'I hate to be branded'

'I hate to be branded'

He was driven by two seemingly disparate news reports — one on corruption and the poverty it exacerbated and the second on a mother poisoning her children before ending her own life. But film-maker Susi Ganesan had enough creative juices in him to let them coalesce into what is now the biggest Tamil blockbuster: Kandaswamy.

“Crores of rupees are swindled from the poor but none of it returns to them. Nobody knows where all the money disappears. We need some kind of a superhero to wrest the money back,” says Susi Ganesan, director of the Rs 30-crore Kandaswamy, adding that “Kandaswamy is a call for second freedom movement against corruption. I have made films on love, romance and adultery but nothing has provoked my imagination and tested my skills as much as this movie.”

A graduate of Madras Institute of Technology, Susi wasn’t content just being another engineer. He wanted to stand out of the hoi polloi and what better way than weaving Eastman Colour dreams on the large screen.

Susi has gone through the grind of marquee struck youth. He stood hours on end wanting to meet Mani Ratnam for a chance to assist him. From assisting Mani Ratnam, he has come a long way. “Mani is like a university. If you ask a student what he or she learnt from the University, what would the answer be?” asks Susi.

After assisting Mani Ratnam in Iruvar and Dil Se, Susi made his first fim Virumbikiren, casting newcomers. He later directed for Mani Ratnam’s production house, Madras Talkies. From then on, there was no looking back.

Susi doesn’t confine his films to a particular theme and hates to be branded. “I will stop making films the moment I am given a brand or identified with a particular genre of films. Where is the excitement in film-making when being branded hems you in?” Susi explains and adds, “Challenges keep me going.”

Every film is a new beginning for Susi. He enjoys every aspect of film-making to its hilt. Even scouting for locations is an experience by itself, he vouches and says he sees each aspect of film-making as a different gratification.

Susi reveals that he has an offer from a Hollywood director to replicate Kandaswamy into a Hollywood film. “It’s a great honour and I am proud that the movie has grabbed a lot of eyeballs,” says Susi. An ambitious man, he says he will exploit every opportunity to make films. He says he would like to explore the Hindi, English and stray into other language films. “Language is no barrier. It’s a global village,” he signs off.

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