Interviewer : Inian | Camera: P. Ganesh Babu | Text : Jyothsna
Director Mitran R Jawahar who apprenticed with Selvaraghavan made a mark for himself in his first film Yaaradi Nee Mohini. He is ready with his next offering Kutty, a remake of Telugu blockbuster Arya. Mitran Jawahar talks to on Kutty, his journey into filmdom and a host of other interesting topics.

How did you enter film industry?

Mitran R Jawahar: I have no connection with film industry whatsoever. When I was doing my under graduation in Trichy, I wanted to join film institute and study. Hence I joined the Film Institute at Adyar and did DFT. After completing the course, I joined as an assistant director under Mahendran sir. He was doing ‘Saasanam’ for NFDC then. That’s how I began my journey in the film industry.

When did you join Selvaraghavan then?

I completed Saasanam but the release of the film was getting delayed and I was looking for opportunities to work in commercial films. That’s when I joined Selvaraghavan. I know him before he did Thulluvado Ilamai. However I worked as a full fledged AD only in Kaadal Kondein. After that I continued to work for him in 7 G Rainbow Colony, Pudupettai and Aadavari Maatalaku Ardhale Verule in Telugu which is incidentally the last film that I worked as an AD for Selva. When AMAV was in the final leg, I wanted to direct it in Tamil and Selva also suggested the same with Dhanush in the lead. That’s how Yaaradi Nee Mohini was born. I should thank Selva for giving me the opportunity.

Was there a change in YNM from the Telugu version? If so was it conceived by you or by Selvaraghavan?

We did not make major changes in YNM from its Telugu original but made a few minor corrections. We did a few things to suit the Tamil culture and to basically make the film more interesting. The climax was the major change that we did in YNM which I discussed with Selva. He gave me the entire Telugu script of AMAV and wherever I wanted changes I discussed with him and we incorporated the same. We did not want the Tamil version to be as serious as the Telugu one.

Which one was better – YNM or AMAV?

In my opinion, the two films cannot be compared. In YNM, minute changes were made to present Dhanush and Nayan to the Tamil audience. Venkatesh and Dhanush have unique and distinct talents which they brought out. Venkatesh has extraordinary comical abilities. Dhanush himself had told me that he cannot perform like Venkatesh especially in the comedy department. However he said that he would do his best in serious scenes. As regards heroines, I am not able to say who is better- Nayan or Trisha. Both are experienced artists and they may have outdone the other in certain scenes. Much homework and discussion was done for the entire film. Dhanush and Nayan completely understood their characterization and performed well. For the song ‘Yengeyo Partha’ which was shot in the rains, Nayan should have her hair wet through out as she was getting drenched in the rain. We shot the song for five days and all the five days she had kept her hair wet for continuity and extended her complete cooperation.

" Venkatesh has

extraordinary comical

abilities "

Are you involved in Aayirathil Oruvan?

No, I am not.

Can you elaborate on the role of assistant directors in films?

" ADs contribute a lot

and are extremely helpful "

It is a tough job being an assistant director. Their role is very important in the making of a film. I have also worked in many films as an AD. Assistant directors contribute a lot and are extremely helpful.

Has Selvaraghavan accepted your ideas in his films when you were an AD with him?

As far as Selvaraghavan is concerned, it is only one man show. There are no discussions with anyone and he does not talk to anyone. He would write and give us a few instructions and we would execute the same. Occasionally he would ask for something and we would offer our opinion but that is very rare. Selva would do everything by himself.

" As far as Selvaraghavan

is concerned,

it is only one man show "

Why Dhanush in Kutty too?

I am being asked by everyone the same question. There is no particular reason. Our wavelengths match, we discuss a lot and we are like friends. We both work sincerely which is revealed in the output. What is important is the final product which we are very happy about it. This is the main reason and there is nothing personal involved in it.

Why is your second film also a Telugu remake?

I have answered this question many times. It is not that I only want to do remakes. Or it is not that I want to earn a name for myself as someone who is good at remakes. This was an opportunity that I got and I did not want to let go off it. That’s all! In the industry, an assistant director would know how difficult it is to make one’s own film. After working for many years, when there is an opportunity to do a film on my own and if it happens to be a remake, I don’t want to refuse it. And I don’t think anyone will refuse such a chance. As regards Kutty, it should have come much before Yaaradi Nee Mohini. I liked its Telugu original Arya a lot and felt I could take the film to Tamil. I liked the content. That’s the reason and nothing else.

Is Kutty for family audience?

" Kutty is for everyone "

Kutty is for everyone. The film can be enjoyed by everyone. It does not have the family sentiments of Yaaradi Nee Mohini. It is completely a love based film. It is all about the character Kutty, his activities which would be completely different. He is such an energetic character. The entire story is based on him. Kutty is a friendly person who is affable with everyone.

How different or same is Kutty from Arya?

We have made many changes in Kutty. We have conceptualized things to suit the current condition. When you see the film, you will understand.

About Meghna Naidu’s dance number in Kutty?

Meghna Naidu has done a train sequence. In the original it was an item number but I did not want the same kind in Kutty though it was a big hit there. We wanted to do something fresh and different here. I wanted the song to be energetic and told Devi Sri Prasad who composed a better version than the original. I did not expect any glamorous actress to feature in the song. It is a song where a village girl undertakes a train journey, enjoys the same along with her friends. I did not want to express glamour. Even Meghna Naidu’s costumes will not be glamorous. Her dance movements also would be normal. The song will be bubbly, enjoyable and pleasant and it will not be like an item number.

" I did not want to

express glamour "

Music in Kutty

" Devi was very enthusiastic

as he was very fond

of the film "

Although Yaaradi Nee Mohini was scored by Yuvan, Kutty’s music has been done by Devi Sri Prasad. People ask me why Yuvan has not scored music in Kutty. Devi has scored the music in Arya which was a great hit and I did not want to change it. Secondly he is familiar with the script, the situation and the mood of the film. That’s why I chose him. He has done a superb job and was very obliging. Devi was very enthusiastic as he was very fond of the film. I am very happy with the end product.

What is your take on Kutty?

Kutty will be liked by everyone. I liked every aspect of the film especially Dhanush’s character. It is so perfect and lively. People have asked me how Dhanush fitted into the role. He has performed in a completely different and beautiful fashion. Dhanush’s looks in Kutty will be absolutely different from his earlier films. Kutty has shaped up very well and songs have also been appreciated by people. All in all, Kutty is an interesting film and is different from Yaaradi Nee Mohini. It is a wholesome family entertainer with all the necessary quotients in tact. As I had said earlier, there will not be any family sentiments in Kutty but he will be liked by school, college students and all the youth.

" Kutty will be

liked by everyone "

" The success of a film

depends majorly

on the right kind of artists "

Did you get the right artists for Kutty?

Yes, very definitely! The success of a film depends majorly on the right kind of artists. When we get the right actor that we have in mind, we would get half of what we desired. When the work is complete, then we would get one hundred percent satisfaction. In Yaaradi Nee Mohini, each character from Raghuvaran to Sukumari to Saranya Mohan to the kids, we chose very carefully. Casting is very important. In Kutty, there are only three important characters- hero, heroine and the second hero. These characters move the story. Dhanush fitted the role of Kutty perfectly. Role of Shriya as Geetha has much scope for performance and she has done a good job at it. All the artists have cooperated well.

You have worked with a big star like Dhanush. Have you narrated scripts to Vijay or Vikram or any such star?

No, I have not. As of now, I am involved with Kutty. But I would like to do all kinds of films. I don't want to work only in a particular style or with a specific star. If I get a good opportunity, I would mould myself to suit that project. I would do films that I like. There are no specific criteria. I would like to try out comedy, thriller, children's films and all such genres.

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