Radha Mohan
Interviewer : Jyothsna Bhavanishankar | Coordination : Venkatesh | Camera : Balaji | Text : Jyothsna Bhavanishankar
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Director Radha Mohan is known for his clean family entertainers like Azhagiya Theeyae, Mozhi and Abhiyum Naanum and this time around, he plans to weave a different kind of magic on his audience. In his next venture Payanam, Radha Mohan has attempted thriller and is quite satisfied with his product. Catch Radha Mohan in conversation with Senior Editor Jyothsna Bhavanishankar.

How has Payanam shaped up?

Payanam has shaped up very well in a way that we had expected it to. It will be a new genre which will be racy and at the same time it will be a film that can be watched by the entire family. We are very happy with the product.

For the first time I have

combined action and humor

How different would Payanam be from your earlier films?

We wanted to do a different film besides the emotions and sentiments that you always associate my earlier works with. Payanam will be in the genre of a thriller encompassing human elements like sentiments, humor and so on. For the first time I have combined action and humor and I think it has come out well.

Tell us something about the cast of Payanam

This film is simultaneously made in Tamil and Telugu with artists belonging to both Tamil and Telugu film industries like Nagarjuna, Prakash Raj, Sana Khan, Rishi, M S Bhaskar, Thalaivasal Vijay, Kumaravel, Brahmanandam etc. We have a huge star cast in Payanam.

We have a huge star cast in


There is no hero in Payanam

What is Payanam all about?

There is no specific hero in Payanam and I would like to clearly state that there are no songs in the film too. Payanam is about flight travel. A flight is about to be high jacked and the ensuing events that go on for five days is what Payanam all about. Nagarjuna plays a commando. Prakash Raj plays the role of a bureaucrat who negotiates with the terrorists. Like this, there are many characters in the film.

What about RR in Payanam?

Although there are no songs in Payanam, there is definitely background music which is done by Praveen Mani. We did not have songs in the film because there are no situations in the film which warranted songs. Hence we decided to do away with songs in Payanam.

Madan Karky’s contribution?

We have done one song for the promo purposes which has been written by Madan Karky based on the concept of ‘Payanam’. Besides that, there are no songs in Payanam.

On cinematographer Guhan

After Mozhi, I have teamed up with cinematographer Guhan. We have shot Payanam in digital format in Red camera which was an unusual experience.

What is the USP of Payanam?

Production values are very good in Payanam with impressive sets as key player. We have recreated Tirupathi airport in Hyderabad, the tarmac, flight’s interiors etc. It would be very realistic and would not appear as sets at all. We have researched in depth and have reconstructed an original flight in all its real dimensions. This will be the highlight of the film.

We have recreated Tirupathi in


Art director’s contribution

Kadhir who has worked with me in Mozhi and Abhiyum Naanum is responsible for the art department in Payanam. He was very excited when I told him the concept. From then on whenever we travelled in planes, we always used to look at it like someone seeing planes for the first time to observe the minute details of the plane. We have researched thoroughly and have executed it perfectly.

Producer’s role

This is my fourth film with Duet movies. In Tamil, we have made this film under the banner ‘Silent Movies’ with Prakash Raj as the producer and Dil Raju as the producer in Telugu.

What about Mozhi in Hindi?

Yes, the talks are still on. I am ready and they are in the process of readying the star cast.

Payanam being a suspense thriller, will it have your trademark humor?

Like what I said earlier, I have tried something new in Payanam. There are no songs in the film. If the film travels only on thriller component, it may appear dry. Hence I have laced thriller with humor that would gel with the situation and characters without disrupting the mood.

What do you think about the trend in Tamil cinema?

The trend is healthy. When a good story can be narrated in an entertaining manner for two hours, the audiences are bound to accept it. This trend has been there always. New attempts can happen which will set a trend. There is no need for everybody to follow one trend. It would be healthy if people try things which they are comfortable with.

When is Payanam’s release?

We are planning for a February release. We have almost completed post-production. We needed time as we were doing in two languages and also for computer generated work.
Tags : Radha Mohan, Payanam, Mozhi, Prakash Raj, Nagarjuna
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