The audio launch of Chennai Ungalai Anbudan Varaverkiradhu gave its guests an opportunity to reminisce about their ‘Chennai experience’. Bharathiraja waxed poetic about the city and declared that it was a place like no other while Bhagyaraj took a trip down memory lane and regaled everyone with funny stories from his time as an assistant director.
The film deals with the lives of youngsters who room together, and documents their struggles when they’re told to evacuate immediately. The premise was something everyone identified with. The film’s producer T Madhuraj revealed that it was one of the reasons he signed on to finance the project. “I’m actually an assistant direct myself. I had heard about Marudhupandian’s struggles to get the project up and running. It was only because of the story that I got onboard.”
Director Bharathiraja too was all praise for the film’s plot. He had watched the film earlier this month and raved about its layered plot. “When I first met Marudhupandian, I was sceptical of him and his films. I thought to myself, here’s a guy who can rarely master the art of speaking…and he claims he’s made a movie? I was very dismissive of his talent. When I watched the film though, I had a huge doubt. I called him up and asked him whether he’d actually directed the film.”
The film’s male lead Bobby Simha might have given the audio launch of Chennai Ungalai Anbudan Varaverkiradhu a miss, but he did send Vijay Sethupathi in his stead. The Naanum Rowdy Dhaan actor looked distinctly un-rowdy like in a pink shirt. Coughing ever so frequently (he had a fever, but he still made it), Vijay Sethupathi turned an indulgent eye on the proceedings and was seen enjoying himself immensely in the presence of Snehan.
The chief guests were of course Bharathiraja and Bhagyaraj – the Iyakkunar Imayam and Puratchi Thilagam respectively. The host of the event, quite unused to pure Tamil, struggled over the pronunciations of their titles, leading to a lot of hilarity. Also present was director Perarasu, who appointed himself Bharathiraja’s caretaker. He was often seen tenderly offering a bottle of water to the legendary director and filling him in on the proceedings.
The reason for this outpouring of affection became clear much later. Perarasu was a huge fan of both Rajas onstage. “Their films have had a lasting impact on me. A true artiste won’t be affected by anybody else’s work, but will affect the work of others. In that way, I’m not ashamed to admit that my films have all been inspired by these two men onstage. I know people make fun of my tendency to title my films after popular cities. That began with Thiruppachi. The idea behind it was Bharathiraja’s fault. The popular song in his Taj Mahal movie – Thiruppachi aruvaala – captivated me.” He also admitted that the inspiration behind Asin’s character in Sivakasi, was the role played by Urvasi in Mundhanai Mudichu.
Producer T Madhuraj then announced that his office in Kodambakkam is always open to people who haven’t yet found a place to live. “For three months, they can come and use my office to sleep. I’ll provide food as well. But only for three months, friends…I’m a small time producer!”
Marudhupandian too echoed his producer’s sentiments. “For everyone who’s dreaming big and needs a helping hand to make those dreams come true, please don’t hesitate to come to us for help.”
The music for the film has been composed by Camlin and Raja. There are two songs in the soundtrack, both of which have been penned by Karthik Netha. The film is set to release by March 2015.