When the teaser of Arya-starrer Magamuni dropped on Friday evening, there was a sudden burst of love on Twitter for the affable actor, and the director. The film marks Santhakumar’s return to filmmaking after his debut eight years ago with the searing Mouna Guru. That film also propelled actor Arulnithi to fame, and was responsible for him choosing script-rich films. With Magamuni, Arya travels back in time to the zone he occupied in his debut Arindhum Ariyaamalum, and the films that followed, like Pattiyal and Naan Kadavul. Films that were not all black and white and cheery romcoms, but creations that celebrated the grey area.
Arya speaks about Magamuni and working with Santhakumar, in this exclusive interview with Silverscreen.
Ask the actor, who recently married actress Sayyeshaa, how the response to the Magamuni teaser feels like, and he laughs. “After a spate of movies that were light, I’m back doing something in this genre, and the acceptance is heartening.”
“I’ve been waiting for a script like this for a very long time. When Santhakumar narrated the story, he had the characterisation of every single person in the film written down. What I liked most was the depth of the screenplay, and the nuances he lent the characters. Even if it does not get stated openly in the film, that nuance helps the actors perform better, and get into the skin of the character. You react better when you have the backstory. That reflects in the performers’ body language. He’s worked on the dialogues and they will stand out too.”
The actor in him too was getting tired of playing similar characters. “Once Boss Engira Baskaran clicked, and later Raja Rani happened, I got a slew of similar, light-hearted characters. I was waiting for some director to come and break that pattern for me. And there came Santhakumar who insisted he will showcase me differently and was convinced I was right for the role.”
Magamuni also stars Indhuja and Mahima Nambiar, and went on floors in November 2018. The team wrapped up the film two months ago. “I’m very happy at how it has shaped up,” says the actor, who next begins work on May 23 on Shakti Soundar Rajan’s Teddy. This film is the director’s next after the hit Tik Tik Tik, starring Jayam Ravi and Nivetha Pethuraj, which was set in space. It is expected that the producers of Magamuni will take a call on the release date after factoring in the schedule of the cricket world cup, and lock a suitable release window.