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Nagooran: Editing Saani Kaayidham and Don parallely was a unique experience- Cinema express

Nagooran: Editing Saani Kaayidham and Don parallelly was a unique experience  

Nagooran Ramachandran, the man behind the bloody revenge drama, Saani Kaayidham, and the family entertainer, Don, talks about editing two contrasting films

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Published: 24th May 2022

The seed for Nagooran Ramachandran’s fascination for editing was sown in the curiosity computers evoked in him. “Even the graphics of media player intrigued me. I can keep myself engaged with even the most basic of computers for a whole day,” says Nagooran. Infatuation with moving images fuelled his inquisitiveness further. After pursuing an editing course in film school and a couple of editing gigs later, including one at Raaj Kamal Films International and the opportunity to edit the 2017 film, 8 Thottakal, the Rajapalayam-native finally made a mark with Rocky. The film sat in the cans for nearly two years, a period that Nagooran describes as a ‘difficult’ considering he needed a visiting card to establish his portfolio. “We knew that the film’s release would result in progress for us. Thankfully, when Rocky got released eventually, it was met with positive reviews and even my work was appreciated. But sometimes, I do wish it had come out even earlier. Athu konjam varutham irukku,” adds Nagooran, who shares a strong association with filmmaker Arun Matheswaran, having worked on both Rocky and his sophomore directorial, Saani Kaayidham.

“He is clear about his script and editing pattern. For instance, if we have to edit a conversation between two people, we don’t like intercutting shots from one to the other. Instead, he prefers storytelling that’s closer to real life. This approach ensures a different experience, both for the viewer and me.” He also likes to visit the sets. “Chumma, time pass panra maari thaan, sutthite iruppen. Arun explains what’s being shot and it gives me an idea about the edit.”

Nagooran believes that the songs and action sequences make for “interesting” work. While the bloodstained narrative of Saani Kaayidham doesn’t provide an avenue for songs, the action sequences are aplenty. Editing ‘The Matador Murders’ sequence and the climax, in specific, was a special experience. “The whole van sequence is an eight-minute-long play. We built the mood from the scratch. And it’s a sequence that allows us to see the actions and consequences from multiple perspectives, including that of Ponni’s and Sangayya’s. Likewise, there’s a huge action set piece in the climax, set both in the interiors and exteriors of the theatre. Creating these sequences from start to end is a rewarding experience.”

For Nagooran, the lack of songs in Saani Kaayidham was compensated in the form of his next film, Don, being a textbook entertainer. While Saani Kaayidham is a morbid revenge saga with unflinching violence, Don, in contrast, is a rib-tickling family entertainer for the most part. Speaking about working on two contrasting stories parallelly, Nagooran says, “The shooting of Saani Kaayidham began 10 days after Don. These are two completely different films and required a lot of thinking. Cibi Chakravarthy (the director of Don) had everything written in his script.”

Sivakarthikeyan’s presence too, Nagooran admits, eased the whole process. “I like Siva sir a lot. He is as cheerful in real life as he is in his films. He’s quite friendly and doesn’t pressurise at all. I had seen him on screen and in interviews on YouTube, but closely interacting with a star like him was a pleasure.”

Both Saani Kaayidham and Don are being celebrated by Tamil cinephiles, signalling the promising arrival of Nagooran. Is there a sense of accomplishment? “I only treat this as the next step in progress. When I feel totally satisfied, I will pack my bags. Innum naraiya padangal work pannanum… there’s so much to explore,” he concludes. 

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