From a short stint as a copy writer to managing lifestyle magazine Inbox 1305, Kiruthiga Udhayanidhi found her true calling as a filmmaker with Tamil film, Vanakkam Chennai. In an exclusive chat with tabloid!, this mother-of-two talks about her debut venture and the journey so far.
On... Vanakkam Chennai
It is a romantic comedy, a story of two completely different people. The hero, who has grown up in a village, is the studious kind and goes to the city for work. He meets a London-born woman, bold and boisterous — and so unlike him. So what happens when opposites attract each other?
On... scriptwriting and roadblocks
I have been writing scripts for some time. This story struck me as a one-liner. I got excited and developed it further. I approached a few directors with my story. But in Tamil cinema, directors often work on their own scripts. Not many are open to taking scripts from others. I found myself stuck with my script. That’s when director Rajesh (of Oru Kal Oru Kannadi) encouraged me to direct it myself. My co-director, Divyanathan, who has assisted director Mysskin, urged me to think out of the box. It was a complete self-learning process. Of course I did have my jitters on the first day of shoot, but I went ahead.
On... Shiva and Priya Anand
I am extremely happy with Shiva’s performance. Shiva has become associated with comedy and spoof. But in Vanakkam Chennai, he has struck a good balance between comedy, romance and emotions with a subtle underplaying of his role. Priya is a thorough professional and easy to work with. She is akin to her character. She was naughty on the sets and full of energy. Sometimes when I felt tired, she would boost me up. It was good having her around.
On... making Anirudh dance
This is a koothu [folk] song. We wanted to have a song that can be played long after the film is gone. It is a club song. When I asked Anirudh [the music composer of Kolaveri fame] if he would feature in the visuals, he was supportive and decided to go all out. Ani worked really hard on his moves. [Check out the song on YouTube, called I am a Chennai City Gangsta.]
On... Udhay and Me
We met at a school cultural event. I was doing plus two and Udhay [Udhayanidhi is the son of politician M.K. Stalin and grandson of DMK leader, M. Karunanidhi] was in college. We dated for seven years before getting married. It was overwhelming when I first entered this family but my in-laws put me at ease. Udhay is a big reason for Vanakkam Chennai to happen. He has been supportive from the start. But he is a difficult person to please when it comes to scripts. I discussed the film with him at every step. That helped me improvise the story.