`Only the best for Rajini'
With everyone putting their best foot forward, "Chandramukhi" is all set to regale Rajini fans, says director P. Vasu in this conversation with S. R. ASHOK KUMAR.
IT IS always a delight to interview director P. Vasu. With 49 films under his belt, the latest being "Chandramukhi," the Rajini-starrer, he is full of interesting anecdotes and keeps a set of good photographs of himself and the film ready for the scribe. It was not different this time.
The pictures of Sivaji Ganesan and MGR (Vasu's father, Pithambaram, was the matinee idol's make-up man) adorn the walls of Vasu's residence and his table. The beautiful staircase seems to be straight from the sets of a movie. In this austere background, one settles down for a chat with Vasu and the conversation soon veers round "Chandramukhi." The director traces the background and the highlights of production.
Happy and nervous
``Rajini and I have done three films `Panakkaran', `Mannan' and `Uzhaippali' together. The rapport has continued and we would often discuss stories. Rajini happened to see `Aaptha Mithra,' a Kannada film I had directed, and told me that he liked it. He wondered whether we could do a film together. . After a few months I got a call from Ram Kumar and he told me that Rajinikanth had evinced interest in doing a film for Sivaji Films and P. Vasu would be the director. I was happy but a little nervous too.
``When it became public that I was going to direct Rajini's film I had people telling me that I should do my best. This always happens. Such is people's affection for Rajini. He just chuckled in his characteristic way when I told him this. Rajini, generally, is warm and friendly, respects technicians and goes out of the way to put a newcomer at ease. It was not an exception this time. Nayantara, for instance, was nervous the first day she came on the sets. Sensing this Rajini took me up to her and said, `Vasu, here is Nayantara, beauty queen of Kerala. It is a privilege to work with her and I'm extremely happy. What about you?' That worked wonders and the heroine shed her inhibitions and fear.
``This is my 50th film. For Rajinikanth it is the 152nd film. Working for Sivaji Films, we both feel blessed by the legend. Production went on very well at a fast pace. We started the production as late as December last year and finished the film and it is going to be released on Tamil New Year Day (April 14).
``Sekar has been remarkable with the camera. I was impressed with his work in a few Telugu films and for `Chandramukhi' he has given some amazing touches. He has done magic with the lighting.
``It is first time Vidyasagar has composed music for a Rajini film. He was eager to give his best and worked tirelessly until we were satisfied with each tune. The cassettes are doing well. His re-recording is also worth mentioning. `Dalapathi' Dinesh has excelled in his stunts. `Four Frames' Deenan and make-up Sundaramurthy's work will also be noticed. To sum up, every one has contributed to the excellent finish of the film.
``Prabhu has done a beautiful job. Rajini treats Ramkumar and Prabhu as his brothers and insisted during the shoot that either of them should be on the sets. Both Nayantara and Jyotika have done very well. Nasser is a fine character actor and has proved his calibre once again. However, according to Rajini, Vadivelu is the hero of `Chandramukhi' and that was how he addressed him.
Director P. Vasu ... oozing confidence and Rajinikanth with Nayantara and Jyotika.(above)
``Istanbul, suggested by Travel Masters, was an ideal choice. It was fun, especially mealtime. In Istanbul restaurants, tables are allotted on the basis of countries. So all of us would sit around one table, which would sport the Tricolour, in a big group and it was an absolutely enjoyable experience.
A different film
``It is a totally different film, not only for Rajinikanth but also for me. Nothing here will remind you of his earlier films. The accent is on comedy. There is no sister sentiment nor mother sentiment for that matter, no villain as such, and no ostentatious love scenes. But it will be moving and entertaining. In short, Saravanan of `Chandra Mukhi' will not be forgotten for a long time."
Send this article to Friends by
Chennai and Tamil Nadu