| Highlights of `Boys` | Movie stills | All about Shankar | Exclusive interview with the `Boys` |
Shankar needs no introduction. He is Tamil cinema’s whiz kid and has made some of the most successful commercial films. All his films excel in cinematic craftsmanship. From Gentleman in 1993 to his latest Boys, Shankar has experimented with a variety of subjects. In 10 years he has directed six films, Gentlemen, Kathalan, Indian, Jeans, Muthalvan in Tamil and one Hindi film -Nayak. Shankar spoke exclusively to Sify.com at his palatial office in T.Nagar about his latest venure Boys. Excerpts:
What is Boys all about?
Boys is a coming-of-age movie about five boys and a girl who represent the new generation. They form a music band and fight against all odds to make it big.
How has the film shaped out?
Just now sound engineer Sridhar, cinematographer Ravi.K.Chandran and myself saw the final copy after mixing and I feel that the film has shaped out exactly the way I had conceptualised it. Each and every aspect in the film is perfect and is a great entertainer. Now I leave it to the audience. Let them judge it from their point of view, as ultimately it is they who will decide the films' fate at the box-office.
Boys is your first film with an all new star cast. You have taken a big risk. Please comment.
All the films that I have made have been fraught with a lot of risk. For me it is the story and presentation and not the stars that matter. No film can run without a good story and this script demanded all newcomers. Boys too has a basic story and moral for the youth of today.
The music in all your films are chartbusters. What is A.R.Rahman’s contribution to Boys music?
Rahman and me are in the same age group and we grew up together in the industry. We share an excellent rapport, as he knows what I want in a particular song situation. I explain each song in detail, the backdrop, costume and the camera angle, to him. He always gives me the right tune for the situation.
Tell us how the ”Girlfriend….” song evolved?
I had told my crew and associates in the beginning itself that we had to think like an 18-year-old as the film is about youth and their desires. So when lyricist Pa.Vijayan and Rahman sat together, we wanted a catchy number which the youth can relate to. At 18, every boy dreams of having a girlfriend. Rahman came up with a perfect fast paced peppy tune and Vijayan’s lyrics fell into place as it establishes the yearning for a girlfriend. It sets the mood for the film as it appears in the first reel of Boys.
But the purists are shouting from the rooftop that you have polluted Tamil films by using a lot of English and Hindi words in the lyrics. Please comment.
Does anyone speak pure Tamil these days? Chennai is a cosmopolitan city and in my film all five boys come from five different social backgrounds. But all of them speak the same popular Chennai Tamil, which is a mixture of English and Tamil.
How have the newcomers performed in Boys
Casting is the most difficult part of filmmaking. I had video tested more than hundreds of youngsters before selecting these five boys and the girl. They have done their best and the audience will identify with the boys soon.
Your last word on Boys?
This film is straight from my heart, more realistic than my other films which were all pedestrian fantasies and fairytales.