'We wanted to get a clean A certificate'
... says director Santhosh P Jayakumar, whose films with Gautham Karthik and Arya, Iruttu Araiyil Murattu Kuthu and Ghajinikanth, respectively, are ready for release
When we last caught up with director Santhosh P Jayakumar about six months back, he was a debutant prepping for his first release, Hara Hara Mahadevaki. He’s got two big films now -- Iruttu Araiyil Murattu Kuthu (IAMK) and Ghajinikanth. He’s already made plans to do a Telugu remake of IAMK next. Much like his previous film, this too is an adult comedy. "It’s come out really well," says the director, who is teaming up once again with Gautham Karthik. "It felt like we had resumed shooting after a small break. It didn’t seem like we were starting another film."
He realises the pitfalls of doing an adult comedy. "There’s a very thin line. The slightest mistake could make it either seem like porn, or a predictable comedy." He also adds that horror comedies are dime a dozen and that he’s done his homework to make sure IAMK doesn’t seem repetitive. “For one, there's no flashback for the ghost. This is a completely different horror film. Our target audience — the masses — will definitely enjoy it."
Much like Hara Hara Mahadevaki, IAMK too features a predominantly young cast. "Does Rajendran count too?” he asks with a laugh. The film also has threee heroines, and stars actors like Karunakaran, John Vijay and Bala Saravanan. "Chandrika Ravi plays the ghost and Vaibhavi Shandilya plays Gautham’s girlfriend. Yaashika Anand has a unique role that I can’t quite reveal," says Santhosh.
The censor experience of Hara Hara Mahadevaki has made Santhosh wiser. “We approached them quite confidently this time, as we remembered what words they had muted out last time. In fact, we muted the words ourselves. I can tell you that we got a clean A certificate," he says, breaking into a laugh.
Meanwhile, his other film, Ghajinikanth, is conceived as a family entertainer. "It's the official remake of Bhale Bhale Magadivoy, a successful Telugu film. As it’s been three years since it got released, we have made some changes and tried to adapt it for Tamil audiences. Also, we have increased the humour quotient," says the director, who goes on to compare both films. "We had no restrictions in making IAMK, but for Ghajinikanth, we knew we had to give a film that’s acceptable for everyone.” The film’s about a forgetful protagonist and the consequences, he says. “Rajinikanth sir's character in Dharmathin Thalaivan and Suriya’s character in Ghajini felt quite similar. That's how we came up with the film's title."
The film stars Arya in the lead. "He is a sweetheart. If Gautham and I are friends, Arya and I are machans. He's adaptable and gives you that comfort zone," says Santhosh who started the film’s shoots in Pattaya, after wrapping up IAMK there. "We have completed Ghajinikanth in one single stretch of 39 days."
The director is all praise for the film's female lead, Sayyeshaa. "She will go places. I've never seen a heroine whose Tamil pronunciation is as clean. She got on board at a time when she was shooting for Junga and Kadaikutty Singam simultaneously. She’s a dedicated worker."
The director also has two other projects he’s in talks about. "Something interesting is on the cards. You can expect an official announcement soon," he teases.