A tale of two debuts
With Adhagappattathu Magajanangalay releasing this Friday, CE gets candid with its director Inbasekar and hero Umapathy, who are both making their debuts
It is never easy to follow in the footsteps of a veteran actor, and that’s the challenge that young Umapathy, the son of Thambi Ramaiah, will have to negotiate with as he gears up for the release of his debut film, Adhagappattathu Magajanangalay. Thambi Ramaiah’s advice to his son has been to try and identify his own unique strengths. "I am slowly trying to learn more about what I can and can’t do," says the actor.
While most actors these days come trained from film institutes, Umapathy is of the traditional mould.
"My father dissuaded me from going to the Anupam Kher Film Institute, as he thought I shouldn’t cram too many things in my head," he says. "He has asked me to identify a role that suits me and give my best shot, should the director be convinced of my ability."
The debut film happened on account of a good word put in by lyricist Yuga Bharathi to director Inbasekar, who is also making his debut. This engineering graduate-turned-actor says it was not a planned decision to look for a career in the movies.
"The passion was all there during my school and college days. Culturals provided me the platform to try out a few things in front of a supportive and encouraging audience," he says, but he never really thought he would do something about it.
The actor, who plays an aspiring guitarist in the film, says he had a lot of fun working on the project, especially in the company of his co-stars Pandiarajan (playing his father), Manobala, Naren and Yogi Jepi. "While the director’s instructions were helpful, the words of encouragement from my four fellow actors were invaluable. They kept me going. It also helped that the script was rather straightforward."
He says the movie will be engaging from the word go, and adds, "There were some tough moments for me, especially when shooting the serious scenes. But thanks to the encouragement of the other senior actors, I was able to pull it off. Overall, this has been a wonderful experience for me."
The actor’s second film, Devadas, is already lined up. Umapathy claim to be an accidental actor, but he’s clearly in this for the long haul.
Having not assisted any directors, it was somewhat of a surprise when first-time director Inbasekar got a call from the production house he had pitched the script of Adhagappattathu Magajanangalay to.
"I always wanted to become a director, and so I had a handful of scripts ready with me," says the debutant, who wonders if his experience of working as a producer for a prominent television channel helped him get the opportunity to turn filmmaker. "During that stint, I had the opportunity of meeting a lot of big names in the production department."
Inbasekar says that the decision to cast a fresh face was purely because he went by the needs of the script. "Lyricist Yuga Bharathi did not tll me that Umapathy is the son of Thambi Ramaiah. It was only after he passed the audition did I learn that. I was impressed because that told me that he wants to work his way up the industry on his own."
The director is all praise for the actor. "After working with him, I can with sincerity say that his competitive instincts and his drive to push forward will serve him well."
The filmmaker says that the storyline is quite simple and revolves around the experiences of five people, after an aspiring musician loses his guitar in a bizarre sequence. The female lead is played by Telugu actress Reshma Rathore who is making her Tamil debut, and the rest of the cast is made up of established names like Pandiarajan, Manobala, Naren and Yog Japee.
Inbasekar adds that Imman’s music is the driving force of his film. "For a newcomer to get the support of such big names is no small thing. I count myself very lucky. Not many youngsters get such a privilege," he says.