Special Interview – Vanayudham Director Amr Ramesh
How will Vana Yudham be?
I’ve made this film after a thorough research for nearly 11 years. We’ve interviewed over 200 people before going on floors. And that is not all, as we have taken the pains to shoot the scenes in the exact locations where the real incidents had happened. There are so many things that people do not know about Veerappan. We’ve collected every detail about him from various sources including newspapers, books, internet, etc., and have packaged into an interesting tale told within two and half hours. In Vana Yudham everything about Veerappan, right from his birth to death have been covered.
It is very difficult to select actors for a real-life story…
I have chosen the actors according to the suitability of my story. For Veerappan’s role, it is Kishore, Arjun as D.G.P K. Vijayakumar, Ravi Kale as Joint Commissioner Senthamarai Kannan, Vijayalakshmi as Muthulakshmi Veerappan, Lakshmi Rai as Journalist, and Sampath as Veerappan’s ‘right hand’ Sethukuli Govindan. Everyone today knows that Sethukuli Govindan was Veerappan’s right hand but not many are aware that Gurunath was his right hand before Sethukuli Govindan. I play that role in the film. ‘Aadukalam’ Jayabalan has played an important role in this film.
Did you have to face a lot of challenges while making this film?
When a controversial subject like this is handled, it is natural to expect challenges. I had to face a lot of problems; particularly with people like ‘Nakkeeran’ Gopal and Muthulakshmi Veerappan filing a case in the court. But I’d like to state that I am not making this film to hurt anyone. My earlier film Kuppi got a clean U with no cuts by the Censor. Even then I had to face a lot of problems. It is my intention to tell a real life story as straight and honest as I could but people do not realise this.
Though as a director you’d have achieved a lot, as a producer you may have lost a lot. Isn’t it?
As a producer, I’ve lost my own house too because while making a film I will not have a single penny in my hands. So, I’d sell my house for money and that is the only loss I have incurred. But as a director, I have earned a lot of awards and praises. As a creator, that is what makes me happy. It is the people’s applause that keeps me going and that is more important for a creator.
When would you start your next?
The script is ready and we’ll go on floors in September this year. This time I’ll be taking up the late LTTE leader Prabhakaran’s life story and entwine it with the Rajiv Gandhi assassination. This is my dream project. I’ll show how Rajiv Gandhi was assassinated in Chennai. While I made Kuppi, people said that I may face a lot of problems. But the LTTE in Sri Lanka saw the film and did not point out any flaw. That is because I’m never biased and will not fail to tell out the truth as it is. People are my judge. I expect to face problems for this film too, but then I am ready for it.