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'Bandobast' is a well-researched, layered, thrilling film: Suriya

Monday, September 16, 2019 • Tamil Comments

Actor Suriya, known for his versatility, is bracing up for the release of 'Bandobast' on September 20.  Directed by KV Anand, the film is easily one of the most promising ones of the year.  In this interview, he talks about what makes it a special film, his role in it, the kind of research that went into writing and making it, what to expect from 'Bandobast' and more.  

The film has been made on a lavish scale.  Tell us about your association with director KV Anand and the experience of working with him on this movie.

'Bandobast' is a big canvas project for me, thanks to Lyca Productions and NV Prasad garu who have put all this together.  KV Anand garu was a cinematographer of my films before he turned a director.  He has always been like a big brother.  To be on a film set with him is always special.  He was the first one to take my click in the Russian angle, which was all over the newspapers back then.  

With a streak of photo-journalism, he comes up with ideas that are inspired by real news items, etc.  Every film has entertainment value to it but his films have something more, be it politics, black marketeering, etc.  His 'Maattraan' ('Brothers' in Telugu) was a novel project, writing which necessitated a lot of research.  He always puts in so much research for his movies.

In what way is 'Bandobast' a layered one?  What are the promising aspects in terms of story-telling point of view?

This film has a wide span.  It's a large film that narrates the things that happen behind the doors in power corridors, security apparatus, etc. From agriculture to national security, it weaves a lot into the story.  I play an SPG commando who is in charge of the security of VIPs.  What if someone in command goes rogue.  Who is going to control him and what makes him go rogue is the basic line of the story.  What happens even in the Prime Minister's Office is narrated in the film.  We have seen protests such as the anti-Sterlite one in Tuticorin, Tamil Nadu.  Some things that were written for this movie coincidentally happened in real life.  We approached many people with hands-on experience in security, etc as part of research for the project.  

What kind of homework did you do for the role in terms of talking to security personnel?

Many who are in charge of security are ready to die.  These people brave bullets.  Their mindset is attuned to take harm in their way.  They never hide from a bullet.  They are the first line of defence for VIPs when they are targeted.  They do a lot of work which we don't get to know at all.  I am happy to have played the role for which I trained by meeting commandos, etc.  I lived with them, spoke to them, got so many insights.  There is a lot of brotherhood among them, and they practise total communal harmony.  They are Indians and Indians alone.  There are no differences between them.  To see India by sitting in Delhi was a different experience to me.  I got to speak with office-bearers, etc.  

Arya and Sayyeshaa Saigal have key roles in the movie.  How was it working with them?

One of the toughest things for me was to do romantic scenes with Sayyeshaa with Arya in the film (Laughs).  Her role is very demanding and she has done a great job.  Her character has a lot of layers and a range of emotions.  She changes the direction of the story.  I have to personally thank Arya for doing the film.  Allu Sirish was supposed to do the character.  Because of some procedural issues, Sirish couldn't do the film.  Arya okayed the film in just 4 hours.  It was so generous of him to have done so despite many other commitments.  Everyone is going to talk about his character in the movie, much like his 'Magamuni' in Tamil.  

Action scenes and the legendary Mohanlal are integral to the film, we guess.  Tell us about that.  

There are quite a number of interesting action sequences in the film.  It was a demanding shoot, involving a range of locations in different countries.  

KV Anand sir has told so many stories in the film.  There are stories of commoners as well as of high officials.  It has been a dream come true to share the screen space with Mohanlal sir.  He knows how to make the camera disappear.  He is an effortlessly nuanced actor.  Boman Irani sir is a writer's delight.  He has a fantastic role in the movie.  Samuthirakani, Arya and others coming together is like a dream cast.  Each and everyone has a very important role in the movie.  They are not there for the sake of it.  I am hoping it will be a new experience for all the movie-watchers out there.

What is your character like in the movie?  It doesn't seem to be a straightforward one.  

My character is complex in 'Bandobast'.  He might do something that is not expected of a hero.  What the lead actor is up to is not predictable in the movie.  'Bandobast' will be an eye-opener, not just a cinematic experience.  SPG commandos spend working more than family.

Tell us about the technical highlights.  

This is my ninth film with Harris Jayaraj sir.  The music has come out really well.  The cinematography, editing (by Anthony) are superb.  The best of the best work is what you will see in the film.

What do you think went wrong with 'NGK'?

We do every film with the best intentions.  Selvaraghavan sir had 2-3 drafts and made the film with what he thought was the best version.  The climax too was shot in three different ways.  Everybody of us gave our best.  It was a collective decision to make 'NGK' that way and see whether the audience would like it.  

Your closing remarks.

Lot of respect for 'Sye Raa', which has been produced ambitiously by Ram Charan.  My best wishes to the film.  I also wish 'Gang Leader' all the best, as it has been directed by one of my favourite filmmakers, Vikram K Kumar. 

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