Jayam Raja
Interviewer : Inian & Jyothsna Bhavanishankar | Camera : Balaji | Text : Jyothsna Bhavanishankar | Video Editor : Jesi
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JAYAM RAJA INTERVIEW
Director Jayam Raja is brimming with energy and confidence and is looking eagerly for audience response for his directorial venture Velayudham. Raja appears a much satisfied man and is happy with the way the film has shaped up. In an exclusive chat with Senior Editor Jyothsna Bhavanishankar and Inian, Raja talks about the most anticipated film Velayudham and of course Ilaya Thalapathy.

How has Velayudham shaped up?


My main strategy was that the film should appeal to every one as Vijay is the favorite hero for numerous people. I have succeeded in it because I remained focused on this not deviating anywhere. The beauty of Velayudham is that it has romance, action, affection and all the components in right enjoyable dosage. I have achieved the goals that I set out for. We go to theatres to enjoy but in Velayudham it would be all the more enjoyable to watch the jubilation of people who come to watch the film. Through this interview I would like to thank all those fans who have given me that happiness.

For the 1st time, you are working outside your home banner and with a hero other than your brother. How do you feel?

My 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

talent




Would you only do films for your

brother?

Vijay 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.


People 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

How was it to direct Ilaya Thalapathy?

We 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 gun.

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.

Priyan’s cinematography

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.

Vijay Anthony’s 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 film.

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 film.

Stunts

If 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 film.



If you like action, Velayudham is

THE film for you




Saranya Mohan has given me a

lovely balance

Sister sentiment and Saranya Mohan

All 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.

Hansika as 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.

We 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-

beautify Hansika

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

Genelia

Genelia 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.

After Velayudham?

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.

Tags : Jayam Raja, Velayudham, Genelia
 
 
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