From Goodachari to Vishwaroopam 2 and Dhruva Natchathiram, South filmmakers are betting big on spy films
Goodachari, Vishwaroopam 2 and Dhruva Natchathiram directors discuss why they chose to tell Indian spy stories in their latest films.
Among various most explored genres in southern cinema, the spy film genre has garnered least attention and nobody’s been able to crack the reason behind it. As films such as Goodachari, Kamal Haasan’s Vishwaroopam 2 and Vikram’s Dhruva Natchathiram are gearing up for release this year, we try and understand – from people associated with these projects, why southern filmmakers are betting big on spy films.
The trailer of actor-writer Adivi Sesh’s upcoming Telugu spy thriller Goodachari, slated for release on 3 August, was released on Friday and it was extremely well received. It’s a story of how someone becomes a spy. For Sesh, who has written the story of Goodachari, it’s his way of paying homage to the Bond films and our own home-grown spy thrillers. Talking exclusively to Firstpost, Sesh said: “I’ve been a fan of the spy films for a long time. I wrote the story of Goodachari as a teenager and I wanted to tell the story of a spy on the streets of India. Instead of aiming to make a Bond film, we’ve Indianised the spy genre and we believe we’ve made a fairly interesting spy thriller.”
Talking about Goodachari, its director Sashi Kiran Tikka told Firstpost: “I believe audiences have evolved and so has their taste, thanks to the access of different kind of films and shows on the internet. So when we decided to make Goodachari, we had no inhibitions and we were sure audiences will embrace a good film and its genre really doesn’t matter. Mahanati, for instance, is probably the first mainstream Telugu biopic and it was celebrated by everybody. We’ve didn’t try and make Goodachari to match the Bond films or Bourne films of the world. We’ve made a stylish spy film with a universally appealing emotional arc, and I believe our audiences will relate to it.”
Kamal Haasan’s much awaited Vishwaroopam 2, slated for release on 10 August, is the next big spy film that’s worth discussing. Five years since the release of Vishwaroopam, in which Haasan plays a RAW agent, the second part is up for release. Haasan doesn’t see it as a sequel. In a recent media interaction in Chennai, he said that the film is just one full story, divided into two parts for the sake of length. The film follows the story of an Indian spy, played by Haasan himself, who befriends a notorious terrorist, played by Rahul Bose, and tries to bring down his empire.
Vishwaroopam was raved for its high-octane action and taut screenplay. One of the highlights of the movie was the scene where Haasan is seen transforming into a mean killing machine from an effervescent Kathak dancer. The second part, according to Haasan, will be more intense and highly emotional than the first. In his interview to The New Indian Express, Haasan said that he sees Vishwaroopam films as his way of making our own version of a Hollywood idea. “We have all already become global citizens. Look at what we are all wearing. Today, we can talk what Spielberg is talking, and with less money and more efficiency. The overseas film market may have just opened up for us, but we have one billion consumers here, if we know how to whet their appetite. China is our only competitor. We are telling our people they don’t have to look West-ward for these films. Our national language, according to me, is English. How does a Telugu-speaking person communicate with a Hindi-speaking person? What’s the lingua franca? English, of course.”
Gautham Menon has bet high stakes on his Vikram starrer Dhruva Natchathiram, which he plans to make it into a franchise. The film features Vikram as an agent on a secret mission with his team to save his boss. In an earlier chat with this writer, Gautham said he’s nurtured the idea of making a spy film for a very long time. “This is the most ambitious project of my career. I’ve wanted to make it for a very long time and after a few setbacks, I’m glad it has finally fallen in place. It’s been my dream to do a film along the lines of the Bourne series, in a way it’d suit Tamil sensibilities.”
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