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Exclusive! H Vinoth: While working for Thunivu, I realized that Ajith sir understood my ideas and style easily

The director gets candid about the action movie and working again with Ajith

Exclusive! H Vinoth: While working for Thunivu, I realized that Ajith sir understood my ideas and style easily

H Vinoth and Ajith

  • Thinkal Menon

Last Updated: 12.59 PM, Jan 10, 2023

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Not every filmmaker gets a dream debut like H Vinoth. His Sathuranga Vettai, which was released in 2014, impressed critics and moviegoers alike. His sophomore project, Theeran Adhigaaram Ondru in 2017, is considered as one of the riveting thrillers ever made in Tamil cinema. He went on to collaborate with Ajith next in Nerkonda Paarvai for the Hindi remake of Pink.

After garnering praise from critics, the duo made Valimai last year, which however, opened to mixed response, though action scenes received widespread applause. He is now awaiting the release of Thunivu, this third outing with Ajith, which is set for a huge release across the world in a few hours. The director opens up about the much-awaited movie, roping in talented actors and technicians, facing expectations while working with a big hero, associating back-to-back with a star and more...  

Going by the trailer, Thunivu appears as a heist drama. Are there surprises in the offing?

To sum up in a few words, the film will be a thorough entertainer. The movie has a few other elements, too, apart from the genre which people think it belongs to. I don't intend to explain its plot and genre.

We have come across many heist dramas in various languages in recent years. What were the aspects you had kept in mind while writing the screenplay?

It all started with an idea that struck me. Ajith sir asked me what I have been up to during the pandemic period. I said I have been busy with two scripts. I narrated a scene from one of the scripts. He liked it and I started developing it. Though I can't reveal much, the movie might not be on the lines of usual heist dramas.

Ajith and Manju Warrier in Thunivu
Ajith and Manju Warrier in Thunivu

How do you incorporate feedback from previous films into subsequent movies?

Well, it has always been a learning process. I try my best to evolve after such learnings. It's a part and parcel of this profession.

This is your third film with Ajith. How comfortable are you with him now as a filmmaker when compared to your first collaboration?

The more you interact with a person, you get to know more about him. While working for Thunivu, I realized that he understood my style and ideas easily. I could sense that our approach is in sync.

Thunivu is one of the two big Pongal releases. Do you think that filmmakers in Tamil have to compromise on the genre when it comes to making out-and-out action flicks for big heroes, especially for the ones which eye festival releases?

It all depends on demand and supply. At the end of the day, a big hero's movie demands certain requirements in terms of market aspect. When you make a big ticket film, you need to be aware of the star's fanbase and following among different sections of the audience.

Despite having worked continuously with Ajith, do you still feel nervous with regard to meeting humongous expectations from people when a film's release is round the corner?

Every big project is made on a mutual trust between the lead actor and a director. If it connects with the audience, it turns out to be a hit. I think release time is the perfect occasion to analyze our prediction and style of approaching the plot. It's true that I still feel the pressure when my movie is ready for release. I always hope that no external factors should affect the film.  

How did you decide on artists like Manju Warrier and Samuthirakani to play crucial roles?

Every actor was chosen based on the requirements in terms of physical and psychological necessities. I usually come up with a list of actors who are suitable for the characters I have designed. We approach them and get to know if they are interested to associate with us. We were on the lookout for a fresh actor for the character essayed by Manju. She was also looking forward to doing something different. For Samuthirakani's role, we had many names in our mind. Initially, he couldn't be a part of the project owing to busy schedules in Telugu, but he came on board when he had sufficient dates to allot for Thunivu.  

Ajith in Thunivu
Ajith in Thunivu

Ghibran, who helmed the background score for your previous outing Valimai, is in charge of the entire music department in Thunivu...

He has been a big friend, someone to whom I can open up on anything. He's someone who loves challenges, someone who could come up with treasure even when he goes through a low phase.

Dhilip Subbarayan's action choreography was the prime highlight of Valimai. But you have roped in Supreme Sundar this time...

I have known him for several years, from the time I worked as an AD in Golisoda. We got the right time to team up now. Having said that, one shouldn't expect the kind of action scenes which Valimai had in Thunivu.

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