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'We remade Thillu Mullu to make everyone laugh'

Last updated on: June 10, 2013 10:31 IST

'We remade Thillu Mullu to make everyone laugh'

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S Saraswathi in Chennai

'Mirchi' Shiva became a name to reckon with after the hilarious comedy entertainer, Thamizh Padam. Though he made his presence felt in Venkat Prabhu's Chennai 28 and Saroja, it was Thamizh Padam, a full-length spoof on the Tamil film industry that made him popular overnight. This was also his first movie as a solo hero.

His recently released Kalakalappu directed by Sundar C also received rave reviewsand made him one of most sought-after actors in Tamil. 

Thillu Mullu 2, a remake of Superstar Rajnikanth's blockbuster by the same name (which itself was a remake of Hrishikesh Mukherjee's Golmal), releases this week. 

Also in the pipeline are Kiruthiga Udhayanidhi's film titled Vanakkam Chennai and another film Sonna Puriyadhu by Krishnan Jayaraj.

Here Shiva talks about the making of Thillu Mullu 2 and why he believes it will be a success.

You have taken on a big challenge of being in the remake of a film made by K Balachander with Rajnikanth...

As an artist, every new role is a challenge, but right from the start the remake of Thillu Mullu has garnered a lot of attention.

I personally met K Balachander and Rajnikanth as well as Kamal Haasan, who made a cameo appearance in the original, before commencing the movie. Everyone was very encouraging. 

In fact, Rajini sir said that he had a gut feeling that this movie was going to turn out well. What else did we need? We had the blessings of everyone concerned.

It is only the media that seems to be worried. This constant questioning whether we have taken up a big challenge and bitten off more than we can chew is causing more unnecessary pressure than the actual making of the film.


Image: Shiva and Isha in Thillu Mullu


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'The movie has been adapted to suit the current audience'

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Any particular reason why you chose to remake Thillu Mullu?

Our main intention was to make everyone laugh and forget their worries. We wanted to give the audience two hours of non-stop fun and laughter and since Thillu Mullu was a through and through comedy film, we knew we had the right script.

Have you made any changes to the original script?

We have only used the general concept of Thillu Mullu, that of a whole bunch of people trying to cheat one man and how one lie leads to another. The rest of the movie has been adapted to suit the 2013 audience.



Image: Shiva and Isha in Thillu Mullu


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'Isha was fun to work with'

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Have you copied Rajnikanth's mannerisms in the film?

It is very difficult to copy Superstar's mannerisms, while simultaneously trying to make it look original, as people recognise it instantly.

I wanted something more understated, so I actually watched Hrishikesh Mukherjee's Golmaal, the Hindi version, enacted by Amol Palekar. Known more for his simple boy-next-door looks, Amol Palekar had given a more subtle performance in Golmaal

Tell us about your co-star, Isha Talwar.

Isha was fun to work with. Though she makes her debut in Tamil cinema with Thillu Mullu 2, she already has a hit to her credit, a Malayalam film, Thattathin Marayatthu

Since Isha did not know the language and always learnt her dialogues by heart, we had lots of fun on the sets pulling her leg. 

Why do you have both M S Viswanathan and Yuvan Shankar Raja composing for the film?

The legendary Viswanathan had composed the music for the original Thillu Mullu and since we wanted to retain two of the old compositions, we wanted him on the team. 

At the same time, we also wanted to add a bit of freshness, something new and more suited to the present-day audience. Yuvan Shankar Raja seemed to be the perfect choice for that. 


Image: Shiva and Isha in Thillu Mullu


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'My fans and producers are very happy with my current roles'

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Aren't you worried about comparisons?

Actually the two movies cannot be compared at all. The original Thillu Mullu was released in 1981, more than three decades ago.

What appealed to the audience then would definitely not appeal to this generation. As I mentioned earlier, only the basic idea is the same, all the other incidents have been changed to suit current trends. 

This Thillu Mullu is set in the modern-day backdrop. 

Tell us about your future projects. Any serious roles in the pipeline or are you going to continue with only comedy?

Kiruthiga Udhayanidhi's film titled Vanakkam Chennai and Sonna Puriyadhu by Krishnan Jayaraj are both nearing completion and scheduled to be released soon. 

Both my fans and producers are very happy with my current roles. Though I am ready to build a six-pack body and get into more action oriented and serious roles, they prefer me as I am. 

Image: Shiva and Isha in Thillu Mullu


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'The current trend does seem to be comedy-centred films'

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Do you think it is possible to sustain as a hero doing only comic roles?

The current trend does seem to be comedy-centred films. Besides, I have played different characters in all my films and the comedy has always been in keeping with the character, never as a separate track. 

Even in my future projects, I am playing different characters, for instance in Sonna Puriyadhu, I play a dubbing artist.

Do you still find time to host a radio show?

I started out as a radio jockey for Radio Mirchi and received a lot of love and attention from people in all walks of life. Though busy, I still manage to host at least one radio show per week even today. 

Movie-making is more complex and time consuming, and it usually takes six months or more to finally release a movie, whereas entertaining via the radio is relatively simple: you can just pick up the microphone and start the show, providing instant entertainment to thousands of listeners.

Thillu Mullu was a huge hit; can we expect the same from Thillu Mullu 2?

During the making of the movie, I met K Balachander a few times and we sometimes spoke for hours. He told me not to make the film with only the commercial aspect in mind, but to do it with passion. 

And that is precisely what we have done. A lot of hard work has gone into the making of the film and I really hope we have done justice to the script. As actors we have done our bit and now it is for you to judge. 


Image: Shiva and Isha in Thillu Mullu


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