Director rubbishes NH10 comparison
Sundar Balu, who's directing Garjanai with Trisha, is thrilled about how well the action set-pieces have come out
Debut director Sundar Balu was always quietly confident about getting Trisha to play the lead character in his upcoming Garjanai. "Over the years, cinema has shown us hundreds of stories across various genres like love, revenge, and tragedy. Ultimately, all we really need is a gripping screenplay. And I knew I had one in Garjanai." He rubbishes comparisons with Anushka-starrer NH10. "NH10 was about honour killings, and we have seen that many times in Tamil cinema. My film's more about the contemporary issue of the increasing number of crimes against women," he says. "These days, owing to early exposure to explicit content, young minds are getting corrupt. This makes them get easily involved in criminal activities. Many of them get exploited by criminal gangs."
Sundar says that the film is about what happens when Trisha, who plays a Western dancer, stumbles upon a gang of such youngsters. "She plays a bold, calculative girl. When she comes upon these people, she vows to make them pay for their actions. Her anger is Garjanai," the director says. The cast of the film also includes Vamsi Krishna, Amit Bhargav, Aryan and Vadivukkarasi.
Trisha has done a lot of action scenes for this film, but according to Sundar, it's not of the usual "girl-beats-up-five-men variety. I've kept it more realistic." He says the fight scenes are very strategically planned. "Trisha uses stealth and timing to great effect." The action scenes for the film have been choreographed by stunt director Supreme Sundar. The actress attended a three-week workshop conducted by him to learn stunts involving a rope. "She also had to learn how to balance herself when falling down, and practise running and kicking."
The film has been shot in forests around Kodaikanal and Karaikudi. The director recalls one incident in particular. "We were shooting the climax in Muraiyur and Soorakudi. At Muraiyur, we had a stage set up for a drama scene. Every evening at 6pm, nearly 1,000 people would gather to watch the shoot and stay till night. Trisha would keep waving at them while shooting.” The actress' involvement was a huge boost for the director. “She refused the help of a body double. In between shots, she would wait patiently, and only when all scenes were completed, would she return to her caravan. I was also amazed by sense of continuity. Once we were shooting a scene many weeks later, and she reminded us about a mark on her arm that we had missed.”