'Mersal' is big treat for Vijay fans, says Atlee

By M Bharat Kumar Published on Oct 13, 2017 06:21 PM IST

Mersal is a commercial cocktail for Vijay fans. They would love every frame of it, says filmmaker Atlee. Produced by Sri Thenandal Films, the movie boasts of a huge star cast that includes Vijay in triple roles. Samantha, Kajal Agarwal, Nithya Menen, S J Suryah, Sathyaraj, Kovai Sarala, Vadivelu and Yogi Babu are also in the cast. Music is by A R Rahman.

Speaking about the movie, Atlee, says, "The movie is based on a serious issues that affects the society. We have dealt in detail about it and arrived at a solution." The movie is releasing over 3,000 screens in Tamil and Telugu globally.

Excerpts of his interview

Q: How did Mersal happen?

A: When I was working with Vijay in Theri, I came across a storyline. I started developing it. However when I collaborated with Baahubali writer and S S Rajamouli’s father Vijayendra Prasad, a different idea struck us. It was an issue that affects public. We concentrated on it and developed a screenplay for it. Thanks to Vijayendra Prasad, it came grand and beautiful. That is how Mersal shaped up.

Q: How was it to work with Vijay?

A: He is a good actor and a great human being. Today he has become my good friend. One of the character played by Vijay is Thalapathy. He hails from Madurai. Nithya Menen is his wife. His scenes would be the highlight of the movie. Vijay also plays his son (a magician) and another role played the actor is kept as suspense. To get his role as magician right, Vijay formally learnt the tricks. It will entertain children. A committed actor, he withstood heat in Rajasthan and appeared for a stunt sequence.

Q: Why such a big star cast?

A: Mersal demanded a powerful woman character to move the story. Nithya Menen filled the bill well. It is a powerful character and she pulled it off well. Samantha has played her part exceedingly well. The movie was shot in Poland, France and Macedonia. Kajal Agarwal appears in those portions. Vadivelu not only gave his best in comedy sequences

but also in emotional scenes. I marvelled at the acting skills of S J Surya all this while. To have him in my film was a great joy.

Q: You share a good rapport with A R Rahman?

A: I know him for some time. He is a wonderful musician. He has given us beautiful songs. Especially the one that speaks about the achievements of Tamils. The song Aala Poran Thamizhan is already topping the charts. I have registered the lines Aala Poran Thammizhan as title for one of my forthcoming film. The movie will have emotional scenes at regular intervals.

Q: Is the movie about jallikattu issue?

A: The story begins in Madurai. We have written the script in such a way that it speaks about the culture and heritage of Tamils. There is no connection with the Jallikattu protest or students uprising in Marina.

Q: Is Mersal inspired by any yesteryear film?

A: Certainly not. I take stories from public and their lives. When I made Raja Rani and Theri, a few said it was inspired by few earlier films. I am happy that they compare my film with successful ventures of the past. I don’t respond to such criticisms. I know what I am doing.

Q: Will you work with Rajini in future?

A: I love to work with Rajinikanth. I have a great respect for him. I would be happy to do a sequel for Baasha. Who knows even Mersal may get a second part.