A dash of mythology

A dash of mythology

Heroes Talk

A dash of mythology
Vikram Vedha, which features Vijay Sethupathi, Madhavan, Shraddha Srinath and Varalaxmi Sarathkumar in the lead, has been garnering a lot of attention in the film industry for a number of reasons. Touted to be a ‘modern day cop versus gangster’ flick, the movie marks the coming together of two popular heroes for the very first time. Also, the film, which has been directed by the husband-wife duo of Pushkar and Gayathri, has the same structure as that of the popular mythological story of  King Vikramaditya and Vetal. Here are some edited excerpts of the conversation with Madhavan and Vijay Sethupathi:

It is not often that you have two top heroes working together on a film...
Madhavan (M): I feel sorry that this question is being asked. Even earlier, several big heroes have worked together. The fact is that all actors only want the film to come out well.  Right from the beginning of my career, I have been doing this (just look at Minnale and Anbe Sivam). I have had great joy working on this film because I have got an artiste like Vijay Sethupathi as my co-star.  My preparation would begin when he came to the sets. He would ask me ‘Maddy sir, will you say this or would you want me to say this.’ Or he would say, ‘You’ve done a wonderful job.’ When you have that level of give and take, it is awesome.

Vijay (V): Maddy sir is my senior.  To be honest, I was a little scared initially as I was not sure how he would behave towards a junior. But that was only until the first 10 minutes of the first meeting that I had with him. The first time he came, he went to his caravan and then, the director, dialogue writer, Maddy sir and I sat down to discuss the script, and in 10 minutes, I was comfortable.

Tell us about the experience of working with directors Pushkar and Gayathri?
V: Actually, the biggest plus for this film is the understanding that exists between Pushkar and Gayathri. Pushkar will be on the sets, and Gayathri will come to the caravan along with the dialogue writer. The beauty is that you don’t need to tell each person individually. If you have a point to make, you make it to one, and the other automatically will get to know it. Their thought process is one.  Also, you can be very open about the point you want to put forth. The first rule in acting is that your inhibitions must be broken down and they must be broken down when you are working on the sets. That is something that Pushkar and Gayathri do. If that is not there, then things would have become very mechanical.

One thing that you have learnt from each other by working on this film?
M: I know why people call him ‘Makkal Selvan’ now. When I go to the sets or head to the shooting spot from my caravan, I will only be thinking about my character and dialogues. Everybody knows that I care a lot about my fans, but when I go to the sets, my mind is filled with concern and fear that I should finish this scene correctly and carefully. However, Vijay will do the same thing with the same care, but at the same time, he will also meet and greet all his fans and take selfies with them. I see how much joy he brings to them.  
V: I see him give so much importance to work. He has acted in so many films with so many big actors.  Yet, he will never say that he has worked so much and therefore he knows all about it. He treats every single scene as if it is his first, and the care he takes to present it properly is impressive. I am striving to be as dedicated as he is.
What is special about ‘Vikram Vedha’?
V: There is something beautiful about the structure of this film.  Do you know what’s special about the mythological story of Vikramaditya and Vetal? It is not just about Vetal asking Vikramaditya a question. It is also about getting us involved in the issue and making us search for an answer along with Vikramaditya. Here too, the audience, along with Vikramaditya, will begin to search for answers to the questions of Vetal.
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