Director Suseenthiran on Genius, why Vijay rejected the script and his upcoming film Kennedy Club

Surendhar MK

October 26, 2018 15:11:30 IST

After impressing audiences with his remarkable directorial debut in Vennila Kabadi Kuzhu, which also marked the acting debut of Vishnu Vishal, director Suseenthiran delivered a solid blockbuster through Karthi's crime thriller Naan Mahaan Alla in his sophomore film. In the following years, he churned out a national award-winning movie in Azhagarsaamiyin Kuthirai, the widely-acclaimed Aadhalal Kadhal Seiveer, and the super-hit Pandiya Naadu, starring Vishal.

Suseenthiran. Image via Twitter

. Image via Twitter

However, Suseenthiran has not been in great form in the last few years with duds like Nenjil Thunivirunthaal and Paayum Puli failing to mint money at the box-office. His social drama Genius, featuring newcomer Roshan, hits screens this Friday. In this exclusive chat with FirstPost, Suseenthiran talks about the inspiration behind the film, why actor Vijay rejected the script, and his string of upcoming projects such as Kennedy Club, Angelina, and Champion.

"Although the running time of Genius is just 100 minutes, each scene will leave a deep impact on viewers. The film will remain very close to my heart like Vennila Kabadi Kuzhu, Maveeran Kittu and Jeeva," Suseenthiran told FirstPost. 

Earlier, in an official statement, Suseenthiran said: "What I genuinely wanted to attempt with Genius is to showcase the contemporary crisis that every children and student are facing. These days, the school-going kids are deprived of even sunlight and are excessively under pressure, leading to stress and depression at a very young age”.

Suseenthiran said that a real-life incident which he witnessed in a tea shop around 2007 inspired him to write Genius. “It was before 11 years, where I happened to have tea at a stall in West Mambalam. A decent-looking youngster, say around 26 years of age, after sipping his tea, just left the place forgetting to pay the money. The tea stall owner requested him to pay the money, and he replied saying that he forgot the wallet. When the shop owner insisted again on paying the money, he started yelling and created a big fuss. I was shocked to see such a decent guy, who looked like earning a fat paycheck, behave this way. What could be the reason behind his transformation? It inspired me to pen the script of Genius.”

Suseenthiran said he had written the story of Genius for an already-existing hero and not for a newcomer. "For Roshan, who plays the protagonist in Genius, I had adapted my earlier version. The film talks about the ill-effects of our education system and the workplace stress in a subtle manner. The narration will not be preachy but highly educative. I have showcased how to lead a stress-free life in the film," he said.

Suseenthiran also revealed that he had narrated the script of Genius to star heroes like Thalapathy Vijay, Jayam Ravi, and Allu Arjun. "I had narrated a half-finished version to Ravi and Allu Arjun. They liked it and opined that they have good scope to perform in the film as an actor. But, when I tried to complete the full version, I wasn't satisfied. I personally called them both and informed that we would work sometime later with a new subject."

He further added: "Vijay sir was very skeptical when I told him the outline of the story. He said his fans wouldn't accept him playing a mentally-challenged role and that it's not the right time. He was a full-fledged commercial hero then with films like Tirupachi doing extremely well. So, he told me to come up with a script in his pattern of films with a mix of comedy, action, and drama."

Now, Suseenthiran has donned the greasepaint for director Ramprakash Rayappa's crime thriller Suttu Pidikka Utharavu, which is currently under production and also stars director Mysskin in a pivotal role. "The entire film is a chase with interesting turns. I have worked with Mysskin sir for two days for a fight sequence and a scene. Although I don't have many dialogues in the film, I had the scope to perform through my minute expressions in between sequences. So, it was a challenging experience, and that's why I accepted this movie. It will be an edge-of-the-seat thriller right from the first frame."

Suseenthiran says he has already completed the shooting of his upcoming films such as Angelina and the football-based drama Champion, which is the third movie in his sports trilogy followed by Vennila Kadabi Kuzhu, and Jeeva. Now, he has announced his next project titled Kennedy Club. 

Produced by Thai Saravanan's Nallusamy Pictures, who also bankrolled Genius, Kennedy Club stars actor-director-producer Sasikumar and veteran filmmaker Bharathiraja in the lead roles. The film is based on a true incident and also features Samuthirakani, Soori, and Munishkanth in important roles. "The story is based on a women's Kabaddi team and is set in the backdrop of Pazhani. We are planning to release the movie for the Tamil New Year festival in April 2019. We are planning to cast a popular Bollywood actor to play the villain in the movie as a North Indian coach."

Updated Date: Oct 26, 2018 15:11 PM