Vineeth Sreenivasan's Thanneermathan Dinangal has taken the movie halls of Kerala by storm. Teen-age romance is indeed an evergreen topic in film industry. A number of movies portraying plus-two life has been made in Mollywood recently, including Omar Lulu's 'Oru Adaar Love.' And the latest Thanneermathan Dinangal stands apart for the simplicity of itsstory-line, candid performance delivered by the artists and a very pleasing script that revolves around the fantasies, fascinations and romance of plus-two students. Two songs that were released online before the movie hit the screens and went viral within minutes. Malayalam movie-lovers took the movie to their hearts as it has Kumbalangi Nights fame Mathew Thomas and Udaharanam Sujatha fame Anashwara Rajan in lead roles.
After Thannermathan Dinangal became a huge success in the box office, Onmanorama caught up with Gireesh AD, the director of the movie. The debutante filmmaker revealed the secret of Thannermathan's success in candid chat.
How did you conceive the idea of Thanneermathan Dinangal?
It was my long term ambition to direct a movie. Thanneermathan Dinangal is my maiden directorial. I have also co-authored its script with Dinoy Poulose. The story of Thanneermathan Dinangal did not occur to me co-incidentally. We sought a topic that would interest all generations. It was after several rounds of discussions that we settled for teenage romance. Next we made a story-line and decided characters. The characters played by Mathew Thomas, Anashwara Rajan and Vineeth Sreenivasan were fixed first. Casting was done in a very later stage. We took time to plan and execute the project.
Did you deliberately avoid any element from the script?
I was very particular that I wouldn't allow vulgarity in my movie. Teenage movies usually revolve around dialogues that has hidden connotative meanings. Some movies have shown it in the right spirit while some others have just sensationalized it. We had decided in the very first phase of Thanneermathan's discussions that we wouldn't make the children deliver dialogues with hidden meanings or perform vulgar sequences.
How did you select the actors for your movie?
It was Anashwara who was cast first in Thanneermathan Dinangal. Initially, I and Dinoy planned to shoot the movie with fresh faces. 'Udaharanam Sujatha' was released at that point of time. Anashwara's performance in that movie as a tenth standard student was quite convincing. She looked and behaved exactly like how we wanted our heroine to do. I fixed her as Keerthi in my mind.
Mathew was cast as Jaison at last. I wanted somebody who matched the physical specifications we had mentioned in the script. For me, appearance matters a lot when I cast somebody in my movie. If an actor has a physic different than how I imagined the character to be, I cannot cast him however talented he is. We selected Mathew only after we watched Kumbalangi Nights. All other junior artists were selected through auditions.
Did Thanneermathan Dinangal meet your expectations as a writer?
Cinema keeps evolving through each phase of its development. We set the visuals and characters in imaginary locations while writing the script. A movie takes a new turn when the makers fix locations and actors. It is indeed a positive change. A movie is not what the writers imagine in the beginning. A movie is the end product of all the efforts made till its release. My movie has evolved out to be a wholesome product from the scratch I had in my mind in the beginning.
Your message to the audience who made the movie a big success
I have a message to the youngsters who watch this movie. I am sure that any youngster of this age can relate with the instances shown in this movie. You will feel that your life is getting reflected on the screen. I have narrated the movie in such a way that all of you can identify with the characters and story-line. It is a light-hearted comedy romantic entertainer. Please do watch the movie with family in theaters.