Any movie starring Vijay tends to be surrounded by hype. But when it’s a period-fantasy film, expectations skyrocket. Chimbu Deven, in an interview with The Hindu, shares his views on the making of Puli, working with Vijay, getting Sridevi on board, and more.
Question: How did the project start?
Chimbu Deven: After Oru Kanniyum Moonu Kalavanikalum was released, I narrated Puli’s script to Vijay. He immediately agreed to work on the film. Before starting the shoot, I had planned everything and made a storyboard to accurately convey what I had imagined. Normally making a period-fantasy film takes a long time, but since I was well prepared in advance, I could shoot continuously and wrap up quickly.
Question: Going by the teaser, Puli seems to be a period-film.
Chimbu Deven: Actually, I would prefer to call it a fantasy-action-adventure film. The story combines the themes of war and love. I have ensured that the story appeals not just to Vijay’s fans, but also to family audiences. The story is completely fictional, and the audiences will get to see a world they have never seen before.
Question: This was the first time you’ve worked with Vijay. How was that experience?
Chimbu Deven: Vijay has worked very hard for Puli. The film was demanding in terms of stunts, costumes and dialogues and Vijay trained very hard. He perfected sword fighting for some crucial stunts. He even stayed with the movie crew for 40 days at a village when we had to shoot scenes in the forest. Every member of the crew was astonished at his simplicity.
Question: How did you persuade Sridevi to work in this film?
Chimbu Deven: Actually, I had Sridevi in mind when I was writing the character. She was apprehensive initially when I shared the script with her in Mumbai, but the story impressed her and she agreed to do the film. In fact, she said that Puli’s script has impressed her the most since English Vinglish. Believe me, the film is going to be a treat for those who are waiting to see her on screen.
Question: What are your thoughts on the teaser leak incident?
Chimbu Deven: Well, technology is a double-edged sword. We all benefit from it, but there are also downsides to it. What happened with the teaser is proof of that. We have now taken steps to ensure that there aren’t any problems like that again.