Sargunam Vimal
Interviewer : Jyothsna Bhavanishankar & Inian | Camera : Maran | Text : Jyothsna Bhavanishankar | Coordination : Venkatesh
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Last year when Kalavani was appreciated by one and all, its director Sargunam became the toast of the town. Armed with success in his debut directorial venture, Sargunam is ready with his 2nd offering- Vaagai Sooda Vaa whose audio launch invitation created quite a ripple in the industry with its innovative and creative design. Presenting to you director Sargunam in conversation with Senior Editor Jyothsna Bhavanishankar and Inian.

On the unique audio launch invitation

As Vaagai Sooda Vaa is a period film, we wanted the invite to be different and at the same time reflect the time period in which it is set. The invitation is like an old trunk petti and when you open it, there are cobwebs, a cockroach and a few movie song books which used to be available in olden days. We also made it more authentic with lots of dust on the petti. You will also find a few pictures of Gods inside the box. When you close the box, there is a post card of the 60s which is stuck and in the receiver’s place, we had made a calligrapher write the invitee’s name. We wanted to bring out the mood of the film through the invite which created a light buzz in the industry.

An unopened old box is likely to contain these items and that describes the content of the box.

We are planning for an August

release for VSV

On Vaagai Sooda Vaa and the team

This is my second film which is done by a group of friends- producer Muruganandam, hero Vimal, music director Gibran and me. We have completed the audio launch and post production work is going on now. We are planning for an August release. The film has shaped up as per our expectations.

The main leads are Vimal and Iniya whose actual name is Shruthi and she is from Kerala. Iniya has done the role of a ‘Teatender’ of the 1960s with good understanding. K Bhagyaraj has donned the role of hero’s dad and Thambi Ramiah is heroine’s dad in a comical portrayal. In addition to them, Ponvannan is the villain. Koothupattarai Kumaravel has done an important role as a ‘kuruvikaarar’. As regards the technicians, it is mostly the Kalavani team but for Gibran who is making his debut as music director and Seenu, a former assistant of Sabu Cyril as art director.

Thambi Ramiah has done a

comical portrayal

VSV is my first script

The effect of the success of Kalavani on VSV?

Success of Kalavani has only paved way for VSV. First film is very important for anyone and fortunately it has turned out powerful for me which has given hope and confidence to my next venture.

VSV is my first script. Since I had ample time then, I had used it effectively to pen a perfect script. As I could not do it as my 1st film, I have done it now.

What is Vimal’s role?

Many people ask me why Vimal is doing Kalavani kind of roles in all his films. But VSV would be a different one for the actor. In Kalavani, Vimal had sported a reckless and a ‘devil may care’ body language but in VSV it would just be the opposite sans his trademark beard. You will see him as a young man of the 60s from his hairstyle to the costumes. To talk about Vimal, he is a hard working lad who shows interest in the project, imbibes his character and delivers. And this was a major plus for the film. VSV is sure to take Vimal to the next level in his career.

Vimal is hard working and

imbibes his character

I did not want Amala Paul

because I did not like her


How did you zero in on heroine Iniya?

Amala Paul was first booked for VSV. It was before the release of Myna and I had told her about the role and the rehearsals that she needed to take. She agreed and was paid the advance too. But after Myna was released, she became the centre of focus and started adjusting her dates which I did not like. She also wanted to come straight to the sets without taking the rehearsals. I did not like all these and took her away from the film.

And Iniya was roped in after that. In fact people told me to go for Amala Paul as she has a hit to her credit but I did not want someone who is not interested. I had seen Iniya’s photos but rejected her. But during one of her Chennai trips, she came to office and I liked her and immediately did make up test and approved her. I also told her about the conditions and she agreed. She showed interest and was willing to learn. Her interest in the role enabled the character to shape up well. There is a lot of appreciation for her work from the spot as well as at the audio launch.

VSV is said to be set in 80s. What is the role of art director in it?

As soon as I decided to make VSV into a film, I wanted to make a miniature of the place of happening of the film. Hence we made a set with a 10X5 dimension that would cover all the places in the story and every minute detail was taken into consideration. I had exhaustive discussion with cameraman and art director and decided to put up a set. We were looking for a place to erect this set where the hands of civilization are yet to reach. After scouting many areas, we finally decided on Kanavilakku near Aruppukottai.

I also wanted a sepia tone through out the movie which would be very different from the fertile greens in Kalavani. Places where we could not get the red tone, we sprayed red powder to get the required effect. So, VSV will have a warm sepia tone through out the movie.

We sprayed red powder for the


Seenu, Sabu sir’s assistant has done a lot of hard work for VSV and so are my assistant directors who took care of all details. We shot 90% of the film in sets. In VSV, art will definitely be spoken about.

There is an explanation for every

color that appears in VSV

On cinematographer Om Prakash

Om Prakash is my friend who has worked with me in Kalavani too. I like his enthusiasm and color sense. If there is a lorry in a scene, we would even discuss the color of the lorry of 60s and how it should appear. The reasons to choose a color for a particular frame were also exhaustively discussed. There is an explanation for every color that appears in VSV. Om Prakash also will be spoken for his work in VSV.

Music director

Gibran is my friend whose real name is Vijay G. When I did Kalavani, I could not call him to score music due to a few valid reasons and hence I told him that it is only for good that I did not call him. He was of course upset with me for that and did not expect me to call him for my 2nd film especially after Kalavani’s success. He thought I would go in for Yuvan or Harris. However when I offered him VSV, he was moved. I also explained to him the limitations in my 1st film and told him that I can get what he wants (in terms of music) in VSV as I have delivered a hit. And Gibran has also done well in VSV.

Gibran has done well in VSV


Producer Muruganandam is also my friend. During our early days, Muruganandam always used to say that we four- he, I, Vimal and Gibran - would team up and give a film. I used to laugh saying that while it is difficult for just one person to succeed, the four of us in one team although sounded good was far fetched. But thankfully, his dream has come true and thanks only to the success of Kalavani which has brought all of us together. Muruganandam has given all that I wanted for the film not only as a friend but also as a producer. When we saw the edited version of the film, we were all very happy with the way it has shaped up.

Vaagai Sooda Vaa will be a

period realistic film with

commercial aspects

What is the specialty of VSV?

Vaagai Sooda Vaa will not only be a period film but also a realistic one with commercial aspects. The work of every one in the film has shaped up right and VSV is sure to lift all involved to the next higher level. VSV is sure to be liked by the audience.


Vimal is the latest upcoming star in the tinselville. After portraying a carefree lad in Kalavani, he will be seen as an upright guy in Sargunam’s Vaagai Sooda Vaa. Catch Vimal in talks with Senior Editor Jyothsna Bhavanishankar and Inian.

Vaagai Sooda Vaa

The songs of VSV have come out well and there is appreciation for it from everyone. Gibran is making his debut as music director. After Kalavani, I am teaming up with Sargunam once again. I play Velu Thambi who will be very different from Arivazhagan of Kalavani. Muruganandam has produced the film. Om Prakash who wielded the camera for Kalavani is the cameraman for VSV too. Dileep Subbarayan is the stunt master and Bobby Anthony is the dance choreographer, Raja Mohammeed is the editor. Most of the Kalavani team is here. VSV has shaped up very well.

Velu Thambi of VSV will be

very different from Arivazhagan

of Kalavani

Home work for Vaagai Sooda Vaa

VSV is a period film. The Arivazhagan of Kalavani is a haughty, has a devil-may care attitude, but Velu Thambi of VSV is always stiff and he is an educated man. So I worked on the body language; there is a change in the get up, slang and so on.

On your heroine

A new girl Iniya is the heroine who works in a tea shop and she has fitted in to the character perfectly. You will realize that when you see the trailer. She gives you a feeling that no one else could have done this role so perfectly like her.

Working with director Sargunam

As Sargunam is my friend and I have also worked with him in Kalavani, it was easy working in VSV. It is suffice to just reproduce what he teaches you.

Other projects

I am doing my next film for Balaji studios, a project that is yet to be titled, and then I am doing a film for Pasanga fame Pandiraj.

What is your role in VSV?

Velu Thambi in VSV is searching for a teacher’s job after completing his P.U.C and the love between him and a girl working in a tea shop is VSV all about.

Why do you continue to do rural subjects?

I give importance to the script and not for where the premise is set. Taking on village based subjects or films just happened. The next film that I am doing for Balaji studios is an out and out city based subject. Pandiraj’s film is also city based. So I would just combine both city and village based stories.

Will you do action movies?

Such themes have not come my way, in case it comes, I would definitely do them.

Closing note

VSV has come out well and the songs are also impressive and they don’t sound as though they have been scored by a debut music director. We believe that the film has come out well and we have all worked hard for the film. Please see the film and give us your feedback.

Tags : Sargunam, Vimal, Vaagai Sooda Vaa, Kalavani, Amala Paul
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