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    Location hunting in the South can throw up a lot of surprises, admits cinematographer and first-time director, R Velraj

    IN the industry for over a decade, cinematographer R Velraj is happy with his directorial debut, Velaiyilla Pattathari. Velraja��s cinematography in movies like Aadukalam, Polladhavan, Kandhar and Enge-yum Eppothum has had a lasting impression on the audience. Now the Madurai native is geared to work with his favourite actor, Dhanush.

    Movie scout
    The a�?velaiyilla pattathari a�� in the movie is Dhanush who faces issues at home and is in love with his neighbour, played by Amala Paul. a�?I had a story, and mentioned the name to Dhanush. He suggested we work together and contributed to each shot, the story, etc,a�? says Velraj, 44. Having known and worked with Dhanush since Polladhavan, Velraj is quick to comment on how the actor has changed over the years. a�?He has matured a lot. He gets involved with direction and comes up with many ideas,a�? says Velraj, who has travelled extensively in Tamil Nadu for his movies. a�?I travel to different places, but recently I went to Namal Medu and loved the place. It is close to Theni and Suruli. I like shooting in forests and unexplored areas,a�? he says. HighlightingA� significant places in Tamil Nadu, he says Karaikudi is his first choice a�?for the houses and courtyards.a�?

    Home bound
    Velraj is in love with Madurai for its food as well. a�?I have grown old, so I am on a diet. But when I am in Madurai, I like the curry dosai which you will find only there,a��a�� he says. a�?a�?I also like the spicy nandu omlet with rice,a�? adds Velraj, who gets nostalgic about Pongal celebrations at his hometown.

    a�� Mrinalini Sundar

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