Director Vasanth gives his take on film appreciation and future plans
FROM "Keladi Kanmani" to "Yeh! Nee Romba Azhaga Irukey", director Vasanth has come a long way. With his unique style of story-telling, he has carved a niche for himself in the Tamil film world.
Now, Vasanth has made a foray into short films. He has just wrapped up "Thakkai Meethu Naangu Kangal," based on a short story by S. Kandaswamy.
"Doordarshan has commissioned 10 films each in 14 regional languages based on classics. Those directing films in Tamil include Revathy, Suhasini, Balu Mahendra and myself," the director says.
And three more films are in the offing this year. "There is one with Surya and two others - "Thanneer", based on a novel by Asokamitran, and "Ezhukottai Veedu" drawn from Jayamohan's."
He introduced Surya in "Naerukku Naer". How does he rate the shy actor today? "I am happy with Surya's progress. There are loads of good qualities in him," the ace director says.
Though Vasanth hit the bull's eye with his very first movie, "Keladi Kanmani", his recent films have not fared all that well, though they won critical acclaim. Does he have an explanation? "Movies do reach people, but we don't receive any feedback. The criterion for judging a film has to change. Minority opinion also matters. They have to find a voice. "Rhythm" fared quite well abroad, running for more than four weeks in the United States. Its DVDs are still in demand," he points out.
What went wrong with the much-hyped "Yeh! Nee Romba Azhaga Irukey"? The climax, especially, came in for harsh criticism. "I thought the climax would be considered cute, but the public thought otherwise," he concedes.
Vasanth says the public has given him an image, which they expect him to maintain. "In a bid to capture newer audiences, I will not offend my regulars. I have a serious image which is difficult to break."
Does he follow the same method of filmmaking as his mentor, K. Balachander? "No. I prefer to remain in the background and let my characters talk."
With failure, expectation falls, he says. "In a sense, it brings relief. After the release of a movie, be it a hit or a flop, I fix a date and forget all about it," he states.
The director does not stick to industry norms. Does that land him in trouble? "I don't mind walking my way to a place. I am different, don't react and people seem to respect that. They let me be."
Talk about his mentor and he says: "I have always adored KB. SPB (the singer) too. Somehow, I have always moved with people who have their feet firmly rooted to the ground."
Ultimately, direction is just another job. "The extra popularity comes in because of the field I am in. Whatever happens, it is important to handle success well," he concludes.
SUBHA J. RAO
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