There seems to be a problem with the projection at the Bharathi Raja International Institute of Cinema (BRIIC) when the projector is playing the video songs from Meendum Oru Mariyathaito select journalists. Below us sits a man who has witnessed several changes in the cinema – from Cinemascope to digital filmmaking. Bharathiraja is a silent spectator at the performance and makes a growling comment: "Hmm … digital," he says with a groan, as if to imply, "Is what you call digital?"
A poetic note
Bharathiraja says that he is willing to admit what most people would not do if they are older than a certain age. "When you're in your fifties or sixties, you usually discover new feelings," he says. Meendum Oru Mariyathai is such an exploration between an older man and a young woman. But he corrects me when I ask if it's a "love story" – "How you see and define love is all that matters," he says.
The title is indeed a tribute to its own Mudhal Mariyathai with Sivaji Ganesan and Radha. while dealing with a similar topic. Mudhal Mariyathai worked with a larger section of society because of the fine line between love and lust. "This film was about a man traveling from house to house," he says. “If the opposite sex registers your presence, it will harm you yourself. They are not external sexual feelings. It is divine. "
Meendum Oru MariyathaiIn his own words, there are two characters who yearn for love. "Old man [the character he plays] meets Venba [the girl] abroad. She is attracted to him. But he asks a simple question: "I am closer to the sunset and you are closer to the sunrise … why do you want to come here?"
It was the idea of the writer Madhan Karky to call the character Venba because it is "like a poem". "You exchange feelings, but you don't know if it's love, lust or affection," Bharathiraja added. Did he leave their relationship open without expressing things to the audience? "I wrote a different ending before, but I had to change it. Although people claim to be progressive, they will not accept changes in society. "
Consumed by art
Nothing has changed in his craft, although he has worked in the industry for over four decades. He has put on the director's hat again OM (old man), now renamed Meendum Oru Mariyathai, is scheduled for release on February 21,
“It was a thrill in those days when we said cut. Nobody had any idea of the quality of the output and we waited at least 15 days for it to be processed, ”says Bharathiraja of the film making process in the 1980s. For example, when we take a close-up or just enjoy watching films in color. "
But he makes it clear that he's not against digital filmmaking because it made his job easier. "Except for the technical aspect, everything has remained the same. Nowadays, it is easy to correct performance by looking at the monitor. "
Bharathiraja seems to make fun of himself by calling himself "old man" in the trailer for Meendum Oru Mariyathai, Why do most older filmmakers – who started in the 80s – tend to slow down after a successful run?
"Who? Me? I've already started writing my next film," he laughs, adding: "Even at this age, I want to make an airy, warm love story. In the end, love triumphs."
He has no regrets about choosing the cinema in particular. But there is an ongoing sadness that almost makes him guilty of his actions. "I am a failure in my family. I loved the cinema more than my wife and children. Simply put, I wronged my family by doing justice to art, ”he concludes.