I narrated Simba's script to Vijay Sethupathi first: Arvind Sridhar
The techie-turned-filmmaker makes his debut with the Bharath-starrer, which is hitting the screens on Friday
In 2012, Arvind Sridhar was working as a technical engineer and his company trained him in movie-making software. For a boy who was roaming around with a camera in hand from his school days, this was quite the gift. He made a video featuring the song Munbe Vaa and it became a huge hit with his colleagues. "On my floor alone, close to 3000 people would have seen it." This gave him the confidence to pursue filmmaking full-time and he quit his job soon after to work as an assistant to director NP Sarathy.
Tomorrow, he makes his directorial debut with Simba, starring Bharath and Premji. About the stoner comedy, Arvind says, "Bharath's character is based on a friend of mine and his experiences when he gets high. Premji's role, on the other hand, is thanks to a chance conversation I had with a friend from Switzerland. She said that when two animals talk, humans wearing animal's clothing would represent them. I felt that would sit well in a stoner comedy."
The film has been certified U, which seems surprising given the nature of the film. But Arvind disagrees. "I wasn't surprised because the film is neither a commentary on drug use nor does it encourage the same. It is just a full-length comedy based on the experiences of someone who gets high."
He reveals that the script had previously gone to Vijay Sethupathi, GV Prakash and Prasanna (in that order), all of whom rejected it on the grounds that it was too high-concept a film that the audience might not connect with. But the filmmaker didn't lose faith in the script. Nor did Vishal Chandrasekhar, the music director. "This project started long before he was part of Jil Jung Juk. For this film and for me, music and visuals are particularly important, and Vishal took pains to get the former right," says Arvind, adding that the visuals too have come out really well. "And when you see a well-edited film in the cinemas tomorrow, credit has to go to the real editor of the film, Rajkumar, and not Achu Vijayan, who is credited as the film's editor."