Vijay Arun and Tanya Hope in ‘Thadam’. Image Credit: Supplied

“Truth is stranger than fiction,” said Tamil filmmaker Magizh Thirumeni who believes that the best stories are taken from life.

‘Thadam’ was triggered from a news report that he stumbled upon during the making of his last film, ‘Meaghamann’.

“When I first read it, my first reaction was to laugh. ‘Can this ever happen?’ I wondered,” remembered Thirumeni.

The story stayed in his mind continuing to nag him. Reading further, he realised that it had all the potential for an interesting film.

“Thadam’ is an investigative thriller with a legal angle to it. This is a layered story that delves into many aspects,” said Thirumeni.

Thirumeni and Arun Vijay are working for the second time after ‘Thadaiyara Thaakka.’ Vijay plays a dual role, a first in his career.

“There is no marked difference between the two characters, be it in their appearance and mannerisms,” said Thirumeni. “My challenge lay in making the two personalities stand apart as different individuals and not confuse the audience.”

When he narrated the story to Arun Vijay, he did not reveal to the actor of his dual role initially.

“I was taken by surprise and excited throughout the narration. Yes, playing Kavin and Ezhil was certainly a challenge. I had to work how the two characters behaved... How Ezhil stands and walks. Kavin’s was interesting too as you will see once the film releases. It called for a huge amount of effort even for the smallest reactions. Once the two characters appear on screen together, audience will spot the difference between the two. Magizh’s well detailed characterisation made it easy for me. There is a curiosity in the story and will keep the audience engaged,” said Vijay.

Vijay shares a good camaraderie with director Thirumeni. “Having known his working style, I know what he thinks even before shooting a scene. I completely surrendered myself to him. This was an enjoyable film where even the smallest character is significant and moves the script.”

Talking about Vijay, Thirumeni added that Vijay carries a reputation as an action hero, but there are other dimensions to him as an actor.

“I have explored that in ‘Thadam’. It will be a big milestone in Arun’s career.”

Tanya Hope, making her Tamil cinema debut, is paired opposite Vijay. Newcomer Smruthi Venkat romances Vijay’s second character. Vidya Pradeep plays a police officer investigating a murder. Meera Krishnan plays a powerful role that required her to step out of her comfort zone. Arun Raj debuts as music composer. Gopinath has handled the camera.

‘Thadam’ releases in the UAE on March 1.