Sense of a scene: The son's speech
In this week’s column, director Vikraman talks in detail about the climax speech of the protagonist in Suryavamsam
'Suryavamsam is just a family drama, but I would confidently say that no other film inspired youngsters like it did. If you ask me whether Sakthivel would have accepted Chinnarasu if he wasn't successful, I'd say the enormous growth of the latter was essential to prove the love he had on his father. The scene where he addresses the crowd during the inauguration of his free hospital is the best possible way to show his gratitude.
If you notice, he completely credits his success to his father without mentioning anything about his wife Nandhini's support. He does that without a second's thought because he knows that his wife respects his father as much as he does and she wouldn't feel belittled because of his speech. Taking a deeper look at the film, one would find that Nandhini teaches him this during the Natchathira Jannalil song, and this, in turn, aids Chinnarasu in becoming an entrepreneur.
Audiences ask me how Chinrasu, being illiterate, addresses the crowd effortlessly. Chinnarasu isn't a gloomy introvert like they assume. He is an active youngster and it is only love failure that makes pushes him to an inferiority complex. When Manivannan's Rasappa says, "Chinnarasu-a kaila pudikka mudiyadhu,", you can feel the latter's energy on screen. I didn't intend to project him as a scholar or an orator in the hospital inauguration scene; he just speaks four lines and all of them are right from his heart.
Just like the rest of the memorable scenes from my films, this scene is also interlaced with humour. I infused situational humour where every single family member of Sakthivel hides within the crowd assuming that they have outwitted the rest. Even after Chinnarasu's emotional speech, the next scene is followed up by the funny conversation between Shakthivel and his wife Latha. I wanted the balance to be 30% humour and 70% sentiment. The idea of including Chinnarasu's brothers in this scene is also to establish the fact that when a member of a family grows in life, all the relations rejoice, forgetting their differences.
I finished the final draft of Suryavamsam in 1988 and I initially wanted to make it with Vijaykumar and Karthik playing the father and son, respectively. But ten years later, I got a chance to make it with Sarath Kumar playing both roles. Interestingly, the script I pitched to RB Choudary sir was an alternate version of Vaanathaippola. I had named the film Annan Thambi back then. But due to certain reasons, we decided to go ahead with my ten-year-old script.
During the time of the film's release, a rag picker from Kovilpatti had given an interview saying that he watches the film every day in theatres, to get the motivation to work harder and rise in life. Regardless of the genre, optimism has been a common theme of all my films. Kashta pattu uzhaikkaravanga nallaa varuvaanga... vandhe aaganum... that's my mantra. I believe this infectious positivity is the reason Suryavamsam is relevant twenty-one years after its release.