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"I regret making ‘Uriyadi’ for the unbearable pain it gave me"

Tuesday, July 19, 2016 • Tamil Comments

One of the most celebrated films of recent years is ‘Uriyadi’ written, produced and directed by Vijay Kumar, who has made heads turn by giving a raw and realistic film about caste politics and random violence which happen all around us in everyday life. We caught up with the young director who speaks from the heart and his passion for creating quality cinema is evident in every sentence spoken . Here is the transcript of the exclusive hard hitting interview.

The Film has more reach now more than the time it was released…Your thoughts on that…

"Only now the film is being screened widely (smiling wryly) in laptops, mobiles or connected to TV via usb through pirated DVDs. I tried to delete the torrents of the film, but in Scotland from where it originates the law of the land does not mind others efforts being blood sucked. I even thank the pirates for due to many reasons the film could not enjoy a good theatrical run, but it is finding its viewers through the pirates."

What was the pain you had to go through during the filming?

"I guess if you make a good movie you should endure pain from all directions. I regret doing ‘Uriyadi’ because of the magnitude of pain it has caused me. I did not make the film to earn crores or become a hero, but just to get back the money I invested and not interested in anything more that that. I called my production company Souvenir Productions because I want it to be a souvenir to the people I love."

What is your opinion about the Censor Board?

"The biggest grouse I have on the Censor Board is that if you take Television it contains all types of ads and you cannot answer your kids if they ask you what a particular product is. It also contains sex and murder episodes, but there is no censor for TV. An individual sees the poster, the trailer and then decides out of his free will to watch a film in a theater and it is absurd to have a censor for the film when there is none for the TV. The certificate can be A or AA or even AAA if the content is too gross, but it is unfair to ask a creator to cut his shots. People like me who has invested my own money is not interested in getting tax exemption and other benefits, but just want our work to reach people.

What are the scenes that were chopped off by the censors?

"There are many, but for example in the climax when we are taking the heads of the villains to the furnace the shot will be cut abruptly, but the scene went on till we place them inside and the smoke will rise out. Also in the Dhaba fight almost fifty percent was chopped of and that was the case for many more scenes robbing me of the details I worked out for the script. As far as the Uncut version is concerned my office was flooded during the monster Chennai rains in December last and the film was completely lost. Luckily the Lab had a copy and that is how I could release ‘Uriyadi’.

Anurag Kashyap wanted to see ‘Uriyadi’ How did you feel about that?

I am also very anxious for Anurag Kashyap to watch my film because I am confident that he will love it. He asked me for the links of the film which I have sent but I think he is busy because his film (‘Raman Raghav 2.0’) has just released and he will watch it when he finds time.

You have touched caste politics in ‘Uriyadi’ what made you take that up?

"Caste politics is the best thing in this film (laughs) most subjects need extensive research, but this one you can get in any direction you turn. I had the guts to deal with the subject and that is all. I don’t know if God is omnipresent in everything but caste, religion and language disparities are very much dominant in our society."

Do you agree the film has excessive violence?

"It’s a crime based film what else do you expect? I did not project the film as a family entertainer and I have honestly narrated my subject . I had no intention of having gory sequences or gain fame as an intense director, but to present my crime based film coated with vote bank politics I needed to say it realistically. That’s why I made sure that the entire film is rooted in reality and no cinematic elements were present. That is why the fight sequences look intense, but it was not intentional."

What is the reason for choosing such a risky and experimental debut film?

" Life is too short for all you know this might even be my last film. I wanted to give a good film investing my own movie in which I have delivered my perception of a part of life and I consciously avoided playing safe. I would have made all compromises to save another producer but since I am the producer I risked my all. Even yesterday I thought I should never have made this movie because of the pain it caused me. I regret making ‘Uriyadi’ but my only consolation is the response the people have give me and their love."

People say it is a small budget film, but you claim it is a big budget?

"I started shooting in July 2013 and used the costliest camera and lens and the time and money invested is what shows as quality in the film. Whatever people tell you the double of that has been spent."

What is your next film about?

"Definitely it will be a hit film an engaging and entertaining one which will be worth your time, but still I am not sure what it will be. You are as good as the society allows you to be and I will give them what they want."

The love portions in the film seem to be unnecessary…

"However, raw the male characters are it is necessary to depict the love or a small crush in college life and that is what I have done and the major turning point in the film happens after the bus incident with the girl and I think it is very necessary."

Your views about the excessive usage of cigarettes and liquor in the film…

"Lets face it, there are numerous shops selling cigarettes and the same number of liquor stores available and boys do smoke and drink. People think that the boys who smoke and drink are all bad. I wanted to document the lives of ordinary boys who get into trouble while drinking and I have also shown that the bar owner does not even drink soft drinks."

You have also composed the music for the film.How did you get that interest?

“Actual