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Exclusive! Stunt Silva: People will find it boring if a film has loads of action sequences without a gripping story

The veteran fight composer gets candid about his directorial debut, upcoming projects and OTT boom 

Thinkal Menon
Nov 23, 2021
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Stunt Silva and a poster of the film

A few days ago, leading action choreographer Stunt Silva surprised one and all by making an announcement on his directorial debut. Titled Chithirai Sevvaanam, the movie which stars Samuthirakani, Rima Kallingal and Pooja Kannan, is all set for a direct-to-OTT release on Zee5 on December 3.

According to Silva, it was filmmaker Vijay who was instrumental in encouraging him to become a director with the family drama, the shooting of which was completed earlier this year in a single schedule. In an exclusive chat with OTTplay, the fight composer talks in detail about how the project shaped up, his current line-up, the influx of action-oriented pan-Indian projects and more...

It all started with Silva casually narrating the emotional story of a father and a daughter to director Vijay while the duo was working for Kangana Ranaut-starrer Thalaivi. Quite impressed with the narration, Vijay said the story can be adapted into a movie. When the stunt master was thinking about the possible names from the industry who could helm a project with this story, Vijay asked him to try his hands at film direction. 

"That's how I decided to take the plunge into directing a movie," Silva recalls, adding, "We developed the story gradually, and narrated it to Kani annan (Samuthirakani) after several days. He was so impressed and said that he didn't expect such a story from me. He thought I would narrate a story for a full-fledged action movie. Kani annan agreed to play the lead character after he felt the story is likely to go well among family audience."

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Silva

Silva says that the challenge for him was to find a girl to play the daughter character to Samuthirakani. That's when Vijay suggested Sai Pallavi's sister Pooja Kannan. He adds, "We went to their home at Coimbatore and narrated the story to her and her mother. Initially, Pooja had qualms about pulling off the character. All I asked her was to be herself and she did it beautifully. I couldn't believe that it was her debut movie."

On roping in Mollywood actress Rima Kallingal for an important role, Silva says that he found her to be perfect to play the role of a cop. He says, "She was quite excited when I approached her to play a police officer in the film. In fact, she had made up her mind to do some hardcore action sequences. But little did she know that hers isn't an action-oriented role. I was really impressed with the way she prepared for the character. She was thorough with the script and dubbed in her own voice." 

Over the years, there have been many films made in Tamil with father-daughter bonding as its core theme. How does he think Chithirai Sevvaanam is different from those? Pat comes his reply, "I don't want to make tall claims about the film. But I can say the movie portrays the relationship between a father and a daughter in a realistic and emotional manner which will make family audience shed tears. Any daughter with a doting father and any father with a lovable daughter will be able to connect with the film more than others."

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Silva with Samuthirakani

Sam CS has composed music for the movie which has cinematography by Manoj Paramahamsa and KG Venkatesh. Praveen KL, who has worked with Silva in more than 50 films, is in charge of editing. Though the movie, produced jointly by Silva and Vijay, was planned as a theatrical release, they decided to go the OTT way when they felt it will take some time for movie goers to return back to the cinemas.  

He says, "After waiting for a few months, we felt it was better to opt an OTT platform to release our film. First of all, this isn't a movie which attracts huge number of crowd to movie halls. Moreover, children and senior citizens are still reluctant to turn up in theatres. The fact that OTT avenues have worldwide reach was another reason why we decided to choose digital release for the movie." 

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Silva on the set of Saaho

Silva, who currently has two films each in Malayalam, Telugu and Hindi, apart from four projects in Tamil, says movie buffs can expect another directorial attempt from him soon. 

He says, "I would like to do an action film on a big scale. I want to do a full-fledged comedy, too. I hope time permits me to do all these amid my busy schedules as a fight master. I'm doing the Telugu remake of Lucifer with Chiranjeevi sir, Monster with Mohanlal sir, a Malayalam film with Kunchacko Boban, two movies with Dhanush and one project with Arun Vijay."

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On the set of Master

Quiz him on the sudden rise in announcements of action-oriented pan-Indian projects, and he points out that an engaging story is the key behind the success of any film. 

He explains, "People will find it boring if a film has loads of action sequences without a gripping story. With the influx of OTT platforms, movie lovers are more attracted to story presentation than gimmicks. People will outrightly reject movies which lack emotional depth. You can't fool around with five or six fight scenes which are choreographed just for the sake of it anymore. Be it KGF, Baahubali or Lucifer, what worked is the emotions of protagonists and other characters."

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