For someone who is known for infamously getting himself tangled into one of Kollywood's most remembered Kaththi controversy (He claimed the story was his but eventually lost out in court), director Gopi Nainar (previously referred as Minjur Gopi) comes across as mature, profound and clear personality. Days ahead of the release of his debut venture Aramm, the first-time director who has left his past in the past, talks exclusively to MovieCrow about his upcoming film with lady superstar Nayanthara, the "true" stature of a woman and how movies should be depicted in the society.
Aramm is your debut venture in Tamil. Had you planned on roping in Nayanthara right from the beginning?
To be honest, the story that I had written had a collector's character as the lead role. It had no gender designation until Nayanthara came on board.
Also, she said yes within ten minutes of my narration to her which was surprising as my story had not appealed to a lot of people. She saw it from a perspective a lot of heroines generally don't about a script.
Going from the trailers, it looks like you have made a film on water scarcity..
Well i wouldn't put it that way. Aramm is neither a film that addresses water scarcity nor the issue of farmers..(!!) Sure it shows a family belonging to a farming background. The film is about a particular incident that happens in that family that leads to the issues that follow.
These days, the Tamil film audience have been accustomed to a lot of eye-candy. Is there a disadvantage of directing a de-glamourized film like Aramm?
Firstly, I would like to mention that it is in no way the audience's fault that they are being given the kind of things - say an item number, a double-meaning dialogue, a "bar song"a or even women-degrading jokes in the name of "entertainment". Films like Uthiripookal, Mullum Malarum have existed for audience's consumption and have succeeded their way as well. As far as Aramm 's fate is concerned, the film will speak for itself when it releases.
Talk to us about the music of the film..
Ghibran has scored the music with Umadevi penning some excellent lyrics. There are songs in the film but you won't even know that they are there. They are either montages or have been shot with the flow of the film's story.
Nayanthara has done women-centric films before. What is different about Aramm?
Women-centric films so far have either depicted the woman as a man-hating, head-strong know-it-all or as a submissive lady who has an over-night changeover over an epiphany. Nayanthara's character in Aramm is neither. She plays a well-educated IAS officer who takes upon to address the basic necessities of life.
This is a time and age where people are resorting to cricket, films, women-mocking, artist-mocking and what not on the internet whereas there are still real issues to be addressed like basic food facilities, water facilities, etc that are still deprived to many in our own state. Aramm is a film that will make you think about all this.
Because you mentioned a comparison between what we would call "time-pass" films and "serious films", I am reminded of a director's quote who once said "An average audience faces so much of pressure and problems in his life that if i make serious films for him, it wouldn't serve the purpose of entertaining him"..
This is balder-dash. As I said, the "idea" of entertainment has been force-fed to the audience. Entertainment doesn't mean you insinuate your audience by showing glamourous heroines, mocking them, shaming them, heroes forcing upon them and whatever i mentioned before. How is this going to help a woman, 85 percent of whom are subject to male dominance in our society? Or how is this helping a man who would clearly would have assumed by now that his fun-time or leisure time lies in doing all of the above.
For instance, the matter-of-fact is no man on this earth - be it the father, brother, son or even the husband, has any right to tell a woman how they should be living their life. Do you think any of the films made today have helped achieve this or reiterate this "reality" ? If today my kid-son knows that he is not supposed to watch a "bathroom-scene" or a "kissing-scene" in front of his father, it is because the existence of such elements have induced a sort of slyness and have taken away the innocence from even a kid.
You can entertain your audience by showing them something they generally wouldn't be aware of in their day-to-day life and making them well-educated about their surroundings. This way, when they encounter those issues in their real life, they would be well-equipped and might be able to face it better.
Any future projects that you are working on?
I have two scripts that are ready and in the pipeline. Have pitched them to production companies and they are already on the look-out for a hero. Will be making an announcement soon on them.
Gopi Nainar directed Aramm is hitting theatre screens on November 10, 2017 and is produced by Kotpadi Rajesh of KJR Studios. Nayanthara plays the role of IAS officer Madhivadhani with the technical team including Ghibran for music, Om Prakash for cinematography and Ruben for the edits.