Any mainstream Tamil movie with a larger-than-life protagonist has three or 4 unmissable parts to it.
The place I’m involved, probably the most vital of all of them is the one, which — for a simple reference — we will identify as “the making of the hero”. Normally, this portion performs out over a tune. An instance of this phenomenon is Annamalai, the 1992 movie starring Rajinikanth.
Within the film, the Celebrity, who performs the titular position, transforms from a humble milk vendor to an ace hotelier in lower than 4 minutes, because the ‘Vettri Nichayam’ tune performs out within the background.
Sivakarthikeyan’s upcoming movie Hero, directed by PS Mithran, additionally includes a related tune. Besides on this one, the Namma Veettu Pillai star transforms from an unusual man right into a masked crusader, who doles out vigilante justice.
I’m on the defunct manufacturing facility website of Omega Cables in Ambattur Industrial Property — a location that repeats usually within the climax sequences of Tamil motion movies — the place one in all Mithran’s assistants lead us to the capturing spot by way of a path affected by rusty nails.
Inside, we’re greeted by George C Williams, the cinematographer. For George, Hero has been an attention-grabbing expertise as a result of he was requested to shoot in low-light, and utilizing solely pure colors, for probably the most half.
“I will be maintaining a colour palette of mostly greys and blues for this song,” he provides. Which is one purpose we discover the substitute lighting on the set to be much less distinguished. The few which can be obtainable have been positioned exterior the constructing, with their faces aligned in the direction of the damaged window frames on the wall, at George’s request.
I spot Sathish Krishnan, the dance choreographer, and Dhilip Subbarayan, the stunt coordinator, engaged in a dialog. They’re awaiting Sivakarthikeyan and Arjun, who’re right here to movie a montage bit for the “making of the hero” tune.
A bit forward of them are the props that can be used — nothing fancy, simply tyres of various sizes. They’ve all been suspended from a bar on the roof, and have been stored aligned in a straight course. Krishnan says that the arrange is for a “training sequence”.
What it means is that stunt males will fling the tyres from side-to-side on Subbarayan’s cue, and Sivakarthikeyan is meant to evade all of them. The coaching ends with the hero leaping by way of a tractor’s tyre, which has been suspended on the final. There are nuances to this shot.
When Sivakarthikeyan walks in, Subbarayan pulls him to a facet and explains: “There are three stages. The first shot is where you depict fear. You have to move through the tyres but you’re afraid. So, you quit after placing hands on your head. The second stage is where you make a mistake. In your eagerness to finish the training, you miss your mark, and one of the tyres hits you, and you injure yourself. The third stage is where you’re brimming with confidence, and you complete the training.”
Sivakarthikeyan, who listens keenly to those directions, appears to be in a relaxed, easy-going temper. No sooner had Subbarayan completed his rationalization, he walks as much as one of many stunt males wearing a blue shirt and denims — we study that his identify is Arakkonam Singam later — and cracks jokes.
“He is our entertainment on the set,” says Sivakarthikeyan about Singam, including, “Actually, I’m a bit more measured with my gags today because you’re here.”
Round this level, Mithran walks into the movie set. “I did not want to make a superhero film. It is a story which ended up becoming one. He (Sivakarthikeyan) is not someone with superhuman powers. He is a hero who will question authority,” he says.
The forged of Hero consists of Abhay Deol, Kalyani Priyadarshan and Ivana. On Deol, who performs the antagonist, Mithran provides, “We can show Abhay as an absolute good man and an absolute bad guy. He can be suave, well-mannered but also an evil person. That is how I write my antagonists as well.”
Arjun enters the set. Sporting coolers and dressed casually, he’s handed a strolling stick — the sort utilized by one in all his characters within the movie Karnaa (1995) — by one of many assistants, and is defined what the shot goes to be.
He walks as much as the tractor tyre, by way of which Sivakarthikeyan is meant to leap by way of, and takes his place. Earlier than the digicam begins rolling, he begins swirling the strolling help in his hand like nunchucks. After finishing a shot, the place he was required to yell “Move!” at Sivakarthikeyan, and have a look at the timer on his hand, he attracts a chair subsequent to us for a break.
Age no bar
As an assistant director in his twenties walks up, Arjun asks: “Will you forged me in your movie da whenever you flip director?” Caught unawares by the query, the assistant sheepishly nods sure. “He needs to forged me in a task just like Rhythm,” Arjun tells us, referring to his movie from 2000, which was directed by Vasanth.
I inform Arjun that Mithran had knowledgeable how he grew up idolising him in movies like Gentleman (1993) and Mudhalvan (1999), and the talk turns to age.
“I get these comments. It is okay if Mithran says he has seen me since childhood. How old are you…?” he cuts quick his sentence to quiz Mithran. “I’m 30,” comes the reply. “Yeah. But you know, there are people in their 60s who have come and told me that they have been seeing me since they were young! I mean, come on, I’m only 56,” he says, and the duo break into laughter.
Sivakarthikeyan has completed filming his bit, and has headed again to the caravan. The shot is prepared for Arjun, and he takes depart as properly.
Earlier than we depart the spot, I ask Mithran about how vital it’s to search out ample display time for the large names he has populated his forged with. “I don’t believe that dedicating screen time to an actor is proportional to the impact they will have on the script,” he says.
“For instance, Arjun sir solely had 5 out of 126 scenes in Irumbuthirai (Mithran’s debut movie). At finest, the display time was 12 minutes and but you felt the character’s affect all by way of the movie. That’s the way it works for me,” he concludes.