Vikram is coming out with one of the most anticipated Tamil films of recent times with Pa Ranjith’s Thangalaan (2024), which will see him play the leader of a common man’s resistance army against the British Raj. This period film had its teaser launch recently in Chennai when the cast and crew assembled to share experiences of the shoot.
The film also stars Parvathy Thiruvothu, Pasupathy, Malavika Mohanan and Daniel Caltagirone among the ensemble cast. The recently released teaser shows the scale and visual grandeur of the film and the few minutes offer a sneak peek into the war sequences and mood of the film that traces a resurgence movement. Vikram recalled the shooting days and the filmmaking approach they used in the film at the launch event. ”This is the first time I am working on live sync sound. I am used to the dubbing process. If you see in Anniyan also I used to improvise and bring tweaks into scenes through dubbing. But here there was no scope for any of that. What you do while shooting is what you get in the film.”
With regard to the filmmaking strategies used by the team, Vikram went on to explain, “ The film was shot mostly in single takes with all the actors, so we had to be on our toes at all times. As actors, all of us had to be present mentally and physically at all times. There were no chairs on set and the heat was overwhelming. It was such a physically demanding set. The sweat, blood and dirt you see on screen is going to be real. All the actors and technicians had to work relentlessly, scene after scene because that's the only way we could tell this story truthfully."
The actor also went on to share his experiences shooting for the film set in the wilderness of the famous Kolar Gold Fields. Vikram recalled, “ This was a very somber filming experience for me. We shot mainly in the wilderness since we didn't want to shoot on created sets. So, Ranjith would ask for a snake or scorpions on set and someone would fetch it to assemble them on the spot. We were roaming around on sets without any sandals or shoes so it was a very frightening experience to think of the creatures around us at all times. There was this constant effort to capture the lives of these people who endured such hardships back in the day. So we had to shoot in these kinds of locations to capture the nuances of their rough, painful daily life.” The actor added that he wishes the film becomes an eye-opener for audiences like Kantara managed to.
Vikram also did not shy away from heaping praises on Pa Ranjith and his admiration for the director’s work. “ He is such a great director. I personally love all his films. We all know what he did with Sarpatta Parambarai (2021) but in my opinion in terms of pure filmmaking alone, Thangalaan will be a step ahead. I am not comparing these films but he has taken it to the next level with this film. I am talking about his individual style and identity as a filmmaker. What I love the most about Ranjith is that he never confirmed himself to a specific style and decided to stay within that zone. He is always willing to try new things. It was such a great experience working with you Ranjith. I had such a beautiful sync with him on set and that helped me to explore a new facet of my performance.”
Thangalaan is set to hit the screens on 26 January next year.