CHENNAI June 28 – Our chief reporter Rangasamy was very fortunate to get an appointment with ‘Sivaji fame’ director Shankar (pun intended). Shankar, who is very busy in the story for his next film, could spare only 15 minutes for the interview. Some excerpts from the interview.
Reporter Rangasamy: Hello Mr. Shankar. It is a great privilege that you have agreed to spare 15 minutes for us. Thanks for that. I would like to start with a question that is prevalent with the tamil fans. How was the Sivaji story born?
Shankar: I could not understand your question. Where is the story in Sivaji?
RR: But Sir, a movie is supposed to have a story…
Shankar: I know that. I always look forward to innovations. This is a first in the tamil industry, that a film is without a story. Isn’t it? The movie is all about Rajni Sir’s style, charm and humor. Nothing else.
RR: Great Sir. How did you choose Shreya for the role?
Shankar: I always feel heroines have no role to play in a film. They come, they dance, they smile and they cry. Their role ends there.
RR: Ok. How did the idea of ‘Fair’ Rajni strike you?
Shankar: I initially had a budget in mind. After everything was shot, still we had a huge amount left. We did not know how to spend that money. This gave rise to the idea of ‘Fair’ Rajni
RR: We had some good plots in your earlier movies like Gentleman or Indian. For instance, tracking down the suspect in Gentleman using the ‘mangalsutra’. Such plots are conspicuous by their absence in Sivaji
Shankar: Sivaji is a Rajni Sir film. Rajni sir compensates for everything else. Nobody goes to the movie for plots or story. They go only for Rajni sir. I understand the mind of a average movie goer, especially in Tamil Nadu. (Smiles)
RR: That is wonderful to hear. How did it struck you to paint Rajni’s face in the bellies of those dancing in the opening song?
Shankar: I always love painting. I have a tendency to paint in all places. If you look at my home there are paintings on the wall, on the floor, in the kitchen and also in the bathroom. In the opening song, there was a sequence where Nayanthara’s belly was painted like a pot. It was later removed by the censor (Grunts, don’t know for what reason)
RR: Sorry to hear that sir. After the movie, I had a feeling that I watched Gentleman and Indian movies together. Your comments on this…
Shankar: Ya, it has been a long time since Gentleman and Indian were released. So I thought I can remind people once again of that stories. That’s all.
RR: There is a talk in the town that Shankar’s films are grandiose but the story is wayward. Your comment on this…
Shankar: I am already late for my flight. Meet you later (runs away)