Director Vishnu Vardhan is excited. Naturally. A two-year project has come to fruition. ‘Sarvam,’ his fifth creation, is going to hit the screen on March 27. If the promos are any indication, the film with Arya in the lead is different and Vishnu Vardhan cannot wait to see the audience react. Excerpts from an interview:

What is ‘Sarvam’ about?

Well, it can be called a romantic thriller. Actually there are two tracks and they meet at a point. Death is the beginning of another life — I believe in the Upanishad. Everything (‘Sarvam’) changes when a series of incidents overtakes the characters. The five main characters, seemingly unconnected, come across each other and their lives change forever. They are Arya, an architect, Trisha, a doctor, J.D. Chakravarthy, a football coach, Indrajit, and the fifth is the dog Bruce (Rottweiller), which plays an important role.

Was Suriya considered for the role?

Yes. But that didn’t happen. Suriya, who saw the trailer recently, was impressed. We might be working together soon. Then how did Ajith Kumar come into the picture?

Well, at that point of time, ‘Sarvam’ was not underway, and Ajith wondered if we could do a film and suggested ‘Billa’. And happily it was a big hit.

The highlights of ‘Sarvam?’

Not one, but many, including the fact that the film is not fiction but reality. The incidents actually happened to some of my friends and family members. Next is location — one of the songs has been shot at two places, hitherto not seen in Tamil films — The Great Rann of Kutch, the milky white land in Gujarat, and Little Rann of Kutch, the brown cracked land. Ocean, forest and desert — we have shot at all these places. For the climax, set in Dhoni forest, a church, 90 ft tall and made to look like 150 years old, was erected. The Arya-Trisha pair has lifted the film to great heights. Arya has done a fantastic job and Trisha has not lagged behind. Chakravarthy has worked very hard and the performance of Indrajit (brother of Prithviraj) will be remembered for long.

You started as an actor but shifted to direction…

I started as a child star in Mani Ratnam’s film ‘Anjali’ and appeared in ‘Shatriyan.’ I specialised in photography before joining Santosh Sivan as his assistant. Then I directed ‘Kurumbu’ and later came ‘Arindhum Ariyamalum.’

Apart from the actors, to whom will you give the credit for making ‘Sarvam’ a good production?

Technicians, especially the cinematographer Nirav Shah and editor Sreekar Prasad, who made my two-year dream come true. ‘Sarvam’ is for viewers of all types.

Now, the force behind your forays?

Well, it is clichéd but absolutely true in my case — behind every successful man there is a woman. It is my wife Anu Vardhan. She was my classmate in Loyola College and makes most of my decisions. She is the costume designer for all my films. She also works with other banners. She was the designer for ‘Ashoka’ (Hindi).

Fast Five

‘Sarvam’ unit: Cinematographer Nirav Shah, composer Yuvan Shankar Raja, editor Sreekar Prasad, costume designer Anu Vardhan and stunt Thyagarajan.

‘Sarvam’ characters: Arya, Trisha, J.D. Chakravarthy, Indrajit and the dog Rottweiller dog Bruce.

Locations: Chennai, Munnar, Ahmedabad, Goa and Rajasthan.

Director’s order of merit: ‘Sarvam,’ ‘Arindhum Ariyamalum,’ ‘Pattiyal,’ ‘Billa’ and ‘Kurumbu.’


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