Balaji Mohan on Maari 2, As I'm Suffering from Kadhal and working with Dhanush, Yuvan Shankar Raja
Basking in the glory of his latest super-hit web-series As I'm Suffering from Kadhal, director Balaji Mohan has started the shooting for Dhanush's Maari 2
Basking in the glory of his latest super-hit web-series As I'm Suffering from Kadhal, director Balaji Mohan has started the shooting for Dhanush's Maari 2, which is swiftly progressing in Tenkasi now. Amidst his busy schedule, Firstpost caught up with the young filmmaker, who has learned how to take criticism on the first Maari in his stride and is leaving no stone unturned to make the sequel entertaining for all sections of audiences.
"We were pretty sure that Maari 2 shouldn't be a namesake sequel and we wanted to do this only if the script is exciting. Though Maari had mixed reviews, the reach was wider and there were many portions of the film that really worked well with the audience, like the humor and mass sequences. When I started to write the script, I collected feedback about what worked well and what could have been better in Maari. Taking that feedback into consideration, when I started to write the script, I first designed the antagonist and developed the script from him. The villain character demanded an intense actor and I thought that casting someone who is already recognised in the industry would be an advantage. So we decided to rope in Tovino Thomas," Balaji Mohan tells Firstpost in an exclusive interview.
Spilling the beans on the plot, Balaji Mohan says, "Maari 2 is a continuation of its prequel; the story is set in the same background. A gangster's platform. But the screenplay is written in such a way that those who haven't watched the first part will also find this enjoyable. Having said that, we are not milking the brand value of Maari to make a new film just for the sake of it."
Produced by Dhanush's home banner Wunderbar Films, Maari 2 features an all-star cast comprising of Sai Pallavi, Varalaxmi Sarathkumar, Krishna, Tovino Thomas and Robo Shankar.
"All the artists like Tovino, Varalaxmi, Sai Pallavi decided to join the sequel because of the significance their characters has in the film. Sai Pallavi is not doing every movie that has come her way. She is choosy about her roles and her character in Maari 2 is not a typical lead heroine material. She has great scope in the film and there's a plot that revolves around her. For the supporting cast Robo Shankar, Kaali Venkat, and Kalloori Vinoth are retained from the prequel," says Mohan about the role of Sai Pallavi, who is awaiting her first Tamil release Karu on February 23.
One of the biggest highlights of Maari was the chartbuster soundtrack composed by Anirudh Ravichander. Now, Yuvan Shankar Raja has been signed for the film and the team has already finished recording a song in Ilaiyaraja's vocals and Dhanush's lyrics. "I believe that it's the project that always demands and chooses its cast and technicians. Dhanush-Yuvan duo has created magic in the past and in someway Yuvan's music was a strength to Dhanush during his initial years in Tamil cinema. To have this duo collaborate after a decade for my movie gives me a special feel. So far I have collaborated with youngsters from my generation and in Maari 2, I got the opportunity to work with a legend like Yuvan."
Of late, Varalaxmi Sarathkumar has been signing a lot of roles with grey shades. Ask if she has a similar role in Maari 2, Mohan says, "Varalaxmi doesn't play a grey role but it will stand out from the characters she has done so far in her career. She didn't even have any apprehensions before signing the film and about the lead cast." The team is on the verge of wrapping up the Tenkasi schedule and by mid-February, they will resume the next leg in Chennai, where major portions will be shot. The entire shooting will be wrapped up by mid-2018.
Balaji has also confirmed that he's working on a sequel to his web-series As I'm Suffering From Kadhal: "Initially, I had the idea of making As I'm Suffering From Kadhal as a feature film. But considering the numerous characters and the storyline, I decided to make it as a web-series where we can deliver good content on a limited budget and I love that experience. It took me back to my short film days. I will definitely continue to make web-series whenever I take a break from feature filmmaking. Post Maari 2, As I'm Suffering From Kadhal - Season 2 might happen. It's in the initial stages of scripting actually."
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