to the director, who is excited its release. He recounts his experiences to Shobha Warrier. Excerpts:

The film was supposed to release in March. But because of the IPL, it was postponed again. Weren't you restless with the delay?

Actually, it was only when the release got delayed that we decided to release the film in Telugu also simultaneously. So, we were continuously working on the Telugu project.

First, we planned to release only the Tamil version before the IPL. Then, we thought of releasing both the Tamil and Telugu after the IPL.

Its Irumbukottai Murattu Singam In Tamil and Super Cowboy in Telugu. In fact, we had an audio launch also in Hyderabad.


Image: Lawrence and Chimbudevan

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'After decades, a cowboy film is releasing in Tamil'

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As May is when children get their summer holidays, don't you think it was a better time than March to release a cowboy film?

Definitely. March is exam time here while May has a holiday mood for every family. As we are releasing the film in both Tamil and Telugu simultaneously, it has turned out to be a blessing for us. Our target audience is children and family and what better time than May, the holiday time for us!

It is very rare that fantasy movies come to the theatres in our language. So, we hope that the family audience will come to the theatre to enjoy the film.

Summer time, we see films of bigger heroes and stars. Do you feel it is disadvantageous for you to have a hero like Lawrence who is not the conventional hero?

According to me, what is more important is the project and not the name of the hero. Here, the project is Irumbukottai Murattu Singam. After decades, a cowboy film is releasing in Tamil. We feel that in itself can bring the audience to the theatres. Once they see the movie, they will understand the importance of the hero. We are marketing the film highlighting its overall package. Lawrence is a choreographer and has style, so also the cowboys. So we feel him acting as the cowboy will add to the style of the character. We are extremely satisfied with his performance and style.

As far as Telugu is concerned, the bonus is that Lawrence has a very good market there. Now that we are also releasing the film in Telugu, it is good for the film. He has also directed two films and acted in three films as a hero! So, there is a ready-made market for him and it is advantageous for us.

Yes, I do agree that stars add value to a film but then in Tamil, we are marketing the film as a product, a cowboy film.


Image: A scene from Irumbukottai Murattu Singam

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'When I wrote the script, I didn't look for a mass hero'

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Did you have a particular popular hero in mind when you wrote the script?

When I wrote the script, I didn't even look for a mass hero. All I wanted was a hero with style because I feel cowboys have style. Remember I had Vadivelu in double role in Imsai Arasan...

How do you describe the character played by Lawrence? Can you compare it to the character played by Vadivelu?

This character is different. In some places, he is serious while, he does a lot of comedy too. It is a mix of both. And action too.


Image: A scene from

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'We created a new language for the red Indians'

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Your first two films were comedy films. When we think of a cowboy film, the image that comes to mind is that of action. Will there be humour in Irumbukottai?

I will call my film an adventure comedy. It's not a serious film. There is humour throughout the film, and all the characters are humorous. There are some characters who speak in a language which we have not heard before.

What is that language? Did you create a new language?

In the story, there are some Red Indians and they speak in a language that is not known to us! M S Bhaskar is the leader of the team. Sandhya is his daughter and a princess. We created a new language for the red Indians and it is the Irumbu kottai language.

When I wrote the script, I didn't actually write the language in detail; it was perfected by M S Bhaskar. He told me when he saw the script that he would develop it and I agreed. I would say it was like writing a thesis for a PhD. Actors would go and ask him, 'what should I say if I were to say, I have come in now'. He compiled a dictionary where he added each word to it.

In the film, every character among them touch their chest and exclaim, 'Appidiko' which means 'Oh God!' Instead of saying Singam (Lion), Bhaskar created the word Grrr.


Image: A scene from Irumbukottai Murattu Singam

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'I think the film will be a novel experience for the audience'

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Was it tough creating a new language?

On the spot, it was funny and enjoyable though it was tough. The tougher times were when we were dubbing. I was there with a note book with all the words so that the artists spoke the words correctly.

What is your feeling now that the film is releasing in two languages?

We had great excitement when we shot the film. So, we think it will be a novel experience for the audience too. It is like waiting for the exam result but then as we have written the exam well, so, we expect good results!


Image: A scene from Irumbukottai Murattu Singam

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