After crossing several hurdles with AWBI and the Censor Board, Thalapathy Vijay’s Mersal, the most anticipated film for this Deepavali has hit the theaters in a big way — no sooner when the booking counters opened, tickets were sold out in a jiffy! Directed by Atlee and produced by Thenandal Films, the film has music composed by AR Rahman. Samantha, Kajal and Nithya Menen play the female leads. SJ Suryah who floored everyone with his menacing villain act in Spyder continues his baddie avatar once again. In a casual chat, Atlee speaks to us about the movie and future plans.
“I got the title of Mersal even as I was working in Theri with Vijay sir. I sat with Rajamouli sir’s dad and Baahubali’s writer Vijayendra Prasad sir, and worked on the screenplay. During the course of discussion, we stumbled upon another idea which finally shaped into Mersal,” Atlee discloses.
He adds, “We have touched upon an issue which is commonly faced by people of all walks of life. Vijay essays the role of ‘Thalapathy’ in the retro portions. He hails from Madurai and Nithya Menen essays his pair. These portions are highly entertaining.”
For the role of a magician, Vijay learnt the craft from real-life magicians like Gogo Requiem and Dany Belev, Atlee reveals. “He performed the role of a magician to utmost perfection. Vijay sir was particular that he performed the magic tricks by himself. Sir also did risky and strenuous stunt sequences by himself. We shot the crucial malyutham (traditional combat-wrestling) fight sequences at Rajasthan in the scorching heat at 59 degrees! Vijay sir’s energy levels were very high and he did it sporting just a dhoti,” he adds.
Ask him whether there is a third Vijay character who is named Maran (a doctor by profession), pat he replies, “It is suspense! Watch it on screens.”
Why three female leads? “The script needed them. Among the three, Nithya Menen plays an intense role. Sam essays a pucca local girl. Kajal appears in modern segments.”
Songs by AR Rahman are already popular and the song Aalaporan Tamizhan has become an anthem among Vijay fans. It was rumoured that Atlee had registered Aalaporan Tamizhan as a title also —“Yes, that’s true! It hails the pride of being a Tamilian and ARR sir has given a salutation to Tamil language.”
If he had to an old classic, which one do you opt for, we quiz the director.
“Undoubtedly Superstar’s Bashaa,(smiles). I haven’t narrated a script to Rajini sir as opposed to few rumours. But like anyone else, it is my dream to work with Superstar.”
Atlee signs off saying that there’s a possibility of making a sequel not only to Raja Rani and Theri, but also for Mersal....