Direction Dreams: ‘Why can’t a female director make an action film?’
This weekly column brings to you a promising assistant director, and their aspirations with this week it is Bhargavi Kalidas, who is assisting director Vijay
Bhargavi Kalidas is currently the assistant director of Vijay for Karu and she has previously worked with Rajesh(SMS,OKOK), Saran(Asal), Jagdish(Nanbenda) and Deekay (Kavalai Vendam)
Why filmmaking? How did your journey commence?
Filmmaking has always been a part of my life. My granddad was a stage artiste. From my childhood, I have been involved with arts, theatre, drama and filmmaking. My dad is a dubbing artist and has also acted in a few films. My cousin, Swarnamalya, is a popular actress too.
What’s the oddest thing you have done as an assistant director?
For Siva Manasula Sakthi, we were shooting at night in a real Tasmac bar in Egmore. We would have to wait till the real customers cleared out. Also, we had to wrap up the shoot before seven in the morning as the customers would already begin queueing up. I guess that’s my oddest experience.
What do you like about AL Vijay’s style of filmmaking?
The way he respects women. I think he is a filmmaker who portrays women in a dignified manner.
What did you learn from him?
The ability to plan and multitask effectively. He handles and executes a variety of tasks at a single point of time. Some of us can’t deal with one task going awry. But to take up as many tasks as he usually does, and take charge is an impressive feat.
Are you star-struck?
I was when Ajith spoke to me for the first time. We met at director Saran’s office. Had I met him directly on the sets of film, I’m sure it would have been awkward as I would have stood with my mouth open in awe.
What do you want to change about Tamil cinema?
Stereotyping of women filmmakers. Why is that a woman filmmaker is always equated with soft, emotional films? Why can’t a woman filmmaker make an action film?
What’s one area of film making that you are having a tough time with?
Keeping pace with the dynamic process of converting a scene from paper to screen. Through the process of conceptualizing and executing a scene, there will be numerable changes. I think it’s a challenge to ensure that the essence of the end product is similar to what was originally planned.
Which is the best film you’ve worked on so far?
Siva Manasula Sakthi. Because that was the first film I worked on and I learnt so much. It was like venturing into a forest blindfolded.
What are you working on now?
I’m busy with the scripting work of an action film.
Debut films are often the result of compromises. What compromises are you willing to make?
I guess I don’t mind making a compromise when it comes to the budget.
What’s the dream cast of your debut film?
I have a few actors in mind. But I would love to sign Jeeva for my debut film.