When Sathyaraj clapped for Vijay Deverakonda
Director Anand Shankar talks about his bilingual political thriller NOTA, starring Vijay Deverakonda, Sathyaraj and Mehreen Pirzada
The shoot of Studio Green’s NOTA has resumed after the 48 day film strike in Kollywood. The film marks the introduction of Arjun Reddy fame Vijay Deverakonda to Tamil cinema. Needless to say, the pressure to deliver is high on the young Tollywood hero.
Despite not knowing how to speak Tamil fluently, the actor agreed to do NOTA because he was impressed by director Anand Shankar’s script. Armed with the bound script that was given to him before shooting commenced, he apparently used the 48 day strike to work not just on his character but also to get a grip on the language. And the events on the sets on Thursday, left everyone with ample proof of his talent and dedication.
A delighted director Anand Shankar couldn’t believe what he'd witnessed. Giving a background of the shot, he says, “We were shooting at the EVP complex on the outskirts of Chennai. Apart from Vijay, the shot involved Sathyaraj sir and 200 junior artistes. Vijay had to utter a three page dialogue in front of them. The scene was deeply intense with varied emotions, involving interaction with other characters, and would be tough for any actor to do. Ideally it would take at least half a day to shoot with a division of six shots with several cuts in between. Since Vijay is not fluent with Tamil I thought it may take longer with him.”
But Anand never got a chance to divide his shots. “Vijay completed the entire intense scene in fluent Tamil, in just one take! He just went ahead at full steam hitting the right note with all the emotions. My half day work plan was complete in just half an hour! At the end of the scene, the entire unit, including Sathyaraj sir, started clapping.”
The filmmaker is impressed with the thorough planning his hero does before coming on sets, “He has used the bound script to do a lot of homework. I’ve noticed that he makes it a point to first understand the script. Then he makes an individual structure of his performance by himself. And once once the camera rolls, he delivers it just right. I think he’s out to prove himself in the Tamil industry and it shows. It’s sheer delight for a director to work with such a dedicated actor.”
It's no wonder then that a normally reticent Anand Shankar took to Twitter to express his feelings. “Vijay Deverakonda just performed a three page intense tamil dialogue scene in ONE TAKE. Sathyaraj sir and all my other artists stunned. We finished shoot early today,” he wrote.