Santhosh P Jayakumar: People talk about my films for mere publicity
The director is switching gears from his usual adult comedies to a 'U' certified family entertainer in tomorrow's release, Ghajinikanth
Director Santhosh P Jayakumar is the most interviewed director of the past year and that's largely thanks to his two releases starring Gautham Karthik--the adult comedies Hara Hara Mahadevaki and Iruttu Araiyil Murattu Kuththu. And it looks like he's not going to slow down anytime soon given his next, Ghajinikanth, starring Arya, is lined up for release tomorrow. In contrast to HHM and IAMK, Ghajinikanth is a 'U' certified film and the filmmaker says, "I'm cool with adult comedies, family entertainers, and action too. I'm here to try out all genres possible. I don't want to be stereotyped." Calling Ghajinikanth a 'family entertainer', Santhosh says his next one after this will be in a different genre also.
IAMK became the talk of the town and the topic of discussion at various film-related events for its adult content. But the director is not too concerned about this. "Others talking about it is actually a positive for me. People talk about it for mere publicity, but that's fine with me. While everyone talks about their own films at audio launches, I've had the pleasure of having my film spoken about in all launches," he smiles. Ask if filmmakers are easily branded and Santhosh says, "It's not the people but the press and social activists who brand us. The audience is ready to watch a good film irrespective of the genre."
Ghajinikanth is a remake of the 2015 Telugu film, Bhale Bhale Magadivoy. Before we can finish asking him about choosing a remake for his third film, Santhosh interrupts to say that the film chose him. "The producer of IAMK wanted me to remake it. So I saw the film and I liked it. I felt that I could give it a different touch. As the original film is three years old, there was scope for me to improvise and renew the script. It's not a scene-by-scene remake." Genre aside, comedy is a common thread among his three films. "Every film needs to be entertaining. People who come to watch a film have their own worries, so it's our duty to make them laugh even in a serious film. I'll never do a dry film."
On his choice of Arya to play the lead in Ghajinikanth, Santhosh says the actor has proven his talent with comedy in films such as Oram Po, Boss Engira Bhaskaran, and Vasuvum Saravananum Onna Padichavanga. But the director believes this also posed a challenge. "He has done many comedy films, so we had to make sure this film is not similar to those. That's where we had to improvise. That said, some will come specifically to see the Arya that they've enjoyed in such comedy films, so we could not entirely depart from his signature style either. What we've got is something that is inside the box but looks like it's out of the box." The rapport the director and actor share is so good that they wanted to do another film together immediately. "But since Arya has Suriya 37, he has to honour that commitment. So I'm planning to finish two other films meanwhile," says Santhosh whose next is the Telugu remake of IAMK. "The cast of the film is almost finalised and an official announcement can be expected soon. It'll be a proper remake which will be tweaked for the Telugu sensibilities."
The director had also previously stated that he's planning to make an out-and-out children's film similar to Raja Chinna Roja. "That will probably go on floors sometime next year. An actor like Sivakarthikeyan would be the perfect fit for that script," adds Santosh.