A still from Maane Thaene Paeye
Director Krishna tells that his upcoming film Maane Thaene Paeye is addressed at urban audiences
Sometimes, your debut film can become a cross you have to bear forever. Take the case of director Krishna, who despite the success of his second film,Nedunchaalai, continues to be known as the one who made Sillunu Oru Kaadhal(2006). He doesn’t mind it though. “People think I make only small films after Sillunu (Rs. 10 crore budget), but I don’t think so,” he says.
A case in point being his upcoming film Maane Thaene Paeye, which cost about Rs. 8 crore to make. “If I’d brought in big stars like I did for my first film (Suriya and Jyothika), I’m sure this would have been transformed into a big-budget film.” There are, of course, certain advantages in casting popular actors. “If I had an actor like Suriya, I could justify using a helicopter for a scene. Now, I have to make do with a train.” And disadvantages… “I would not be allowed to kill an important character like I did inNedunchaalai. The audience would be outraged. I would have had to alter the story to show the hero emerging triumphant at the end.” This probably explains why our leading stars usually never play characters that die at the end.
Maane Thaene Paeye is a romance, where the director teams up with Aari again after Nedunchaalai. A highway robber in that film, Aari plays an IT professional here. “We share a great rapport and I didn’t think twice before casting him.” The film also brings Bengali actress Subhashree Ganguly to the Tamil industry. “I saw her photographs and thought she’d be perfect for the role. Surprisingly, she had heard of me too.” Despite Bengali films being generally known for their use of realistic makeup and subtle acting, Krishna says he had to ask Ganguly to reduce her glossy makeup and not overdramatise certain sequences.
Maane Thaene Paeye, according to the director, is a contemporary love story in the mould of Sillunu. “It’s a story all urban audiences can relate to.” He isn’t worried that people in the B and C centres may not relate to the sophistication of the story. “Today, an old coolie from a village has an educated son, who will probably be interested in my film. It doesn’t quite matter that the parent may not watch it. Also, in these so-called B and C centres, the films are played on cable TV in the first week of release. It’s then the urban audience that calls the shots.”
This film is the director’s second release this year — a marked shift in frequency consideringNedunchaalai (his second film) released eight years after his debut. He attributes the delay to the production difficulties he faced during the making of Yen Ippadi Mayakkinaai, a film that still hasn’t seen the light of day. “I’d rather that my film be criticised than not be released at all.”
The disappointment made him take a break before Nedunchaalai to compose himself. It’s clear that the failure still rankles because when I ask him about the release date of Maane Thaene Paeye, he says, “Don’t even ask. No matter how big a director you are, you can never be sure of that.”