Vijay’s Tirupachi and now Sivakasi has put its director Perarasu on a high pedestal. He is the new Manmohan Desai of Tamil films. The late Manmohan Desai had made films mainly with Amitabh Bachchan, using the formula, packaged for the common man. All Desai films had reaped rich harvest and Perarasu is also following the same path and swears that he will continue to make films in the same genre. Excerpts of an exclusive interview with the Formula King
First and foremost how big is Sivakasi?
(Smiles) In typical filmi language- “Sivakasi is a super-duper hit. Twice as big as Tirupachi, much bigger than Ghilli and perhaps the biggest hit in Vijay’s career!
What do you attribute the huge success of Sivakasi?
It was an out and out Vijay show and the audience simply loves him. The youth audiences who form the bulk of the opening crowd are crazy about Vijay as he is their youth icon. My producer A.M Ratnam marketed the film aggressively with nearly 280 prints worldwide which gave the film a fantastic reach and penetration.
Tell us about your background and how you got hooked to movies?
I hail from a village in Sivaganga district about 60 kilometres from Madurai. My father is a local doctor and I have two sisters and a brother. We are a closely knit family from which I get a lot of inspiration for both my films (smiles). During my days in the village, I used to cycle all the way to Madurai to watch the latest Rajnikanth and Kamal Hassan film which is still rooted in me. All I can say is that, I learned film making by watching these films over and over again. Later, I joined director Ramanarayanan who has done over 100 films, as an assistant and learned the ropes.
But your critics say that both your films had the same plot. Please comment.
I don’t make films for critics. It is aimed at the common man who looks at pure entertainment. I know their pulse as I am one among them and know exactly which punch lines will get the claps. And what you call Dappankoothu songs are what gives the common man a chance to dance and forget his worries. The sentiments are strictly for the ladies and both my films have worked on this formula. I will be making films in this genre in future too.
Why do you insist on writing the lyrics of the songs in your films?
I am not a poet or a self styled Tamil vidwan but I know the common usages like water packets, thair sadam in colloquial Tamil which my target audience understands. When I hear a common man on the streets singing my songs without having to work hard on lyrics, it is just like getting an award!
Your next film?
I am doing Tirupathi with Ajit for AVM, which is again a mass movie.