SY Gowthama Raj: Our films need servicing constantly
SY Gowthama Raj speaks about his upcoming directorial Kazhuvethi Moorkkan, the importance of rooted stories and more
Of late, Indian filmmakers are more inclined towards making rooted and region-specific films like Kantara, Dasara, and Minnal Murali to name a few. SY Gowthama Raj shares that his upcoming film Kazhuvethi Moorkkan, which is set to release on Friday, will be the newest addition to this list and this rural action drama is set against the backdrop of Ramanathapuram.
“The title of the film refers to Kazhumaram, which is worshipped as a deity in rural parts of Tamil Nadu. Mostly found in temples, it is also an equally notable historic capital punishment tool. We have explored why Kazhumaram is celebrated by people through our film,” says the filmmaker. He adds that Kazhuvethi Moorkkan will primarily talk about the emotions of the people of the land, coupled with the political scenario.
“As many filmmakers say, 'More the regional, more the universal'. Although we keep evolving, we should not lose the originality of our traditions. I think it is important that we have stories based on them,” he adds.
Kazhuvethi Moorkkan marks Arulnithi’s comeback to playing rural characters, since his debut in the 2010 Vamsam. Speaking about casting the actor, Gowthama Raj mentions, “I think it will be a fresh outing for him because, after Vamsam, most of his films were urban-centric. Even in Vamsam, he played a soft character. Since this film demanded more action and some maturity, I felt Arulnithi would be a great fit.” The director also added that Arulnithi had undergone a physical transformation for the film. “I think just like Napoleon who did films that were very exclusive to him, I feel this story demands an actor with stature and build like Arulnithi.”
The film will also feature Dushara Vijayan as the female lead, last seen as headstrong Rene in Natchathiram Nagargiradhu. The actor, in Kazhuvethi Moorkkan, plays a bank employee. While Gowthama Raj's previous film Raatchasi was a woman-led script, the question arises whether Kazhuvethi Moorkkan will have ample space for women characters.“This story predominantly operates within the political space and hence will have men play important roles. However, that being said, I have tried not to relegate the female roles to being eye candy. Dushara is a brilliant performer and she plays a bold and mature girl,” he mentions.
As a filmmaker, Gowthama Raj feels that his preference is toward doing character-driven stories with some social value. “Just like how Raatchasi was a social drama about school and reformation, this one talks about the issues that affect society on a larger level,” he mentions. At the same time, he also feels that it is his social responsibility to get the portrayal right. “Films like Paruthiveeran, Devar Magan, and Asuran all speak the same. But the treatment has constantly been evolving. I find it important that no community is mistreated because of the films I write.”