‘The real Simbu will be back’

With the timely release of Anbanavan Asaradhavan Adangadhavan, Adhik Ravichandran plans to break the notion that all of Simbu’s films get delayed

It surprised a lot of us when it was announced that Anbanavan Asaradhavan Adangadhavan (AAA) would be released in two parts (dimensions).  

Simbu sir felt right away that our script was too long for one film. After shooting the ‘Madura Michael’ and ‘Ashwin Thatha’ portions, all of us watched the film and it already had a runtime of two hours and 40 minutes. As my producer and actors were confident about the output, we felt we had enough for a second film. We have completed 85% of the total project, and a lot of what we’ve shot will be a part of the second film, in which Simbu’s slim look will be the main attraction. 

Is it true that Simbu’s weight loss was a major reason for the decision to make the film in two parts?

Losing weight is difficult in general; Vikram sir and Kamal sir are used to such weight loss. It wasn’t possible for Simbu sir to shed the required weight within the stipulated time period. But his excess weight was a must for the ‘Madura Michael’ and ‘Ashwin Thatha’ characters to be convincing. 

There’s an assumption that Simbu is tough to work with, even though he’s called a ‘single take’ actor. 

 I was told a lot of negative things about Simbu sir, but it didn’t bother me one bit. I worked around his schedules and comfort zones. For the ‘Ashwin Thatha’ character, he patiently sat through three-hour makeup sessions. Initially, he found it really tough, but then he adjusted and even put on the makeup from home and came ready to the spot. The Hollywood team which worked on Suriya sir’s ‘Athreya’ look in 24 has done the makeup for the ‘Ashwin Thatha’ character. Is he really a director’s actor? Simbu sir never came to the monitor to see the output; such was his confidence in me. On the very first day, I shot his grand introduction sequence with 750 junior artistes. He feels I have used him to his best capacity. His energy will be back in full flow, with catchy mannerisms and the ‘sirappu’ punchline. All his four characters will be new.  

How was it to bring back the famed Yuvan-Simbu combo?  

Each character will have changeovers and transformations, and Yuvan sir has some heavy-duty work ahead in re-recording. I was a big fan of their combination before coming to cinema, and it’s a joy to watch them work. The upcoming ‘Spiritual Gaana’ will be ‘Ashwin Thatha’s take on life and the current times. This song was supposed to be written by Vairamuthu sir, but I wanted Simbu to write it. He has reached a certain spiritual zone and it willreflect in this song. The first part will have five songs; the ‘Madura Michael’ intro song will be written by Vairamuthu sir and we will also be remixing a TR song.  

How do you see Simbu’s new avatar as a music director in Santhanam’s Sakka Podu Podu Raja? 

Simbu sir was actually supposed to compose music for AAA. He has a stock of 1,500 songs, all really catchy ones. He has a great music sense and confidently conducts live recording sessions. He totally understands the audience’s pulse and that’s why his songs are invariably popular.  

When will the two films release?  

The first part is being planned for a Ramzan release, while the second part should also ideally be out by year-end. I want to break the notion that Simbu’s films are always delayed. I’m also confident that distributors and theatre owners will strike it big with AAA.  

Your first film Trisha Illana Nayanthara was quite controversial. Was it difficult for you to sign a second film?  

A lot of producers wanted to sign me, but the heroes were generally very hesitant. I couldn’t convince the world that I didn’t want to make another ‘bittu padam’. Simbu sir had been very encouraging right from the time TIN’s teaser came out, and he was the one who initiated this project.



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