Sunday, December 17, 2006

Gautham Interview

Bharadwaj Rangan has written about a long, very interesting interview with Gautham, the director of Minnale, Kaakka Kaakka and Vettaiyaadu Vilaiyaadu. Rangan always lets the person do the talking, with only a few comments here and there. So we get almost a monologue by the person instead of the usual, restrictive Q & A format. That's the way he has done it with Gautham too and it has led the director to open up about a lot of things.

Some interesting tidbits from the interview...

Gautham Menon had to drop the Menon from his name since the Minnale producer said that there was something against Malayalis in the Tamil film industry!

He talks a lot about his next film Pachaikkili Muthucharam, with Sarathkumar (who is cast against type) and Jo. He calls it an adaptation of Derailed but the book and not the movie(hope the book was good then since the movie sucked!). He did want to do it with Kamal first but approached Sarath after Kamal said no. He explains the very poetic title as pearls falling off and scattering being similar to what happens in life when someone comes in and scatters the lives of a happy family. He calls it a "Balu Mahendra-meets-Quentin Tarantino kind of film.”

He apparently labelled at least one leading actor as “stupid” and said another star’s films are “idiotic.” Wish Rangan could tell me who those actors are :-)

He worked as an assistant director to Rajiv Menon in Minsaara Kanavu.

His original script for Minnale was very different and was about 2 friends falling for the same girl. He now calls the film juvenile and cliched!

He approached Maddy, Ajith and Vikram for the lead role in Kaakka Kaakka. Turns out it was Jo who recommended Surya to Gautham. He is interested in making a trilogy of cop films and says he may make a third film with Vikram in the future.

Kamal is probably the most experimental among our heroes today. But Gautham says he had to make concessions for Kamal too in Vettaiyaadu Vilaiyaadu. He wasn't even there when they shot the sequences for Uyirile... and Neruppe...!

He says his appearance in his films so far was because of circumstances and that he may not make it a trend.

He gives a broad outline of Vaaranam Aayiram, his next film with Surya. Looks like it might be a message-oriented film with patriotic shades.

35 Comments:

At 12:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

BB,

Any guesses for two star names. My feeling is Vikram and Ajith :-), just a thought..thala fans pls don't pounce on me.

It can't be Superstar/Kamal, he has not even approached former and is in decent terms with later.

 
At 2:01 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

stupid - Simbu
idiotic - Simbu

 
At 6:04 AM, Blogger srivatsan said...

Just caught a few stills of next Cheran's movie on the web.. specially impressed with second still which shows Superstar on mirror :) IR to score music which is surely a plus for a director like Cheran.

http://www.moviesbuzz.com/tamil/reviews/maayakannadi/001.htm

 
At 8:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Balaji,
You missed out on the part where he talks about the profits of VV. We finally get the clear picture on how much VV actually made. You should have seen some Kamal fans going as far as saying that the movie made anything between 20 and 50 crores of profit. And here, we hear it from the man himself on how average a collection that VV actually made. We should stop believing in the stupid numbers that Sify comes up with, atleast after this.

Overall, a very candid interview.

 
At 9:22 AM, Anonymous raj said...

it must be vijay and ajith - simbu is not a star to be talked about in the first place. Cant be Vikram, Gautam says he wants to work with Vikram in the future - there is an obvious respect there -though it seems both Vikram and Ajith rejected Kakka Kakka before Surya stepped in. Around the same time they went on and worked in Saamy and Anjaneya respectively. I think Vikram would have killed Kakka Kakka. Thala - sollave venaam.So it all worked out fine for Gautam in the end.

 
At 9:22 AM, Anonymous raj said...

it must be vijay and ajith - simbu is not a star to be talked about in the first place. Cant be Vikram, Gautam says he wants to work with Vikram in the future - there is an obvious respect there -though it seems both Vikram and Ajith rejected Kakka Kakka before Surya stepped in. Around the same time they went on and worked in Saamy and Anjaneya respectively. I think Vikram would have killed Kakka Kakka. Thala - sollave venaam.So it all worked out fine for Gautam in the end.

 
At 9:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey! Long time reader but posting for the first time. Great blog. And I have always like Gautham. Kakka Kakka is what made me a Surya fan in the first place. His movies are technically chic and always slightly different from the run of the mill stuff.

And great interview, was really looking forward to Vaaranam Aayiram (even though it is supposedly releasing with Shivaji) and that basic premise sounds interesting and hopefully the screenplay will be good as well.

 
At 10:02 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

you missed out the best part, him praising rambo! not to mention him claiming vv had realistic dialogue!

i have never been able to finish a gm movie.

 
At 10:35 AM, Anonymous ram said...

i think gowtham's a little haughty...there's a thin line between confidence and arrogance and I think he crosses it, in his interviews...sure, as the interviewer says, the brashness mite've to do with his age...but in the thamizh cine industry, you dont go abt saying things like "the suicide thingie" and calling lead actors as "stupid" (even if he was referring to Simbhu who most certainly is! just that as a person who belongs to the industry, I dont think he should be saying such things).
he's made one very good film and two above average ones...none of which could be called the touchstones of originality...let him first mature as a filmmaker and in the meanwhile, maybe make an effort to let his achievements do the talking, the way it is with Mani Ratnam or Shankar...

 
At 12:42 PM, Anonymous Sandya said...

I second Ram on Gautham's arrogance. He really needs to put a tight lid on calling big stars' names, before he accomplishes something noteworthy in the industry. If I have gauged him correctly, Gautham continues to be only an 'A' center director (like Maniratnam), and has to go a long long way to reach a 'B & C' center audience (like Shankar). Him passing judgements against established stars (especially since he may still need their help both long and short term), is not going to hold him in good stead. Remember Gautham, there is NO 'Please,' 'Sorry,' or 'Thank you,' in the film industry. You can't eat your words later or hope that the industry will have a short memory on your previous comments. Gratefulness and Faithfulness (alongside feet kissing) are part and parcel of the film industry. Even outsiders like me know that!.. If you don't have that, you can't survive much here..

But I will also have to disagree with Rangan and say that 'it has nothing to do with age' necessarily. There are younger directors than Gautham in tinsel town who really have a head on their shoulders (instead of a 'chip' on them!): Lingusami, Murugadass (to name a few!).. You don't see them pouting out judgements about the big stars of the tamil movie industry. 'Respect' is the very foundation for success in any field, not just movies.

If others have guessed correctly that Gautham has referred to Vijay as stupid and Ajit's films being idiotic.. let it be known that there once was a one-hit filmmaker called Thangar Bachan in this very same film industry.. where is he today? :-) ;-) ;-)

Measure your words, Gautham. They have the capacity to nail your coffin anywhere, anytime...

 
At 1:35 PM, Anonymous vijay said...

Gautam also says, like I had guessed earlier, that Kamal didnt bother to get in shape for VV (or rather he didnt have the time) :-) Kamal's disinterest(he didnt want to do the film after all that had happened and HAD to do it since he had taken an advance) was obvious,although he did want Gautam to change the story to suit his image.

and Gautam follows up with:

Some people said Kamal Hassan didn’t look very interested in the project, “but it worked for me, because I wanted the character to be like that.

:-)))

 
At 2:48 PM, Anonymous Princess of Arabia said...

Hi Balaji

Mirror Image of Derailed

Supposedly that's the case, then it's going to be a predictable story. I've watched and read Derailed, and aft couple of scenes it turn out to be obvious that certain characters have got their hidden agenda.

Trying to incorporate thriller as an extra elements in Extra Marital Affair movie is good, but on the other hand it would have been better if it's authentic.

 
At 7:34 PM, Blogger Bart said...

Balaji, it should be Ajith and Vijay as Raj and Sandya have pointed out. But I think he put Ajith as stupid and Vijay's films idiotic. Anyhow...
There are few things which are secretive in the film industry - Numbers, Big heroes and their attitudes, changing scripts for heroes / producers.. Gautam has opened it all. I do not see many friends for him in the long run :)
Anyhow, lack of originality (even to the extent of Vasanthabalan) & heavy US influence are my biggest grouses against him.

 
At 8:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whatever else may be right or wrong in the interview, i agree with him completely when he says the Minnale was juvenile and cliched! In fact it was difficult to believe that the same director had done both Minnale and Kaaka kaaka

 
At 9:09 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

lets hope balu mahendra never meets quentin tarantino

:)

 
At 9:25 PM, Blogger skanda said...

i am suprised that "VV" was just an above average hit only...according to Sify, the film was a Blockbuster in all the A,B and C centres...

But i still liked Gautham's interview as he was straighforward and did not mince his words..it is something straight from the heart..Gautham sures has gone through a lot in making all his three tamil movies...Hope that "AV" will sail through smoothly without any problems trampling on it...

 
At 9:25 PM, Blogger srivatsan said...

May be Gautham meant Ajith after thala did not like Kaaka Kaaka story :) anyway taste differs!!

 
At 11:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Agree with Ram, Sandya on his arrogance. But, Tamil industry heros need a slap in their face anyhow. The thing is, Vijay IS stupid but he has a great PR camp and luck has favoured him. Otherwise, I can't think of any other hero with minimum acting skills and looks become such a superstar. And Ajith's films have been quite idiotic, at least, Paramasivan and Thirupathi and Godfather passes for his acting.

My only question is regarding the mallu tag. I can't think of any other industry in the south more friendly to talents from other states. I wonder what he was talking about...

-kajan

 
At 11:37 PM, Blogger srivatsan said...

True, Kamal does not care a s**t for projects he does not like :(

He presented himself far better in Virumaandi (his last good movie as both an actor and director!!)

 
At 4:59 AM, Anonymous kumar said...

Looks like serveral of our friends have suddently become expers in "Mind-Reading" :-))

Let Rangan give the truth. Then you can talk about whether it is vijay or Ajith or Rajini or Kamal ! :-)) since every leading actor has his own share of IDIOTIC FILMS and have proved their stupidity most of the time ! :-))

 
At 1:36 PM, Anonymous vidhya said...

Thank god i didnt have to hear ajith saying..alagana en maaya..alagu alagana en maaya. he would have killed the line.

GM does sound a bit too frank for tamil cine industry. He better take some lessons from Dravid on diplomacy.

 
At 3:23 PM, Anonymous Shwetha said...

I am quite impressed with Gauthams guts to call a spade a spade, and also in general, his sensibilities. Vidhya's comment on how Ajit wouldve delivered Alagana Maya was too funny.

Great interview. Thanks for posting this one Balaji!

 
At 8:54 PM, Blogger srivatsan said...

//..alagana en maaya..alagu alagana en maaya

while this seems funny, lets not spark an actor debate again... :-)

phew...

GM is frank, but he too has limitations and is no Speilberg (or) Eastwood

 
At 12:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have wondered for long if such detailed & intriguing exploration of the behind-the-camera happenings is ever present in other film fields ie Hollywood, Bollywood or any other "wood" for that matter.

Most, I trust, will catch a movie over popcorn, discuss the likes & dislikes over a drink, put down the bit parts that was bad, and shove the details of the movie to the back of the minds...till the next movie experience.

The fact that we discuss, dissect, devour and disseminate all aspects of a tamil movie is baffling. Perhaps, we should enjoy a movie experience without a shred of prejudice - whether remake or not, big actor or not, great music or not, tight screenplay or not, pathbreaking or not, etc etc.

After all, the minute you head for the exit at the cinema hall, it is all but a memory...sometimes a distant one.

 
At 1:12 AM, Anonymous kumar said...

//
Thank god i didnt have to hear ajith saying..alagana en maaya..alagu alagana en maaya. he would have killed the line //

Thank God that Ajith atleast rejected the story and concentrated on movies like Varalaaru, Kireedom etc and Surya gave classics like AARU and SILLUNNU ORU KAADHAL - letting his beloved wife to bring him her "Chakkalathi"

 
At 7:28 AM, Blogger Maverick said...

Aarambichutaangayya Aarambichutaangayya !!!

I am the escape :)

 
At 10:23 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

how come Kumar convieniently forgets the classic Ghajini.. Maybe most thala's fans are like that. Thank God there arent too many of them. well wel...

 
At 10:37 PM, Anonymous kumar said...

// how come Kumar convieniently forgets the classic Ghajini.. Maybe most thala's fans are like that. Thank God there arent too many of them. well wel... //

We have not forgotten the classic Ghajini as well as AARU and JOK just like you people as well who have citizen in mind forgetting Varalaaru ! :-))

You should thank god that this place has reduced the blind sarcasm on actors irrespective of the number of fans here :-))

 
At 12:11 AM, Anonymous parthi said...

It never bothers me when media & producers talk about 'record collections'. 'Coz most of the times it turns out to be just crap. Theatre accounts in India are never kept properly. And what about black tickets and extra chairs? So you never get a true box office collection. More over BO collection and the amount producer got is two different things.

 
At 8:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the plug, Balaji. And if only I had a rupee for each time someone asked me who those two actors were :-) - Baradwaj

 
At 8:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And oh, there's this site that has the exact same post as yours... Actually, someone pointed me there first. http://nirmalkumar.wordpress.com/2006/12/21/bharadwaj-rangans-interview-with-gautham/

 
At 6:39 AM, Anonymous venkat said...

really cant understand what u ve against ajith. RK n KH looked more funny n stupid n some movies n more than ajith.
anyway since u people dislike ajith u ll be missing a good kireedam . dnt know abt alwaar . i ve kept my fingers crossed.

 
At 6:47 AM, Anonymous venkat said...

we thala fans react only if thala is insulted otherwise we ve no reason to talk abt other actors and also we are not much interested in the rest of tamil film industry.

 
At 6:59 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

its good that ajith dnt do VV.
chopped fingers, gay villians, a ay raping a girl . it was one of the most horrible movies.

 
At 6:20 AM, Anonymous SHETTY said...

Gautam is a Marvellous Director and if he combines with Ilaya Thalapathy "VIJAY" that would be an another Mega hit ....but dont spoil ur name working with the THARUTHALA.......

 

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