ON October 21, 2009, director Pandiraj’s first son Anbu Karasu was born. The very next day, Pasanga won three National Awards. It was a dual win, he admits, as he now prepares to end his trilogy of children films with Pasanga 2, slated to release on December 24. After working extensively with child artistes in Pasanga, Marina and now Pasanga 2, the director is understandably restless to explore different genres.
Pasanga 2 is about children with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) and it took Pandiraj eight months to get the right cast. “Casting for Nayana, a character who has quite a few scenes where she is shown crying, was tough. We got Vaishnavi but she would come up to me and say ‘I don’t like crying’. It was all about making her, and the other children, comfortable,” says the director who was often the “joker” on set, just to get the cast to crack a smile. While veteran actors can finish a scene in one or two takes, it’s working with children that is most satisfying, he admits. But is it a challenge, we wonder. ‘‘It’s only the first ten days that are difficult when it comes to children. They key is to make them comfortable. After that, it’s actually very easy,’’ he offers. Pandiraj recalls how actor Suriya wanted to know how long he had been working on the story when he first heard the script of Pasanga 2. “He found the script well researched and was convinced to come on board both as a producer and an actor,” says the 39-year-old director. This is the first film to be produced under Suriya’s banner, 2D Entertainment.
Pandiraj was delighted that even actress Amala Paul was convinced to do a cameo, whereas Bindhu Madhvi and Karthik Kumar came in as lead actors. Pasanga 2 was initially titled Haiku. It was Pandiraj’s preference, but it had to be changed for tax benefits and brand recall.
Two good men
For someone who admits that it took him 15 years in the industry to realise his destiny, the director sure has come a long way. “I have been told that I am good at making children’s films. Now I want to prove that I can make films in other genres as well,” he says. His next romantic-comedy Idhu Namma Aalu with Silambarasan and Nayantara is ready for release.On the other hand, his action-thriller with actor Vishal titled Kathakali is scheduled for Pongal. Talk about being quick to move on. Meanwhile, with another National Award-winning director Vetrimaaran’s Visaaranai (hard hitting and based on Chandra Kumar’s book, Lock Up) also scheduled to release this month, it will be a case of extremes. Let’s wait to see which topic captures the audience’s imagination.
Pasanga 2 is scheduled to release on December 24.