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'Eeram has all the emotions from my life'

Last updated on: September 9, 2009 

'Eeram has all the emotions from my life'

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Any film from director Shankar's production house, S Pictures is eagerly awaited. From 2004, S Pictures has been very active in producing quality films. Starting from Kadhal by Balaji Shaktivel, Shankar has given opportunities to first time directors to showcase their talent.

The latest debut director S Pictures is introducing is Arivazhagan Venkatachalam. The Tamil film Eeram directed by Arivazhagan has caught the interest of people from the day the first ad appeared in the newspapers.

The first time director speaks to Shobha Warrier on his film.

You had assisted Shankar in Boys and Anniyan before making Eeram. What did you learn from him?

After I passed out from the Film Institute, I applied for work under Shankar Sir as I hold him in high esteem. I was asked to suggest an idea and then narrate it like a film. I did that and he seemed to like the way I narrated the story because I was selected to work as his assistant.

When I started working for Boys, I understood why he was such a successful director. Not many people have the kind of passion he has for films. From the first discussion to post production work, he works relentlessly and passionately, and I feel that is why he is one of the most successful directors in India. All young directors should learn this attitude from him if they want to be successful in the field of cinema.


Image: Arivazhagan Venkatachalam (right)

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'Eeram combines imagination and reality'

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Your debut film Eeram is ready to hit the theatres this Friday. Is it an urban story?

Yes, it is an urban story but there is a flashback which takes place in a small town. The story happens in an upper middle class apartment in Chennai. A police officer comes to the apartment to unravel a mystery.

What is the inspiration behind your story?

I feel every creative writer should look at his own life first for inspiration, and not create something from imagination alone. Every story has to have its bearing on life. When we combine imagination and reality, we get a good script. Eeram is that kind of a script.

Though the film is a romantic thriller, it carries all the emotions we experience in life. It has love, action, revenge and everything. I have taken all these emotions from my life.


Image: A scene from Eeram

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'I prefer making screenplays based on my own stories'

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You have written the story, screenplay and dialogues, and you have also directed the film. Do you feel it is better for a director to write his own story?

I like to do it that way. I prefer making screenplays based on my own stories. I feel I can understand and feel the characters better only if I create them. But there are other directors who can interpret the stories of other directors better. It is not that I don't like to make films based on other people's stories but when I can write my own stories, why should I take from others?

When the director writes his own script, he visualises everything in his mind. After that, it is easy to make it in the film format. While writing the script itself, I become the cinematographer, editor and sound designer. That is one of the advantages of studying in a film institute. There, you are taught to do everything connected with films. So, when I write the script, I think about 80 per cent of the technical aspects of the film myself.


Image: A scene from Eeram

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'Rain is the backdrop in all the scenes'

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What are the other advantages of studying in a film institute?

It was only because I studied in a film institute that I was exposed to all kinds of cinema. Till I joined the film institute, I knew only about Tamil, Hindi and Hollywood films. But world cinema opened a new window to me. It changed my perspective about films as such. It was my exposure to world cinema that helped me write scripts and make films. It taught me that we have to use all technical tools in story telling. That is what I learnt by watching world cinema.

What is the significance of the title Eeram?

There are two concepts behind naming the film Eeram. When you think of the word Eeram, you feel only kulir or cold.

There is another aspect also to the title. When we come out of our mother's womb, we come wet with the fluid. So, our life starts with Eeram. There's no escaping eeram in our life. Even our tears are eeram. In this film, I want to subtly say that our life is entangled with eeram.

Another thing is every scene in the film is made either before the rains or after the rains or when it is raining. Rain is the backdrop in all the scenes. So, water or rain is an important factor in the story. Rain is an excellent tool through which you can show extreme emotions whether it is love, revenge or anger.


Image: A scene from Eeram

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'The colour that comes to your mind when you think of Eeram is blue'

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You said your film is closely connected to the rains. Did you grow up in a place where it rained a lot?

I grew up in Coimbatore and there is not much rain there! So, in a way I crave for the rains. But in the case of this film, I thought what new I could say and the concept of rain came to my mind.

All the advertisements of the film have a blue tone to them and we see a kind of stillness in the images...

Every colour has an emotion associated with it. The colour that comes to your mind when you think of Eeram is blue. Yes, we feel a kind of stillness in Eeram and hence you feel that in the images. Water is a major character in the film.

Your first movie will reach the theatres very soon. What are you feeling right now?

I am nervous and excited. I am experiencing mixed feelings. But I have confidence in the audience, and I feel they will love my film. I started my life not as a creator but as a viewer. So, when I made the film, a part of me worked as a viewer. I think majority of the viewers also will like and enjoy my film.


Image: A scene from Eeram

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