The upcoming Prime Video series Modern Love Chennai brings together an eclectic mix of filmmakers. From debutant Akshay Sundher to industry veteran Bharathiraja and the notoriously elusive Thiagarajan Kumararaja, to name some, it is, indeed a diverse mix sharing no recognisable similarities.
According to Thiagarajan Kumararaja, who also serves as the creative producer on the show, this was exactly the intention behind bringing the talent together. "The idea was to create a bouquet so it doesn't have the same shade," the Super Deluxe filmmaker said. Speaking about the filmmakers he wished to have on board but couldn't, he reveals, "The moment I knew we were making a series on love, I wanted to get two names on board but was able to get only one: Bharathiraja. The other was Kathir here because it's a name that instantly pops up when you think of this subject. And then, I wanted Gautham Menon to do one film but it didn't work out due to reasons like availability. Even Alphonse Puthiren was supposed to direct a segment but it didn't happen."
Thiagarajan, who reveals that he wouldn't have explored the 'love' genre if not for the show, adds that the specificity of the genre and the project, being an adaptation of stories from The New York Times' acclaimed column, was a challenge to work around. Was the idea to expand horizons and explore something beyond love under consideration? "It's a challenge to do something else in the name of love but we did try something although I wouldn't say all the films have done it. I didn't want to misrepresent the genre. I wanted to have aspects that are associated with the genre and a few elements that you may not expect from it," he shares.
As someone who is not particularly fond of the genre, did he enjoy exploring love during the creative process of putting it together? "No," he laughs, adding, "I think it's just work. You just go there and do what's supposed to be done." Honestly describing an ideal day of work during the writing phase as "very bad," he goes on to add, "We [the team] don't do anything mostly. We just go to the office, sit there, chat for a bit, browse phones, and that's about it. Nothing much."
But he does have a favourite segment in the series. Thiagarajan says, "I really like Bharathiraja's Paravai Kootil Vaazhum Maangal. I liked the story right from the writing stage and when the film was finished, I loved it completely."