Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Kurangu Bommai had two climaxes on papers: Nithilan

"I had two climax for Kurangu Bommai, the one which you see now was finalised after we believed it would be appropriate", opened up debutante filmmaker Nithilan Swaminathan who had surprised movie buffs and critics with his first movie Kurangu Bommai, starring Bharathirajaa, Vitharth and Kumaravel.

I recently had an opportunity to interact with Nithilan a native of Vellore, during which he shared a lot about his journey from being a short filmmaker till his first feature film and more. Nithilan was the winner of Naalaiya Iyakkunar Season 3, that was telecast in Kalaignar TV and gave quality short films like Punnagai Vaanginaal Kanneer Ilavasam, Puthir and No Comments.

Here are the excerpts.


Nithilan in Naalaiya Iyakkunar - Source: Youtube

Q1. Why did you choose the title Kurangu Bommai, anything specific?

Just as you see in the movie, it is all about the minds of people who are in some necessity every time. Everyone has a demand for something. This need is metaphorised as Kurangu Bommai in my movie. Also I wanted to have a mascot for the bag that would be travelling with the characters in the movie, for which I chose the monkey doll picture.

Q2. How was it, handling seasoned performers like Bharathirajaa and Vitharth?

Actually, Vitharth was not a big task for me as he was so cool and down to earth person. He called me for doing a movie after watching my short films which itself was a great recognition for me. He easily takes in the content and gives it out on screen. But, when it comes to Bharathirajaa sir, I was so afraid to instruct him for he being a veteran filmmaker and a gigantic performer. But, to my surprise, he was a master, and I had a lot to learn from him during the shoot. I took Kurangu Bommai as a opportunity to know more cinema from him.

Q3. Did Bharathirajaa directly agree to work on your movie? How did you convince him being a first time filmmaker?

Actually, interacting with Bharathirajaa sir was not a new thing for me when I went with my script. Already, I had shown my short films to him during which we had a good wavelength. And, when I was on half way of my script, I was sure that, one of the lead roles will be for Bharathirajaa sir. Even, he too expected the same. He wanted a role that would be prominent in the movie, and when I told him the script, he assured his presence in the film.

Q4. How did you make the characterisation of the antagonist role Sekar and what inspired you to choose Kumaravel for that?

Characterisation is what I take up with more seriousness every time when I work on a script. There would be a dialogue for Kumaravel in his intro scene where he says in a subtle manner 'Bat aalayae adichu konnuruven'. This will turn out to be his character in the rest of the movie. And Kumaravel sir is one of the method actors I have always admired at. He hasn't appeared in many movies, so I wanted him to be in my movie in such a strong role. I believe that this strong screenwriting helped me build such a hard hitting climax. Though, I had two climaxes for Kurangu Bommai, I thought this would be appropriate.

Nithilan - Source: Whatsapp
Q5. Do you think the decision taken by short filmmakers, to immediately jump into feature film making is a constructive culture in cinema?

Yes, it is. Short-film making gives a filmmaker an idea of what he actually can do and what he needs to improve. It will be a medium where a director can explore the possibilities and can show off his skills to the spectators and producers. Even for some assistant directors, who are trying out for chances can make short films for understanding themselves. At the same time, there are negatives in this too. As short-film making has come down in terms of feasibility, now everyone is turning out to be filmmaker, which has been confusing the producers to identify the right ones.

Q6. Who are all those who inspired you from the industry to become a filmmaker?

I started to love cinema by watching movies of the legend Balu Mahendra. I have a lot of directors who have inspired me and from whom I learn cinema. From Maniratnam sir and Bharathirajaa sir in the retro age to Vetrimaran sir and Thiyagarajan Kumaraja sir in modern day cinema. Even now, when I say the names of Vetrimaran sir and Thiyagarajan sir, a get so excited and happy to proudly say that they have been teaching me cinema. Likewise, I have a list of favourite actors whom I have been admiring for a long time which includes Kumaravel. Apart from him, Aadukalam Kishore, Jayaprakash, Radha Ravi are others, whom I wish to cast in my movies someday in future.

- Santhosh Mathevan,
Chennai, September 6, 2017.

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