Kanne Kalaimaane director Seenu Ramasamy on working with Udhayanidhi Stalin and Tamannaah
National award-winning filmmaker Seenu Ramasamy opens up about his latest film, Kanne Kalaimaane and his upcoming film, Maamanithan, starring Vijay Sethupathi
Director Seenu Ramasamy is one of the very few filmmakers who continue to make rooted, earthy stories set against the backdrop of the hinterlands of Tamil Nadu. When his debut feature Koodal Nagar failed to grab the attention of audiences, he delivered a head-turning sophomore film in Thenmerku Paruvakaatru, which bagged three national awards besides introducing and establishing Vijay Sethupathi in a proper role.
Seenu Ramasamy's third film Neerparavai was critically acclaimed and was bankrolled by Udhayandhi Stalin's Red Giant Movies. Now, his latest release Kanne Kalaimaane marks his second collaboration with Udhay, who plays the lead hero in the film. In one of the recent press interactions, Seenu Ramasamy candidly admitted that he was struggling to find a producer despite delivering a super-hit fourth directorial in Vijay Sethupathi's Dharma Durai.
"My friendship with Udhay started when I directed Neerparavai backed by his home banner Red Giant Movies. From then, whenever we met, I insisted him to take up roles that are more realistic because I felt such characters suit him best. After he did Nimir, he asked if I have any scripts for him and Kanne Kalaimaane happened," says director Seenu Ramasamy recollecting how he decided to cast Udhayanidhi in the film.
When asked about the politics the film is going to deal, Seenu says, "Though Udhayanidhi was a city-bred person, he quickly transformed himself to suit the character. He knows the nuances and gives attention to every detail in the script. He essays the role of an agriculture student who pursues a career in organic farming and producing organic manure. His character Kamalakannan is inspired by a person I have met."
He further added: "Though agriculture is the crux of the story, we haven't used the medium to talk politics or force a message. We don't even discuss politics off the screen. Kanne Kalaimaane talks about love, family values, husband and wife bond and a lot more. We shot the film in the villages of Madurai, and we wrapped up after a single stretch of forty-two days."
Despite the fact his long-pending film Idam Porul Yaeval has been lying in the cans for more than two years, Seenu Ramasamy quickly moved on and completed Kanne Kalaimaane. "In Tamil cinema, the revenue a debutant director's film makes is equally important as his skill and content. Even after delivering a hit through Dharma Durai, I didn't get any recognition. It was Vijay Sethupathi who respected my work, associated with me again and signed Maamanithan for me. Maamanithan is also waiting for release this year, and it will be yet another film to prove Sethupathi's effortless acting prowess. It's our third collaboration after Dharma Durai and Idam Porul Yaeval. This year our Idam Porul Yaeval will also see the light of day and what more can I expect of this year as a filmmaker," he says.
On roping in Tamannaah for the role, Seenu said, "Tamannaah is a kind soul. She would easily break into tears during a scene narration, that too for a narrative in my broken English. Be it the costume or makeover, she simply agreed to whatever the script demanded. When I needed a reference for her character, it was our late Chief Minister Jayalalithaa who popped up in my mind. I took the costume and some other ideas for Tamannaah from her old pictures."
Yuvan Shankar Raja has been one of the integral parts of all Seenu Ramasamy films. "While sitting for music composition with Yuvan, I would use some dummy lyrics on the tunes that he already sent, but he would always surprise me with something more. I want to collaborate with him for the decades to come. YSR Productions have jointly produced Maamanithan, and Isaignani Ilayaraja sir has scored the music along with his sons for the film," he said.
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