SS Kumaran
Interviewer : Venkat | Camera : Balaji | Text : Prathap | Video Editor : Jesi
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Music director S S Kumaran who impressed the audience with his tunes in Poo and Kalavani is taking on a new role of a director in Theneer Viduthi. Presenting to you S S Kumaran in an exclusive interview.

After scoring music for Poo and Kalavani, right now I am involved in the movie Theneer Vidudi. I am producing and directing the film, which is releasing this month end. I am repeatedly hounded by questions as to why I chose to direct this film after scoring music for two films. Is it because I no longer get good offers?

My parents had a negative

approach to cinema

Entry into film industry, Poo, Theneer Vidudi

I finished my cinematography course from Chennai Film Institute in 1990. I belong to the Valliyur village in Thiruvaroor district. The only ambition I had in life was to come to Chennai and score music for a movie. That ambition drove me to Chennai. Since my dad was a headmaster, my parents were not in approval for my aspirations in cinema. They had a negative approach towards cinema. I convinced my dad and joined the
Film institute. And then I pursued my dreams to become a music director. I also had an opportunity to meet Ilayaraja at the Prasad Studios. That is when I came to see how music is made for movies. It was totally different from my knowledge. I did not think I could do anything like that so I pursued a course in cinematography. After that course I got a job as a central government officer and my dad was very happy. Although I worked for the government for about 15 years, I nurtured my dream to become a music director. One fine day, I decided this is not why I came to Chennai for. I purchased all the equipments and learnt music on my own. I did this after taking a sabbatical for 3 months. I recorded 3 songs – written, produced, scored and sung by me. My family started to become worried. I showed my recordings to Sasi who comes for walks in the park near my house. He heard it and offered me Poo.

Poo was a huge recognition for me. And then I received many offers. But since I wanted quality in my movies, only Kalavani happened. Since I am now familiar with all aspects of movie making I wanted to take myself to the next level. I thought my humor sense would come in handy in my movie making. My movie is a result of my thought process. I produced this movie myself. I have directed this movie according to the current trends, and what I thought would work with audience.

Poo was a huge recognition for


You will know it when you watch the movie. After watching the first copy, Sasi told me that the movie looks mature and does not look like someone who is debuting. And my other friends also drew comparison with Sasi’s works and told me the movie has come out well. I am hoping that all this will work in my favor.

Star selection for Theneer Vidudi

I did not have anybody in mind when I started off with the movie. Since I am not an established director, I wanted an actor who is ready to do what I wanted him to. So I selected actors who will work out for the movie and it has come out well.

Why did you choose to produce the movie?

I will have to make compromises if anybody else is producing the movie. So I realized if I needed the freedom, I need to produce the movie and I did. Another thing is that I did not want another producer to bear the brunt of my experiments. Thankfully, the movie’s business is good and I think it will make money when it’s released.

Theneer Vidudi will be different

About Theneer Vidudi and its characters…

You would have seen a lot of village based movies. This movie will be different from them because I deal with the Pandal contractors in the movie; they have never been touched upon by any directors. Hero of the movie is a Pandal contractor and he has aspirations to build his business in a big way. Heroine’s father is a Registrar in the land registration office who is not corrupt and doesn’t accept bribes. He hates alcohol and people who drink. His daughter falls in love with this drunkard, Pandal contractor. How does he accept his daughter’s love is the movie’s crux. It’s a very simple story line and I have done it in my best way, making it entertaining and avoiding crude and double meaning dialogues. It will be a family movie. This will be a neat love story without any violence. I am sure that people who do not like movies also will fall in love with this movie.

Where did you shoot this movie?

This was shot entirely in Theni district, Bodinayakkanur and Kambam and finished in 58 days without any patchwork. We found the location fit for the story.

Any other important characters in the movie?

An interesting character in the movie is Nachiyappan, who plays the heroine’s father. He is there throughout the movie, on par with the hero’s scenes. I had difficulties in finalizing the actor for the movie because I wanted the actor to be unique and new, totally unseen before. One day I received a call from Sasi who said he is sending him somebody called Prabhakar. He wanted to meet me since he wanted my music for his movie. However, I asked him whether he would be able to do this role and while he initially hesitated, he agreed in the end. Viewers would love that character. And the lead pair is also noteworthy. Heroine’s brother’s role is enacted by a debut actor called Kodumudi Suresh and he has done a brilliant job. I have decided that he will be the hero of my next film. All the characters will impress you and you will be energized like drinking a cup of tea.

You will be energized like

drinking a cup of tea after seeing

Theneer Vidudi

The tea shop plays a prominent role in this movie. The way the lead pair expresses their love will be very close to real life and Sasi also appreciated that. Besides I have also sung for the movie. A new singer is also introduced in the movie. There are only two songs in the movie because I thought only that was necessary. So the movie is fresh, story is fresh and I hope you will like it.

About the cinematography for Theneer Vidudi

Many of my institute friends have worked for the movie. Cameraman Azhagiya Manavalan who studied with me in the film institute, editor Mahendran who is also my classmate, Art is by Sri. It’s been 20 years but we are still in touch and hence this reunion happened. The movie will also share the same kind of chemistry.

I did everything else other than


You are a cinematography student. But why did you not do cinematography for the movie?

Although I have studied photography I have never applied it in real life. Besides, at the institute I was the institute Chairman so I did everything else other than studies. My three years at the institute were very liberating for me since I was raised in a village and the total city experience was new to me. So I have to admit that I did not do well in studies. So I am only learning the technicalities of camera now.

About your next project?

We are starting our next project on the 25th of July. The movie is titled ‘Kerala Natilam Pengaludane’, adapted from a Bharathiar poem. The movie is about a young man’s aspirations to marry a Malayali girl. Again, this is a humorous story. We are planning to finish this in one schedule and release in October end. The reception Theneer Vidudi gets will be crucial for the next movie.

Anybody from Theneer Vidudi in your new project?

Only Suresh from Theneer Vidudi is retained. Everybody else is a newcomer. There are seven heroines, all debut artists. I assure that Theneer Vidudi will be a fun ride. I hope you all support my movie like you supported my music.

Tags : SS Kumaran, Poo, Kalavani, Virunthali
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