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'The Life of Muthu' is Simbu's best performance ever: Gautam Vasudev Menon

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Director Gautam Vasudev Menon's film starring Simbu is titled 'The Life Of Muthu' ('Vendhu Thanindhathu Kaadu' in Tamil). The Tamil version hit the cinemas today (Sept 15), while the Telugu version is heading to theatres this Saturday (Sept 17). In this interview, the acclaimed director talks about the making of the film, what to expect from the musical gangster action drama, working with Simbu, and more. The filmmaker also talks about 'Ye Maya Chesave 2', 'Gharshana 2' and 'Raghuvaran 2', besides planning a film with Ram Pothineni.

I and Simbu have previously collaborated on romantic dramas. Compared to them, 'Life of Muthu' is completely different. This is a gangster drama.

Muthu hails from a small town and migrates to Mumbai due to circumstances. Did Muthu do it reluctantly or otherwise? Why is he in the dark world? What happens to him once he steps into the dark world? Those are some of the questions that our film explores. Love, romance and action are its ingredients. There comes a point when Muthu tries his best to extricate himself from the morass he is in.

At first, I thought of making a love story with Simbu. In fact, AR Rahman even composed a song. We were about to commence production in a month. That's when writer Jeyamohan pitched a story in 15 minutes. I got curious about what would come next in the story. He wrote 100 pages of script in the next 10 days. Reading it, I could visualize the scenes. That's when I put aside the love story and took the gangster story.

If Naga Chaitanya is up for it, I will surely make 'Ye Maya Chesave 2'. 'Gharshana 2', too, is in the hands of Venkatesh. 'Raghuvaran 2' is definitely going to be there. It will be with Kamal Haasan. It is too early to say when it is going to be started. Jeyamohan is writing the script.

Vikram's 'Dhruva Natchatiram' will probably hit the cinemas in December this year. There is some work left to be done. We want to wrap it up as soon as possible.

People are asking me about teaming up with Ram Pothineni. It will happen once I complete my current assignments. It might happen sometime in Summer next year. We discussed an idea for a straight Telugu film.

Sravanthi Ravikishore sir is the reason why I and Ram continue to be in touch for so many years. I feel good when I interact with Ravikishore sir. He is like a bridge between me and Ram. Our next film is going to be produced by him. I am happy that he is releasing 'Life of Muthu' in the Telugu States.

In the era of OTT, language barriers have been erased. The audience are watching movies in various languages. In 'Life of Muthu', the characters sometimes interact in Hindi. Even if the audience don't understand the meaning, they will get the gist.

We are going to come up with a sequel to 'Life of Muthu'. It is not a publicity gimmick. It doesn't mean that our film has got the scale of a 'Baahubali' or a 'Ponniyin Selvan'. Those are big-scale, grand movies. As for my film, the story demands a two-part narration.

Simbu rarely needs a second take. If he is needing a second take, it is mostly because of some technical reason. You are going to see Simbu's best-ever performance. Simbu is someone who can look like a 20-year-old or a gangster with ease. He is believable.

Simbu, Radhika Sarathkumar and Siddique are the only old names in our movie. The rest of them are newcomers. I picked artists from the theatre background. The character artists are seasoned.  

Updated on September 14, 2022