Wednesday, 11 July 2018

Agila Ulaga Superstar On a Serious Note

"I never expected that people will sacrifice their sleep to watch the first-day-first-show of Tamizh Padam 2 at 5 am," said Shiva in a surprised tone. He is the new hero to have a 5 am release after Rajinikanth, Vijay, Ajith, and Sivakarthikeyan. With much excitement and on a very serious note unlike his previous interactions, Shiva, 'hailed' as 'Agila Ulaga Superstar,' shared with us about his experience of Tamizh Padam 2 and his future plans.

Excerpts from the interview:

After all these new superstar-terminologies for your movie, like first-day opening, early morning show, box office show-off, what's is your state of mind right now?

All that is happening is because of God's blessings. Comparing to all my previous flicks, this time I am in a melo mode. I feel I have matured to handle this. Things you list, like first-day opening, early morning show, box office show-off, are all happening by itself. I believe these would be the best compliment to all our hard work and dedication.

Since you have been the protagonist of both the full-length spoof movies in Tamil, how do you see this genre and it's evolution?

Making a spoof is not an easy task. It took us eight years from the first part to the sequel of Tamizh Padam. In between, no one attempted to make a spoof. For a spoof movie, one needs to write a  story from stories. You have to involve the original, troll it, at the same time you also have to make it look different from the original to align with your plot. So, making a spoof involves a lot of creativity and smartness.

Trolls and parody have become the key part of this digital era and social media. At this juncture, what are all the differences in terms of creativity you see between memes and spoofs?

Both are unique in their own way. For a meme, one has to imply a different ideology on the dialogue or scene of a movie. But, in a spoof, you troll the same idea as the original. A meme appears in no time, once an incident or an event happens. On the other hand, a spoof has to be built on a proper logical sequence to entertain people.

During the making of a spoof, it not easy to be part of it. You happen to laugh most of the times when you speak a dialogue. This was the hard part of making TP2.

Comparing to the release time of Tamizh Padam's first part, now, when the sequel hits the screen, a lot of online reviewers are in existence. Is this by any way going to influence the reception of this movie?

In the first place, we have to accept the criticisms and reviews kept on the movies we make or act. Also, that is nothing wrong, even if a lakh of reviewers who are going to evolve on the web. No one can make a movie that is going to satisfy 100 per cent audience, because, there is always going to be a section of the audience that will degrade whatever you are going to do. At the end of the day, no reviewer who gives a good review for a bad movie or vice versa can influence the reach of the movie. It is all in the hands of the spectators.

After Tamizh Padam in 2010, you acted in a very serious movie, 'Pathinaaru'. But, you did not make such an attempt after that. Do you have any plans in near future for this?

Actually, Pathinaaru was a late-release. We made the movie in 2009 and it hit screens several years later. In between that time Tamizh Padam and Va Quarter Cutting released. So when Pathinaaru came, people could not relate me on a serious note. Now even producers opted to make only comedy genre with me. On the other hand, I intend to make some serious movies myself. I will be producing and directing them.

The songs in Tamizh Padam 2 are musically too brilliant. How were these serious numbers incorporated in a spoof movie?

Do not jump into any conclusion before watching. There are a lot of surprises waiting for you. For instance, En Nadanam number is going to be groundbreaking. You would not see a dance step that you already witnessed before. It will be a masterpiece of Shiva and (director) CS Amudhan.

Santhosh Mathevan & M Bharat Kumar,
Chennai, July 11, 2018

A part or complete version of this interview by Santhosh Mathevan and M Bharat Kumar has appeared in