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My first break


I was in a tizzy because I’d never tasted victory in life till Kadhal happened



Balaji Shaktivel

How it happened

Samurai, my debut with Vikram in the lead was a damp squib — the mistake was in my screenplay, can’t fault anyone else for it. So, Kadhal, my second film, was my real break. Director Shankar’s S Pictures produced it. I’d been with him since his Gentleman. I knocked at the doors of every producer possible with the story of Kadhal, but none wanted it. Shankar heard my line and narrated it to his wife and at the end of it her eyes were brimming with tears. So he decided to produce it himself and overnight things changed for me!

How it felt

I was in a tizzy because I’d never tasted victory in life till Kadhal happened. I came here to do worthy films and I was sure Kadhal would win. But no distributor was game and when Shankar decided to go ahead and release it himself, no theatres were available. Finally it came out on December 17. We kept our fingers crossed. We thought it was enough if the film pulled on till Pongal, but the way it was received overwhelmed me. Frankly, it kind of threw me out of gear. The success scared me.

How life changed

It took me nearly three years to get over my fear and get on with my next film, Kalloori, (releasing today) again for S Pictures. You can’t possibly win if you work with fear. I wonder how others begin a film soon after a hit! And till Shankar asks me to go elsewhere I’ll make movies only for him. He gives me the freedom a creator needs. And I work as if it is my own production. I’ve read, researched and met many people before I made Kalloori. Let’s see.

MALATHI RANGARAJAN

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