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Humorously yours

"I do comedies because I like and enjoy doing them. Moreover, I feel, it is a very effective way to communicate with the masses," says Vivek about his job

HE BROUGHT about a phenomenal change in the comedy scenes of Tamil cinema by transforming it from an individual-centric state to concept-oriented one. He has the uncanny knack of driving the intended social message straight into the head riding on comedy.

The `comedian emperor' of the mainstream Tamil cinema, VIVEK, who was in the city recently for ad promos, squeezed time in between his hectic schedule for a brief chat with PRATHIBA PARAMESWARAN.

How do you feel being here in the city?

It is definitely pleasing for me to be among my fans. This is an opportunity to interact with my fans directly and be able to speak to the common people. I am extremely gratified to see people relating to me as one among them and I had a good time, sharing jokes and entertaining them.

Reviewers have strongly criticised your role in the recent Tamil film `Perazhagan' as being rather unsympathetic to the problems of a physically challenged person. How do you respond to that?

Well, there is an old Tamil movie where Sivaji Ganesan plays the role of a physically handicapped man and the comedian keeps poking fun at him. Till the end, the comedian does not lend a helping hand to the protagonist. Contrary to that, in Perazhagan, though I laugh at my friend at various times, I am also the first person to come to his aid in case of a need. The comedy in the movie is only an ingredient to make the movie lively.

How did you happen to branch into comedy rather than taking up any other genre for entertainment?

I do comedies because I like and enjoy doing them. Moreover, I feel, it is a very effective way to communicate with the masses and the form, if properly used, can be a good medium for education too.

Are we going to see you in any offbeat numbers too?

Off beat movies make a very different stream from what I am doing right now. I am a comedian, and moviemakers, usually make use of my comedy as a component for mainstream, commercial movies. In some movies, my role as a comedian is very insignificant compared to that of the hero. In others, I am as important as the protagonist. It all depends on how the moviemakers use me and on the role that I am given. But as far as I am concerned, whoever attracts the audience most is the hero.

We see a lot of young fans cheering you. Do you think comedy can attract young people into its fold?

Surely, it can. Humour appeals to everyone irrespective of age. But as for my fans who are mostly youths, I believe I have tried out a different sort of comedy altogether where I insert some message for the society. It doesn't just make you laugh, but makes you think as well.

When are we going to see a full-fledged comedy movie from your side?

I have been working on it for quite long. The spadework has already begun. The script needs to be good enough and has to gel in smoothly with an equally impressive story line. So when all these factors come together, which I expect would happen sometime soon, the audience would be able to see it.

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