For the 1st time, you are working outside
your home banner and with a hero other than
your brother. How do you feel?
dad is my guru and he always says- Don’t
believe your luck but your talent. I think
I have developed my talent. But at the same
time I would like to say that I am also lucky
because at a time when people were mocking
that I would only work with my brother, a
talented, understanding and cooperative hero
like Vijay doing my film has served a kind
of fitting reply to my critics.
Don’t believe your luck but your
Would you only do films for your
called and asked me with a lot of affection
and liberty - Would you only do films for
your brother? I don’t know Vijay till
that point and his very first sentence brought
us closer and with it came the big responsibilities
of rising up to the expectations that such
a huge star like Vijay had on me.
have asked me what is the difference of working
with Ravi and Vijay? But I find no such difference
at all. He has become another brother for
me and also a good friend now. When we have
same objectives, the focus becomes sharper.
Our mutual understanding that whatever we
do, it is only for the story, has helped Velayudham
tremendously. Hence Velayudham is one more
film for me with my brother.
Velayudham is one more film for
me with my brother
We have to feed Vijay a lot
was it to direct Ilaya Thalapathy?
have to feed Vijay a lot as he is someone
with lot of hunger. When it is Vijay, the
canvas becomes huge. It is not an easy thing
to make a film for a hero with a big star
image. Working just for a story is easy but
working to suit the image of a hero is a big
burden. The nice thing about this is that
I have taken a story to suit Vijay.
We should be talented enough to grab his potential.
In a single scene, he brings out mass, comedy, action
with such a consummate ease that if we don’t
use all these, we would only end up in trouble.
He is such a professional that he respects everyone
in the unit. In one dance scene, he wanted to bring
a small change in dance movement and he does this
only after discussing with the director. We all
know Vijay’s dancing capabilities but still
he is supremely humble and would never jump the
This only goes on to stress the respect that he
has towards his profession. At the same time, when
he receives the scene paper, the devotion that he
shows towards delivering it perfectly is so amazing
that if I don’t utilize all these, I am a
waste director. And it was utmost importance that
we match Vijay’s energy levels and alertness
at the sets. There were adequate opportunities in
the script to score and as I was prepared for execution
beforehand, we never had even the slightest discord.
Producer Aascar Ravichandran
Aascar Ravichandran is the backbone and the primary
reason for the genesis of Velayudham. I was a bit
apprehensive of the reaction of a producer to this
story. There was some kind of cost-engaging factor
in every scene. But Ravichandran sir just asked
me to film the story the way I narrated to him.
But for his enthusiasm, interest, willingness to
spend and the faith that he had on me, this film
would not have been possible.
A film’s cinematographer decides half the
success of a film. I know Priyan sir from the times
of Jeyam when he was shooting for Saami. Both the
films were being shot at almost at the same locales
in south Tamil Nadu and we used to bump into each
other quite often.
Priyan sir has done variety of films like Thenali,
Porkaalam, Singam. Velayudham required all kinds
of tones like action, emotion, sentiment and comedy
and I knew Priyan sir can handle all these and that’s
why I chose him. He was such a big pillar for me
and was almost like one of my team members in the
direction department who had given such significant
inputs to the film. In a lengthy and a tough shoot,
if you lose patience even a bit, it would take on
a different tone. His patience and talent has helped
Velayudham in a big way.
music, Vijayan’s editing, art direction and
rest of the crew
Vijay Anthony’s all the five songs are a hit
and all the songs are related to the film. An important
point I would like to highlight about Vijay Anthony
is his perfect grasp of story. As I was running
short of time, I could not spend much time with
him explaining every situation. But Vijay Anthony
understood my plight and scored music perfectly.
The much energetic ‘sonna puriyaadhu’,
the melodious ‘molachu moonu’, the western
beat of ‘mayam seydhaayo’ are all chartbusters
and each one is one variety. Vijay Anthony’s
background score is another major support for the
Generally my dad would help me out with editing
and in Velayudham, VT Vijayan sir has taken over
that role and has helped me majorly. Art director
Milan and my entire crew has supported me in this
you like action, Velayudham is THE film for
you. Six fights which are very essential for
the film and each one is distinct, thanks
to Stunt Selva. Usually a stunt master in
a film would be there only for a few days
but in Velayudham, he was there with us for
almost the entire schedule. The train fight
was the riskiest and there is no need for
Vijay sir to take such a risk at this point
in his career. We can say that no one in India
till date has done such a risky fight. I have
handled anger in this film and when there
is anger, there is bound to be action and
there would be stylish action throughout the
If you like action, Velayudham is
THE film for you
Saranya Mohan has given me a
sentiment and Saranya Mohan
that you would like in a commercial film would
be there in Velayudham and the highlight of
this would be Saranya Mohan’s character.
Vijay sir has done many films with sister
sentiment but when I wanted to differentiate
it, Saranya Mohan brought in that difference
with her performance.
When you place the action and other features on
one side, Saranya Mohan’s sweetness can be
placed on the other side. She has given me a lovely
balance. She is one artist who I never paid any
attention as I had lots to do. One day I saw her
performing and realized her quick grasp, lending
variety and fine tuning her character. I decided
that I can concentrate in other work. I cannot take
any credit for her performance, it’s all her
work and effort.
a South Indian village belle?
A character’s necessity is more important
in a film. I needed a bubbly, beautiful and energetic
face. Of course, I had to compromise on the village
image. We tried to de-beautify her but could not
succeed much. Is it wrong to be beautiful or fair
skinned? So, we cast away our aspersions. If she
looks North Indian at least, we can make her south
Indian. But she looks like a foreigner.
have tried our best to de-beautify Hansika
but the beautiful thing about this is she
has not become de-beautified in this exercise.
Besides being a bubbly, glamorous and romantic
portrayal, Hansika has done something that
I had not expected. Perhaps it’s to
do with her starting early as a child artist,
her comedy sense in the film can be noticeable.
We have tried our best to de-
You cannot rest seeing Velayudham just once. It
should be seen many times for different reasons
and Hansika is one of them. There would be ten artists
in the frame, but you would notice Hansika standing
behind doing comedy antics. If you repeatedly watch
Velayudham, you will realize the value and strain
of each artist.
For Genelia, after Velayudham,
different kind of opportunities
and doors are going to open
is my friend and in that right she asked me
why she is being offered a film with twin
heroines. When I was feigning affected silence,
she immediately said that she was just kidding
and has immense faith in me. For Genelia,
after Velayudham, different kind of opportunities
and doors are going to open. I strongly believe
that Genelia is going to have roles like the
ones Revathy or Suhasini did early in their
career. Genelia plays a powerful and socially
responsible journalist and her character will
be one level more than the hero. As a friend,
she has cooperated much and has done the film.
I have two stories – one for a youngster and
the other one for a star. I am going to do a film
for Kalpathi Aghoram sir. I will tell you the hero
and what it is going to be shortly.
Do you have
plans to act?
No. I should feel the urge to act. In a very light
vein I say that I don’t want to be a competitor
for my brother. But on a serious note, I am not
interested in acting as my mind is completely into
direction and in case I develop an interest in acting,
I may perhaps try.