Interview: Manikandan

Posted on February 10, 2018

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Manikandan talks about his next film, Kadaisi Vivasayi (The Last Farmer), and why Rajinikanth would be great for the lead role. He talks about how he uses realism as a tool, and how a director needs time to confirm his talents. He says you shouldn’t make issues too strong, and you shouldn’t have only entertainment, without any message. He says not everyone will get the layers in a movie. He says a director can create engagement value through image, sound, a melody. In a visual medium, he says you have to think of images rather than dialogue. He says he won’t allow anyone to affect the core story, not even the producer. He says a lot of films don’t need background music, and talks about the Indian tradition of using music right when the emotion begins, not just to underline it. He talks about lensing and colour palettes. He analyses why he is considered uncompromising. He talks about keeping a hero’s image in mind, about the use of film festivals. He says doors open more easily for commercial filmmakers.

QUOTES

I am not an activist or documentary maker or journalist. I am a filmmaker.

Someone who reads an article in a magazine is different from someone who shells out Rs. 500 to watch a movie.

If someone does not have the sensibility, then they won’t get the layers in a movie.

Most people do not get the politics behind it, or how we use pizza as a metaphor.

You can create that engagement value through image, sound, a melody… That depends on the director.

If I try to force broad humour into a film like Kutrame Thandanai, the core audience for the film will not like it.

My tool is realism.

When everything is fictional, you have to show the people as real.

My films have no duets, fight, comedy, or villains. So I need layers.

A man may do bad things all his life, but in his last years he’ll do many good things and our opinion of him will change.

This is a visual medium. You have to think of images rather than dialogue.

I won’t allow anyone to affect the core story, not even the producer.

A lot of films don’t need background music.

You participate in Kaaka Muttai. You observe Aandavan Kattalai.

Once Vijay Sethupathi was fixed, I removed the scene where the hero gets beaten up.

Doors open more easily for commercial filmmakers.

I got the idea for Kadaisi Vivasayi after finishing Kaaka Muttai.

Among the three main characters, we asked Yogi Babu to play one. And Vijay Sethupathi for another. These are characters people will like a lot.

The main lead in Kadaisi Vivasayi is about 75 years old. He is hearing-impaired.

If not Rajinikanth, then we can only cast a real-life farmer. There’s a certain build, skin tone… other actors don’t have that.

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