The publicity posters, songs and teaser of Aruvi have piqued a lot of interest, and the trailer gives an insight into a story with a woman in the forefront. She smiles just as easily as she wields a gun, enjoys a solitary smoke on the terrace of her house, and dares a person in uniform to harm her, because she isn’t afraid.
There is no man behind her to help move the story forward, nor does Aruvi comes across as a woman who is around just to shape a man’s story. She is the pivotal character in her own story. Aruvi, which literally translates to a waterfall, is an intriguing character that we are yet to meet.
When we spoke to debut director Arun Prabu Purushothaman last month, he told us a bit about Aruvi, the protagonist in his socio-political film by the same name. “Aruvi is the film’s hero. The film narrates her journey against a socio-political background. Aditi Balan had no connection with films until she signed on Aruvi. She is a lawyer and a professional football player. She fit the role perfectly,” he told us.
Now, in an email interview, the director reveals a bit more about himself and what one can expect from the film.
Aruvi‘s trailer has created a wave of response ever since it was released. What is your reaction to that?
I’m curious to see how people will respond to Aruvi. It is a multi-genre film written for the audience. Now, I’m very curious to see how they react to the movie; a trailer is just a glimpse, the film will provide a new experience.
This is your debut film. How was it to work on a subject like Aruvi?
Aruvi was written in August 2013. More than a strong subject, working on a screenplay that people can relate to is interesting; it is exciting to experiment. The journey has been a roller-coaster, but a fun-filled one.
When/how did you come up with the story of Aruvi?
Aruvi‘s seed will be obvious if you watch the film. We wanted to reflect the perspective of the people.
Music, too, appears to be of importance in the film. How integral is it to Aruvi‘s story?
The narrative itself makes the film musical in many major sequences. We have few interesting tracks in the film that are not in the album.”
Did you always want to be a film director?
In my childhood, I wanted to become a Samurai; a teacher; a yogi; it was quirky and kept changing every day. Reading Tamil literature and writing used to be a fun part of daily life. My main hobby was watching films; the creations of world masters such as Jean-Luc Godard and Gillo Pontecorvo were inspiring. Observing the world, and writing my thoughts as screenplays became habitual.
You mention that you also look up to veteran director Balu Mahendra and your father. How have they helped shape your interest in cinema?
All my mentors have been pillars of strength in my career. I remember their guidance with gratefulness.
While working on Aruvi, were there moments when you felt you might have to tone down a scene that might evoke a mixed/strong reaction when out?
While writing the first draft, the producers were sceptical whether a few dialogues would pass the Censor Board. So, yes, they were toned down.
(At a recent press meet, SR Prabhu, the producer of the film, said that there were some concerns with the initial script. Arun Prabu’s honest take on the ills of the society could have posed problems. However, the content was toned down and it got a U/A certificate with no further hassle.)
Is there a film that changed you or your life?
I believe that films can inspire people but not make a significant change in their lives. No film has changed my life. Many non-fictional, inhuman things take place on a daily basis. Reality is harsh and, many a time, tragic. That reality, more than a film, triggers an an impact in you to bring about a change.
What are you working on next?
I have not decided yet. I’m waiting to see the response for Aruvi.