Interview: Vetri Maaran

Posted on October 15, 2018

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#VadaChennai has shades of Macbeth, Hamlet… @dhanushkraja had misgivings about Polladhavan… The only 2 “filmmakers” in Tamil cinema are Balu Mahendra, Mani Ratnam… In #VadaChennai, the women swear too..
Vetri Maaran talks about Vada Chennai, and how it differs from other gangster movies set in North Madras. It was originally a 5-1/2 hour cut. How did he reduce it to a manageable size? What is the reason for the long gestation periods between his films (Polladhavan, Aadukalam, Visaranai, and Vada Chennai), and what are his learnings from each one of them? He discusses the possibility that he is a changed man after Visaranai, having now acquired the rights to the book, Shoes of the Dead, which is about farmer suicides.
He talks about his improvisatory methods, and why dubbing is such an important part of his films. When a film drags on for as long as Vada Chennai, is there a danger of doubting the material or getting bored with it? Is there the temptation to keep tweaking or changing it? And what about Dhanush? When an actor and director who have a high level of comfort, who are also friends, is there a danger that you know someone too well and therefore might not be able to surprise each other anymore? And two, given that Dhanush is also a very commercial hero, is there the pressure that you should not let him down at the box office?
He talks about projects like Soodhadi, and a film based on a poem by Na Muthukumar. Would he be interested in a female-oriented film? He discusses Vada Chennai‘s A certificate and what it means in terms of the audience. Finally, he reveals why he isn’t as much of a filmmaker — in his estimation — as Balu Mahendra and Mani Ratnam.

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