Camera: Hemananth.B | Text: Arun
After delivering a path breaking supernatural thriller Eeram, director Arivazhagan is enjoying the first taste of commercial success. A polished product that has been acclaimed by the critics and liked by audiences of all classes, Eeram deserves all the plaudits that it has been getting. Director Arivazhagan opens up on the process of how the film took shape, the men behind the final product and his producer and mentor Shankar in a short chat.


BW:
About Eeram

Arivazhagan : First, I would like to express my thanks to everyone who has been giving positive feedback through various mediums about Eeram. The biggest surprise element of the film was its genre. Everyone only knew that it was going to be a thriller. It was only after watching the movie that they realized that it was a supernatural thriller. That surprise and shock was the initial response that the film received. When it was initially decided that the movie was going to revolve around water, we thought quite a lot over the title. There were

many suggestions thrown about, that included H2O. That was when someone suggested Eeram. After I decided on Eeram, I went about planning how the element of water will be included in every part of the movie. That is how I hit upon the idea of taking rain as a point of reference. The entire story happens before, after or during the rain. Almost every scene has rain as its backdrop. Rain evokes and expresses most human emotions. That automatically paved the way for the choice of the color tone of the movie, bluish gray. That apart, we also wanted to convey the concept that ‘Eeram’ represents softness of character which should be there within everyone to lead a good life.

" ‘Eeram’ represents softness

of character which should be

there within everyone

to lead a good life "

" Aadhi was very lean,

with a tailor made hairstyle

and a fully tanned body "


About casting Aadhi

When deciding on the cast I had very specific requirements in my mind. First, the ACP’s character! This is not the regular cop. It does not require a forceful performance or any action. This was more of a settled one. So, I wanted a performer. I was not against casting a new face either. While going through different photographs I came across Aadhi’s and how he looked like before Mirugam. I met him just after he had finished

Mirugam. At that time Aadhi was very lean, with a tailor made hairstyle and a fully tanned body. I told him my requirements, a little extra weight and a fairer complexion. He immediately agreed and got involved in the character. The next time I met him he had put on weight, looked brighter and fit into my idea of the ACP. And, since he is basically a performer I had no trouble getting the required goods out of him, he is a settled artiste. He has played two stages in the life of a person. One as the ACP and the other as the young college student where he has looked fresh and charming.


On Nandha

Nandha has played the negative character in Eeram. But, when I started casting for Eeram I wanted a person who did not give any negative impression at first sight. He had to look like a normal person who could even pass off easily as the positive character of the movie. So, I wanted an actor who would be accepted by the audience in any character. I felt that Nandha would be apt for the role. He is basically a very calm and reserved character and that fit my requirements. He looked very much like the normal, casual family man and at the same time he was also able to bring in that streak of sadism. He kept giving me constant inputs and suggestions that helped me a lot.

Heroine Sindhu Menon

For the heroine’s character there are again two facets; one of the college going girl and next the housewife. I wanted the typical ‘girl next door’ feel from my heroine and that is the only way she would be able to evoke sympathy from the audience. Sindhu Menon was perfect for the role. The audience is admitting now that her character does induce sympathy.

Saranya Mohan

Saranya Mohan has got a very expressive face. She has expressions for every minute detail that the director gives her. Even I realized many things that she has done only during editing. She gave a great performance.

About the technical aspect

Camera and music are very important aspects of a film in the horror genre which transmit the fear to the audience. In that respect, cinematographer Manoj, my classmate, has done an excellent job for Eeram. He was there with the film right from the beginning. He understood the script and gave the right suggestions like the importance of bluish tone and the way rain should be blended into every frame of the film. He was simply superb. He understood the script, kept in mind my demands and gave his inputs throughout the filming process.


Music director Thaman Sai

It would not be wrong to say that Thaman Sai had a better understanding of the characters than even I had. He paid attention to each and every detail before giving his score. For example, Sindhu Menon’s character is an Iyengar girl from Srirangam which he kept in mind before delivering the music. He was with the film through the entire scripting process. He gave me explanations as to how and why he had given a particular kind of score for each scene.

" Thaman Sai had a better

understanding of the

characters than even I had "


Editor Kishore

The editor, Kishore, too has been a great strength for the movie. Each movie has a pace of its own and it is important to get it exactly right. He got the right idea about it and delivered exactly that. Even when I went slightly off track, he saw to it that the right pace was maintained in every scene.

Art direction

Many might not notice that the art director had a big role in this film and that is exactly where Rambon has scored. We have created a set of an upper class apartment. All the credit for making it look realistic goes to Rambon.

" All this success and

happiness is our tribute

to Shankar sir "


Your favorite director


Definitely Shankar sir! I always wanted to work with him and that is how I assisted him in Boys. It was also my wish that my first film should be under his banner which has come true. The only way of thanking him for all that he has done to me is through the success of Eeram and it is the audience who are responsible for this success. All this success and happiness is our tribute to Shankar sir.


About your producer

As a producer, Shankar sir was with the film in all its stages, scripting, designing and post production. There is a lot of difference between involvement and interference. He was deeply involved with the film at all levels and at the same time he ensured that I got the required freedom to make my film. The most memorable moment was when he saw the first cut of the movie and commended me on my job. He told me that the first half was absorbing and the second was equally emotional. He liked the way I had brought out the emotional content in the movie. Even though I have received lots of appreciation after that, Shankar sir’s first word of appreciation means a lot to me. All thanks to God.

" There is a lot of difference

between involvement and

interference "

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