Edited exceprts from a longer interview with Baradwaj Rangan:
Would you still call Super Deluxe a loose tribute to Samsaram Adhu Minsaram?
TK: What I meant was there’s going to be a lot of characters in the film and a lot of talking heads. Each character has its own problems and how they deal with it forms the basic outline. That’s what I meant.
Did you feel a similarity between the two?
Nalan: Not a connection. It is more in an external sense. Not a tribute in the manner in which you said.
You had once said that you had approached Anurag Kashyap to write your portion. But he didn’t because Bombay Velvet had failed. Did you approach someone else to write that part?
TK: Yes. I asked Dhanush. He was already writing a lot of lyrics and he even made a film. I felt it would be interesting to see what he does with it. But he didn’t do it. Then I asked SJ Suryah. He too couldn’t do it then. Not because of the subject but for other reasons. Then I had to write it myself.
One of the surprising elements in Aaranya Kaandam is the way you have used old songs in it. Do you note such embellishments in the screenplay stage itself? Or do you add them during post-production?
TK: It was not a part of the script. I had written that some random song will be playing in the background. We added those particular songs during post-production. But I had written in all the songs into the script of the third film I have not made yet.
Did you add any such musical cues when you wrote your parts?
Mysskin: Something interesting happened. I had no such ideas when I gave him my written portions. But when we were shooting, during the lighting time, I was just sitting around in a small hall and smoking. I then started humming a tune…a random tune. TK then came to me and asked me to sing it again. He then asked me to write lines for it. We then developed it and we even have used it in the film. It’s not there anywhere else. It’s only there in the movie.
Usually, in such a scene, the camera would be kept on my face for lip sync. But the beauty is that TK kept the camera away from me in a long shot. I even suggested I write the whole thing and we put it in as a whole song.
You said you’re the biggest critic of Aaranya Kaandam. You said you watched the film and you kept talking back to the film. Your logic was, if you yourself can’t mock the film, then the audience too will not be able to do it. Did you do that in Super Deluxe?
TK: We haven’t reached that stage yet because the work is still going on. Once the work is done, I think I can do that. It’s just fun to mock anything. I do it because of that.
Give us a few lines about your Super Deluxe experience.
Neelan: Actually, even being asked by TK to write this film is something I consider an honour. I believe I’ve done justice to what I was given and I feel he would have used it well. I also did a small scene. That too was a great experience. Now I feel like I’m waiting for the wedding to finally happen.
Nalan: As a film, it is a good space to be in. To be a part of such a film feels good.
Mysskin: I’ve done two jobs in this film. Actually, three including the composing. I think you can watch Super Deluxe to see the intensity with which a film can be made. It is one person’s dream after all. You will see that in this film.