Mehendi Circus, which is scheduled to hit screens on April 19, is one of the most eagerly awaited Tamil films this year.
Industry insiders and experts in the film industry have been speaking highly of the film, which has been directed by Saravana Rajendran. Interestingly, Saravana Rajendran is the brother of National Award winning director Raju Murugan, whose Joker was among the most critically acclaimed films of 2017.
What has added to the interest in the film is the fact that Raju Murugan has penned the story and dialogues for Mehendi Circus. The film features Madhampatty Rangaraj and Shwetha Tripathi, who was hailed for her performance in the Hindi film Masaan, in the lead.
Speaking at a press conference called by the team of Mehendi Circus on Thursday at the Prasad Lab in Chennai, a visibly delighted Raju Murugan said, “Although I have been credited with the story and dialogues of this film, both my brother Saravana Rajendran and I have worked on them together.”
Calling Mehendi Circus a simple, honest film, the National Award winner said, “This is a simple love story. The backdrop of the film is what will make it special.” The director who has a reputation for being measured and accurate while giving credit to people for their work, spoke highly of cinematographer Selva and music director Sean Roldan’s work in the film. “Selva’s work has taken it to the next level. Without Sean’s music, this film wouldn’t be what it is,” he added.
Distributor Sakthivel, who is releasing the film, said, “ I felt bad after watching the superhit film 96 because I had missed out working on that film. That was such a heartwarming story that I wanted to be associated with it in one way or the other. But having missed out on that opportunity, I was deeply saddened. However, my sadness disappeared when I got to see Mehendi Circus. That is because this is a film that is of the same class. I was therefore delighted when I got to work with the Mehendi Circus team. The feeling that I got after watching this film was one of nostalgia. I got the same feeling that I got after watching the classic superhit, Varusham 16. Sean Roldan has done a fantastic job in this film.”
Although there were several speakers at the press conference, the man who stole the limelight was producer Gnanavel Raja’s father, Eswaran.
The pleasant-looking elderly gentleman stole the show with his speech that was crisp, clear, humorous and to the point.
Speaking on the occasion, he said, “Gnanavelraja never heard the story but still agreed to produce the film. I need to thank my son for that. When both Saravana Rajendran and Raju Murugan narrated the story, I was so impressed that I decided to make this movie, irrespective of whether it would be a success or failure. People say ‘Madha, Pitha, Guru, Deivam (Mother, Father, teacher, God).’ In the film industry, I consider the story writers and scriptwriters to be the Matha. I consider the director and the technicians to be the Pitha of the film. I consider the financiers who provide funds for the film to be the guru. I consider the producers as Deivam as they are the ones who bear all the pain and face the problems that are associated with making a film.
“Why I call this film as a classic is because, at a time when sexual crimes are on the rise, this film will help bring about a social change. If you want youngsters to know what true love is, you should ensure that youngsters watch this film. I sincerely believe that this film will make society that much more better and bring about a change. That was the thought which made me decide that somehow, I must make this story into a film.
“The cameraman of this film is bound to go great heights. Whatever Saravanan wanted to showcase, cinematographer Selva has shot and delivered it in style,” he said.
Eswaran, who treats the hero of the film, Madhampatty Rangaraj, more like a son, said, “I have known the father of the hero of this film Madhampatty Rangaraj. His father started a catering business in a small way and worked very hard to establish into a big enterprise. In the initial days, he would travel long distances on a bicycle to sell food. Today, they are the leaders in the catering business. He has managed to give comforts to his son here. For his part, Rangaraj has been a gold medal winner in college. Rangaraj’s firm was the caterer for my first daughter’s wedding. From that point on, I have been treating him like my son. At that point, he expressed an interest to enter films. I discouraged the thought strongly. In fact, there were several other people too who were apprehensive about the idea. There were people who even scolded me saying that I had dragged a highly successful professional in the catering business to cinema which was full of risk and difficulties. But despite all of this, Rangaraj was insistent that he wanted to work in films. As we have faith in astrology and as astrologers predicted that he would shine well, Rangaraj had his way and entered the film industry. However, my initial apprehensions disappeared when I saw this film and I am sure that he will go on to great heights now.”
Speaking on the occasion, the hero of the film, Madhampatty Rangaraj, who is making his debut in the Tamil film industry with Mehendi Circus, gave an assurance to Eshwaran appa (Producer Gnanavelraja’s father) that he would not give up his family business of catering for the sake of films.
He said, “I will never give up my family business which happens to be in the catering segment. I will accord equal importance to both my film career and my family’s catering business.”
Director Saravana Rajendran, who spoke last, said, “Many people here have been showering praises on me for being extremely patient and understanding. The patience I exhibited wasn’t planned. However, I am happy that my long wait of over 20 years for making a film has ended with Mehendi Circus.”
The director showered praises on both the hero Rangaraj and the heroine Shwetha Tripathi.
He also had a special word of appreciation for his cinematographer Selvakumar and music director Sean Rolden, saying, “The way we composed music was very relaxing. We would talk about everything under the sun and not talk about the song or music. In the evening, I would call and Sean would give me a tune. He would give us just one tune but that would be brilliant. I would then send it to Yugabharathi who would walk in a small passage way up and down. While walking he would empty half a packet of betal nuts and in an hour’s time, I would have the lyrics ready.”
The director also thanked all his cast and crew members, naming each and every one and highlighting their contributions.
Finally, talking about producer Gnanavelraja, he said, “After watching the film, he asked me to come to meet him. I went and he said that the film was great. That was when I felt resurrected.”