In a conversation with Baradwaj Rangan, director V Vignarajan of the Netflix original Andhaghaaram speaks about his favourite scenes and how he shot them. Excerpts.
Selvam, Pooja and the exam hall
The first scene I love is the one with Selvam [Vinoth Kishan] and Pooja [Pooja Ramachandran] where they come out of the exam hall. Pooja suggests that they cheat, but Selvam says that’s not needed. We were losing light and we had just about 10 more minutes. I had planned a lot of things for that scene and we couldn’t shoot the next day. I went ahead anyway and got the two of them to perform. I knew there was magic in that place. Selvam asks Pooja if there’s anything she’d like to ask her father [who’s dead]. It’s related to my life actually, and personal. So, I have a special connection with it.
Vinod’s cricket montages
The next one is with Vinod’s [Arjun Das] cricketing montages, where he’s coaching the kids. Even there, we had just one hour. Arjun Das had already spoken to a coach and caught the mood and other little things a bit. But he dove into his character so much that when he went and stood there, he became Vinod.
The third one is where Pooja tells Vinod that Pradeep [Vijithan] has passed away. Arjun really cried in that scene. I didn’t expect it. After the take, I came to know that glycerine wasn’t used. But, even in the next take, he did the same thing. It was really shocking. We had spoken about how his character’s friendship with Pradeep would be like. However, to see that spark come alive on camera was surprising. Everybody on set clapped after that take.
Twilight shot at Egmore
There’s a scene in which Selvam waits in Egmore while a few people take him in a car, and he’s required to drive away a ghost. I like that set-up very much because it’s a twilight shot. It’s got those neon lights. I wanted to shoot there [referring to Egmore] always. When I finished writing the film, I was sure I’d take Selvam there.
The conversation between doctors
This is the scene which everybody loved. Dr Indran [Kumar Natarajan] and the other doctor [Dr Harish, played by Arul Vincent] have a conversation, wherein the former calls himself the circus master. That scene is there in the trailer, as well. If a big star had said that, it’d have been received differently. But the doctor is the big hero in our film really. So, we were happy when it worked.