Gautham Menon on his much-delayed film Enai Nokki Paayum Thota, and working with Dhanush
Gautham Menon's long-gestating romantic drama Enai Nokki Paayum Thota has been postponed to a later date, owing to a financial quagmire once again.
The wait continues for ace filmmaker Gautham Menon as his long-gestating romantic drama Enai Nokki Paayum Thota has been postponed to a later date, owing to a financial quagmire once again. Over the span of 18 years, the engineer-turned-director has given us so many memorable films that have not only left us charmed at the characters and the world that he creates, but also adhere to his style of filmmaking, his addiction towards strong men, and determined modern women. In a chat with Firstpost, Menon opens up on his journey with Enai Nokki Paayum Thota, collaborating with Dhanush for the first time, and the soundscape of the film.
With a few days left for the release of the film, it is absolutely normal for any director to have a share of pre-release jitters. But Gautham Menon differs right from that point, for he seems totally sorted and ready for a conversation at any time. When we ask him how he keeps his cool, he says “That’s how I am always. There is a feeling of stress lingering all the time, but beyond that, the work keeps progressing. People react differently to stress. Over all these years, I guess there’s just one instance where I have lost my temper and shouted at somebody. It happened during the shoot of Accham Yenbadhu Madamaiyada. Apart from that, I don’t usually vent out my anger or troubles.”
One question that Gautham himself would be tired of answering all these days, would be on the delay that Enai Nokki Paayum Thota has faced. The film went on floors back in 2016, but is only seeing the light of the day right now, thanks to a plethora of issues which have popped up from all sides. Gautham addresses it, saying, “We shot the film in 55 days, spread over the course of two-and-a-half years. There were so many issues between the hero, the producer, funding, and all that. Thankfully, I’m happy that we are able to sort out the issues, one by one. I think it’s not nice to delve too deep into it.”
Most of Gautham’s films are based on a cop or at least have an important police angle in them. But his protagonist in Enai Nokki Paayum Thota, Dhanush, is far from playing a cop. In this case, does Enai Nokki Paayum Thota become a very different film from his previous outings, and also for Dhanush. “When I was almost done with my paperwork, I felt that Dhanush would be right person for my film. There are elements in the film that he hasn’t done before, like being a rich college kid with a classy background. There’s also a very 'angry' portion in the latter half, where a performer like Dhanush could bring me the best possible output. He also brought in a different style of his own for his character, which made the process easier. In terms of being 'my' film, it may be slightly different as the heroine hails from the film industry, and the villain isn’t as fast and won’t run around like how Arun Vijay did in Yennai Arindhaal and so on. Otherwise, my style stays the same, especially the voiceovers, which are on the higher side here.”
One thing that has to be spoken about is the music of the film. After the viral first set of hits in Maruvaarthai, Naan Pizhaipeno and Visiri, the latter half of the album has also clicked superbly with the music lovers and fans. Gautham’s films have always had great music, but that is because of his combination with composers like Harris Jayaraj and AR Rahman. Here, Gautham is projecting a new composer in Darbuka Siva, and had also released the first two songs without revealing his name. “At the start, Dhanush wanted to bring in another composer. That was the only difference that I had with him in the entire process. But with Siva, there was a feeling that it could all go right. To be honest, I hadn’t even heard much of his music though I knew that he was good with a few instruments. Today, I’m happy I made that decision. I’ve never looked back on it. From standing my ground on picking him for the film to Maruvaarthai and to the rest of the album and the background score, everything has worked well,” concludes the director.
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