Director Gautham Vasudev Menon and Simran discuss ‘Vaanmagal’, their household drama in Netflix’s upcoming Tamil anthology, ‘Paava Kadhaigal’
“Appearing shouldn’t be one thing I stay up for. It’s a unusual expertise,” says director Gautham Vasudev Menon. It’s shocking as a result of his tryst with the display screen started manner again in 1997, when, as assistant director on Minsara Kannavu, he performed a cameo credited as ‘man in crowd’. Since then, within the fashion of veteran Tamil director KS Ravikumar, he has appeared briefly in virtually all his movies. After a job in 2018’s Goli Soda 2, this 12 months he returned to the massive display screen for different filmmakers: in Desingh Periyasamy’s Kannum Kannum Kollaiyadithaal and within the Malayalam film, Trance. Within the upcoming Netflix Tamil anthology, Paava Kadhaigal, he as soon as once more dons the greasepaint.
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In Vaanmagal, his directorial within the episodic movie, Menon performs Satya, reverse Simran who performs his spouse Mathiazhagu. Their small-town life, which revolves round their three youngsters (a son and two daughters), is portrayed via beautifully-framed pictures of their residence and close-ups that delve into their emotional turmoil. I recommend retaining some tissues helpful. Simran says, “It was not a simple subject for me to simply accept as an actor, however the way in which it was narrated was very convincing. I’m taking part in a job like this after a few years, in all probability the primary after Vaaranam Aayiram.”
The reluctant auteur
Menon says he wrote Vaanmagal “very reluctantly”, and after the opposite three filmmakers (Sudha Kongara, Vetri Maaran and Vignesh Shivan) had completed filming. “It was a tough one to jot down, movie, edit and have a look at it later as nicely. The style was such: honour, pleasure, love, sin. I do know the form of suggestions that may come for a movie like this, folks asking why we portrayed issues in a sure manner,” he says. After plenty of back-and-forth and considering a spin-off from Maaran’s portion, he determined to jot down a stand-alone story. Whereas researching, he got here throughout the incident that impressed this movie.
Having travelled throughout inside Tamil Nadu and learning engineering in a Pudukkottai faculty, Menon used these experiences as a reference level whereas writing and directing. “Whether or not it’s ‘proper’ or ‘fallacious’, it’s my tackle the problem,” he states. Being a collaborative effort, the filmmakers took a name to “merely mirror what is occurring in society, present that there are folks like this amongst us, with out giving a message or saying that that is what must be executed”.
Conviction and chemistry
The chemistry between Menon and Simran is palpable on display screen, be it in informal dialog or once they focus on what to do when their world is shattered by a single incident. Identified for this depth as a director, how does Menon faucet into that aspect of himself as an actor? “A few movies that I did with others directing me gave me confidence, however it isn’t the identical when you’re directing your self. I like to have a look at the actors whereas directing, not the displays. So for me to be in a body, the place I’m not wanting on the actor, and to be acutely aware and to lose inhibition was robust,” he says. Having to work reverse a seasoned actor like Simran didn’t make issues simpler, he laughs. Nevertheless, he admits he’s feeling extra assured now, and can in all probability “take an additional plunge” into appearing — possibly even direct himself once more.
When requested about working with Menon, Simran says she has been ready to speak concerning the expertise. “For years I’ve been asking him to tackle full-fledged appearing roles, however he at all times pushed again on the thought. So it was the very best shock when he determined to play Satya,” she says, including that he was very clear about what he anticipated from the artistes as a director, even whereas interacting with them on display screen as an actor. Was making her OTT debut difficult? Simran says she simply performs, irrespective of the medium. “It’s a must to be convincing as a result of you might have been solid in that individual function and because the director feels you are able to do it. You don’t waste time in entrance of the digicam,” she explains.
That is additionally her technique with social media: her Instagram (@ simranrishibagga, with 482K followers) shouldn’t be the same old heavily-curated one which we see with celebrities. She shares enjoyable snippets from her each day life, her love for saris, film promotions, and raises consciousness on causes near her coronary heart, like educating the lady baby.
On the work entrance, she has Rocketry: The Nambi Impact directed and produced by R Madhavan arising. She has additionally signed on for the Tamil remake of the Bollywood darkish comedy thriller, Andhadhun, reprising the function Tabu performed, “which is one other problem” she concludes.
Paava Kadhaigal, an anthology of 4 movies, is Netflix’s first foray into Tamil content material. Directed by Sudha Kongara, Vignesh Shivan, Gautham Vasudev Menon and Vetri Maaran, it covers themes of honour killings, inter-caste and inter-religious marriages and unconventional relationships. Streaming from December 18.