Gautham Menon on exploring a new genre with Dhruva Natchathiram, and starring in Fahadh Faasil's Trance
Gautham Menon talks about his future slate of films — Dhanush's Enai Nokki Paayum Thotta, Vikram's Dhruva Natchathiram and Fahadh Faasil's Trance.
Ace filmmaker Gautham Menon, who is currently busy with multiple projects including Dhanush's Enai Nokki Paayum Thotta and Vikram's Dhruva Natchathiram, participated in an event in a famous college in Coimbatore where he patiently answered to a wide range of questions from students and shared his movie-making experiences.
Talking about the turning point in his career, Menon said, "I was an engineering student and I never thought I would become a director. The film industry is surely a great place to be in, but it took a lot of struggle to stand where I'm standing right now. Your film has to reach the target audience to win. You can dismiss the movie as boring in a minute but filmmakers put in a lot of effort for every film. For instance, my second film Kaakha Kaakha was a huge struggle. I made the movie as a first copy. After they saw the film, they asked if they could remove the love scenes. We had to discuss for nearly 10 days regarding it. But after the movie, Kamal Haasan sir called, which was the turning point in my career. I learned cinema from him, and a chance to meet him and talk to him was a great breakthrough. It was easier to meet other actors after that.”
When asked about Kamal Haasan's sudden entry into politics and the recent reports of him quitting movies after completing Shankar's Indian 2, Gautham, who worked with him in Vettaiyaadu Vilaiyaadu, said, "Kamal sir's foray into politics is not something I can comment about; it's his right to choose. But what I want from him is his continued work in our film industry. As a fan and as someone who worked with him, I don't want to see him quit cinema."
Gautham said he has ventured into a new space with Vikram's spy thriller Dhruva Natchathiram which stars Ritu Varma and Aishwarya Rajesh as female leads. "I think it's time to venture into new areas of filmmaking. When I started my career in movies, I had no plans. I just went with the flow. I get carried away by the real incidents that happen around me and that will most influence my writing. Now, I want to try different areas, and Dhruva Natchathiram is one such attempt. A lot of real people inspired my previous stories. There's no specific success mantra per se. I have never had the idea of revolutionising with my cinema. Some people can do it brilliantly. What I want to give the audience in exchange for their three hours is entertainment with some thought-provoking moments," he stated.
Gautham, who has co-produced Dhuruvangal 16-fame director Karthick Naren's sophomore film Naragasooran, talked about battling failures and how he is still scared about the result of a movie. "Even when I'm downright confident about the content and make a film without taking any suggestions, I can't put my feet up and wait for the release. Definitely, there will be a sense of fear, that too when some producer is involved. So far, I have not invested much money into my films but my movies haven't made my producers bankrupt. A few of my movies didn't have a good run in the theatres but I can't go and dig what has gone wrong. I will move on and work on what's ahead of me. This is something I learned from my masters. I have seen them focus on what's next instead of dwelling on the past."
Gautham has starred in special cameos in a significant number of his films. Now, he is playing the full-fledged role of a villain in director Vijay Milton's Goli Soda 2. "I have been following Vijay Milton and Samuthrakani's works. When they asked, I indeed agreed since I needed the experience of working with such minds. Also, I'm doing a role in Fahadh Faasil's upcoming film Trance, which I'm looking forward to. The reason is pretty much the same; when there's a whole lot of top technicians, I just want to have an experience," he said.
Hinting at helming a web series for a digital platform soon, Gautham said, "I think the theatre-going audiences and the digital platforms' audience should co-exist. Because there are theatre audiences and there are audiences who binge-watch in digital platforms. All the web series and originals are great, and there's a lot to learn from them. I have never had the thought of making films just for theatrical run. Works are always meant for the future. Right from my second film, I knew that in another 10 years, my films would be played in some other medium or format and a faction of the new audiences are going to see them. In Hollywood, it's not something new. Many ace directors are making films and web series for Netflix. I am also doing something very soon."
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