Report by Sanjana Chakraborty, Photos by Sriram N
The audio and trailer of Dharma Durai were launched at Sathyam Cinemas, Chennai on 3 August.
Sathyam Cinemas has a stunning ceiling with elegant shell-shaped chandeliers and hanging lamps. Members of the press busied themselves by taking pictures of this ceiling on their cellphones while they waited for the film crew to turn up.
The male lead of the film Makkal Selvan, Vijay Sethupathi had quite an entry. Visibly limping owing to an injury, Sethupathi’s entry left his fans occupying the balcony seats frothing with cheers. “Namma Makkal Selvan!” they yelled. He smiled and waved at them, they screamed more. The fans continued cheering every time Sethupathi’s name was mentioned in the speeches.
Dharma Durai‘s trailer was released first. The film revolves around the life of Dharma (Sethupathi) and his journey from being an MBBS student in Madurai Medical College to a doctor with a social responsibility in a village. The film has three female characters, with Tamannaah Bhatia’s playing the main female role. The trailer traces the romance, drama, and thriller involved in Dharma’s life. Sethupathi appears intense and convinces viewers that his role is a far cry from his role of Paandi from Naanum Rowdy Dhaan in spite of Raadhika Sarathkumar playing his mother in the film, again.
The film’s songs mark music director Yuvan Shankar Raja’s first major release this year. He has a score of projects lined up but clarified that this film does not mark his return. “Why would it be my return when I never left, in the first place?” he said, before adding, “I took a nine-month break and people are calling it my comeback. I’ve always been here.”
Director Bala was a guest at the event. Compere VJ Anjana introduced him as a guest who was present to give the film and crew his blessings. “Seenu Ramasamy, the director of Dharma Durai )was Balu Mahendran’s junior. When Seenu directed Thenmerku Paruvakaatru, Balu Mahendran’s wife recommended that I watch it. Back then, to be honest, I thought Seenu was a mutta paiyyan (foolish boy). Nevertheless, I watched it,” he said, “and I had sleepless nights,” admitting that he was thoroughly impressed by Seenu Ramasamy’s directing skills.
Highlights from the event:
- Vijay Sethupathi’s speech couldn’t be heard in spite of the loud Dolby speakers. His fans from the balcony cheered (and jeered) whenever he tried speaking. When he did speak, his fans from atop were requesting him to dance. “I can’t dance. I have an injured leg,” he said, evidently taken aback.
- Srushti Dange was introduced as ‘the cute Barbie-doll girl’ before her speech. Dressed in a cream-and-gold ensemble, Dange was widely jeered by on-lookers. In spite of negative remarks (even on social networking sites), Dange carried on, unaffected by those comments.
- The Ambassador of Finland was one of the guests at the audio launch. Wearing a confused expression throughout the event and seated in a corner on the stage, she kept herself entertained by her phone.
- RK Suresh, the producer of the film, was all praises for Vijay Sethupathi. “He is the most important reason why the film will be a success,” he said. The two had been involved in a public spat in 2014, with Suresh blaming Sethupathi for the financial failure of the film Vasantha Kumaran. The two have evidently patched up since and have been found hugging and praising each other whenever the opportunity arose.
- “When I first met Tamannaah, I was extremely nervous. I thought she’d be full of attitude. But she turned out to be such a down-to-earth person. Even when my scenes involved me dressing up in dirty makeup and old clothes, Tamannaah would still say I look beautiful,” said a beaming Aishwarya Rajesh, one of the female characters in the film. Tamannaah was not present at the event as she was shooting for Baahubali 2.