'The title is what first attracted Vijay Antony to Thimiru Pudichavan'
...says director Ganeshaa, about his film that is set to hit the screens this Friday
Ganeshaa made his directorial debut through the 'psychological comedy' Nambiyaar, starring Srikanth and Santhanam in 2016. Incidentally, the film also marked the last work of Vijay Antony as a composer for another actor. Two years on, Ganeshaa is back with yet another quirkily-titled film, Thimiru Pudichavan, starring Vijay Antony in the lead. He says the title was the first factor that attracted Vijay, whose films are known for their unique titles. "I wanted the title to reveal the hero's nature and also be catchy at the same time. As soon as I revealed the title, he got excited and was ready to listen to the script."
About his protagonist, he says, "Murugavel is an honest cop. But he does more than what is asked of him - for instance, he cleans sewage. The reason why he goes out of his way to do such things is that he wants to impress the public and project an image of a friendly cop. There is even a dialogue to that effect in the film."
Ganeshaa says Vijay Antony asked him to tone down the 'mass' elements that were present in his first narration. "I restricted a lot of fight scenes and kept the dialogues also low key and non-preachy. The first half will be an ode to the good cop told in a realistic way, while the second will be more cinematic."
The filmmaker has high praise for his actor. "He has this uncanny ability to read your mind and give exactly what you expect for a particular scene. Moreover, he is willing to go for even 25 takes to give what is needed. Since he is also the editor, he uses the gap between shoots effectively by doing a lot of spot editing."
Thimiru Pudichavan is unusual in that it has a juvenile villain. "I found that a lot of crimes are committed by young adults aka juveniles. The tricky part is that cops cannot hit/arrest/kill them via an encounter. The only saviour is the policeman who can do something extra. That is the psychology behind this film. I have six more stories based on Murugavel, and this can be a franchise of its own."
Ganeshaa, who has worked with SS Rajamouli, says Thimiru Pudichavan follows the exact format of a commercial Rajamouli film - a conflict and a solution interspersed with songs and fight sequences. "After the censor board saw the film, they lauded us for the good portrayal of the characters," he adds.
The film also stars Nivetha Pethuraj, and the director says she solved the need for a comedian. "Usually the hero mocks others, but here he is at the receiving end from Nivetha. Vijay was quite jealous of her performance. She has carried off the Madurai ponnu slang with aplomb."
Ganeshaa feels the scenes of the transgender actor and that character's emotional arc will be a high point. He guarantees Thimiru Pudichavan is not a run-of-the-mill cop film. However, he has one regret. "If you remember, SP Muthuraman films which used to release on Pongal and Diwali would have a song around the festival. We planned something similar as we were up for a Diwali release. I was looking forward to that."