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'Nothing unrealistic about Kedi Billa Killadi Ranga'

Last updated on: March 26, 2013 10:15 IST

'Nothing unrealistic about Kedi Billa Killadi Ranga'

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Shobha Warrier in Chennai

Pandiraj made a mark in Tamil cinema with his very first film, Pasanga. It won the Golden Elephant Award for Best Director at the 16th International Children's Film Festival in 2009 and also the Best Tamil (regional) film at the National level.

He also won the National Award for Best Dialogue Writer and Master Sriram and Master Kishore from Pasanga were the Best Child Artistes.

His next films, Vamsam and Marina were also critically acclaimed.

Pandiraj talks about his new film Kedi Billa Kelladi Ranga, a comedy, which hits the screens this Friday.

Why did you decide to name your protagonists after two notorious criminals, Billa and Ranga?

I have taken these names not from the criminals but from the characters Rajini played in his films.

These are the names that people in Tamil Nadu, especially in the villages, are very familiar with because Rajini made them memorable.

My film is a romantic comedy and when people hear the title, they will know what the film will be all about. In the villages, people describe naughty youngsters as Billa and Ranga.


Image: A scene from Kedi Billa Killadi Ranga. Inset: Director Pandiraj

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'Humour is like honey for me'

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What sort of characters are Billa and Ranga in your film?

They are two naughty youngsters living in a small town near Trichy. There is nothing serious about these two guys played by Vimal and Sivakarthikeyan. Even the most serious issue is looked at in a comic way.

The film is about the aspirations and dreams of youngsters of a small town. With TV penetrating even the interiors of India, aspirations and dreams of young men in the villagers have changed. They have started dreaming about living like the city guys. The film is about all that and more.

Are you inspired by any real life characters?

Yes, there are many such Billas and Rangas in our villages. If a youngster is naughty and aimless, the elders will ask, are you turning the Billa, Ranga way? The names have excellent recall value.

You said in one of our earlier interviews that you like to lace even the most sensitive and serious issue with humour. Why do you want to use this technique?

I feel if we portray serious issues in a serious way, it may not strike a chord with everyone. On the other hand, they will listen to what we say while laughing. That will leave an imprint on their minds.

It is like a child taking a bitter pill with a pinch of sugar or a drop of honey. The pill goes in without the child knowing about it. Humour is like honey for me.


Image: A scene from Kedi Billa Killadi Ranga

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'I always desire to make films that I believe in'

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So, are you gong to give a bitter pill with honey in this film?

There is no bitter pill in this film, only honey—pure, sweet honey. When both Vimal and Sivakarthikeyan are together, you will have a laugh riot.

How did you choose these two actors?

Because both Billa and Ranga are humorous and they need to gel well, I thought of casting these two, and my intuition was right. The chemistry between the two is truly excellent.

Why did you decide to produce the film?

After Pasanga got noticed, I decided to start a production house called Pasanga.

We had to wait for three hours to shoot a scene in the rain for this film. We could do things like this, the way we wanted, because we ourselves are producing the film.

Also, I have this desire to make films that I believe in.  


Image: A scene from Kedi Billa Killadi Ranga

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'Kedi Billa Killadi Ranga is a realistic commercial film'

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Since Pasanga, you have made films that are different. Naturally, audiences expect something different every time you make a film. Does this put pressure on you?

I don't think expectations put pressure on me. Today's audience is very knowledgeable about films. They talk authoritatively not only about acting but about cinematography, editing, background score, etc.

So, we as film-makers have to be a notch higher than them. Otherwise, you will disappoint them. That is the pressure that we have these days.

Compared to my earlier three films, this is a commercial venture.

Why did you change track and make a commercial film?

I didn't change track. This movie can be made only this way, only in this format. When I say commercial, it doesn't mean that it is not realistic.

Kedi Billa Killadi Ranga is a realistic commercial film. There is nothing unrealistic about my film, and the characters are also very real.

Is it true that it's a sort of dual world in the film?

Yes. There are two heroes, two heroines, two friends, two villains, two fathers, two mothers. Every character has a double! And that is the uniqueness of the film.


Image: A scene from Kedi Billa Killadi Ranga

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