Mani Ratnam’s protégé Dhana turns director

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | ANUPAMA SUBRAMANIAN
Published Feb 24, 2017, 12:13 am IST
Updated Feb 24, 2017, 12:14 am IST
Vijay Yesudas plays the hero in debutant director Dhana’s Padai Veeran.
Arvind Swami with the crew of Padai Veeran
 Arvind Swami with the crew of Padai Veeran

Popular playback singer Vijay Yesudas, son of legendary musician KG Yesudas, forayed into acting with Dhanush’s Maari and portrayed a role with grey shades. Now, after a gap of two years, Vijay has turned a hero with a movie titled Padai Veeran, which is set in the rural backdrop of Theni. Directed by debutant Dhana —  a former assistant of Mani Ratnam — newcomer Amritha has been roped in as the heroine. Yet another interesting casting coup in the movie is none other than filmmaker Bharathiraja!

While Mani Ratnam is known generally for his slick urban stories, Dhana, despite coming from his school, opted for a rural milieu. His reasons? “Basically, I was born and brought up in a village and came to the city only for my college studies,” he explains, adding, “Though I worked with Mani sir in Kadal and Oh Kadhal Kanmani, I thought that what is registered in my mind would be the best option for my directorial debut. I felt really strongly about weaving this story.”

 

“The script did not demand a popular hero and hence I chose Vijay Yesudas,” he adds. “I know Vijay well and he fit the role of the lead protagonist, Munis, the village youth in PV. Similarly, I chanced upon Amritha in a short film. Her eyes were expressive and I cast her after auditioning. She has given an energetic performance in the movie.” On roping in Bharathiraja, who is choosy about his acting ventures, he says, “You won’t believe it — I narrated the story in just three minutes. The next moment he said, ‘I am there’ (laughs). He plays a retired military officer and it is a very crucial role.” Karthik Raja composes the soundtrack for the project.

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