Following the romantic comedy Kaathuvaakula Rendu Kaadhal (2022), director-producer Vignesh Shivan’s next production venture is Ashwin Saravanan’s Connect. Slated to be released on Thursday, Connect is a 99-minute no-interval horror film starring Nayanthara, Sathyaraj and Anupam Kher. In a conversation with Krishna, Vignesh Shivan says that he felt an interval would break the momentum of the film.
While Vignesh Shivan agrees that an interval block is the main highpoint in Indian cinema, he opines that some films do not need that break. “For instance, I thought Aram (2017) might have been even better if it did not have an interval as it would have kept the tension intact. Similarly, when Ashwin narrated the script of Connect, I felt there was no necessity for an interval. The film continually builds to a crescendo. An interval would also make it difficult to get the audience back to the film’s atmosphere and scare them once again. An Annamalai (1992) which is a super commercial film demands an interval. The intermission will heighten the mood and create anticipation for the second half. But Connect runs at a brisk pace and the grip is maintained throughout,” says the producer.
However, the makers faced huge opposition from theatre owners and distributors who demanded an interval. So, reportedly, the makers have said that the theatre owners can decide on whether or not to have a break. If there is an intermission, the first half can be stopped at 59 minutes 49 seconds and the second half will run for the remaining 40 minutes.
Ashwin is known for his horror flicks Maya (2015) starring Nayanthara and Game Over (2019) starring Taapsee Pannu. An Ardent fan of these films, Vignesh Shivan looks at Ashwin as someone who has excelled in the horror genre. He says, “Many people have not been able to crack the genre. But he presents horror stories beautifully. When he narrated Connect, I was drawn to how the story flowed in a logical and coherent manner. And I felt it was a project that I would be proud to associate with.”
Vignesh Shivan and Nayanthara founded Rowdy Pictures together, and have bankrolled films including Pebbles (2021), Rocky (2021, distributed) and Netrikann (2021), apart from Kaathuvaakula Rendu Kaadhal and Connect. Vignesh Shivan says that producing films is a way of investing back in cinema, a medium that helped them earn money in the first place. “Nayanthara and I want to produce good films because cinema is everything to us. Once, we were contemplating buying a plot of land near ECR and that’s when we got the opportunity to distribute Rocky. I asked Nayan what mattered more and we chose to buy the film,” reminisces Vignesh Shivan, adding that their aim is to own and champion great films.