‘Content is king’
What’s Hot catches up with actor, director and screenplay writer Yuhi Sethu
He’s played memorable characters, which had a connect with the audiences, in films It’ like Ramana (Constable Saravanan), Panchathantiram (Vedham) and Anbe Sivam (Uthaman), but Yuhi Sethu has been keeping a low It profile for the last few years.As a script writer, he was associated with films of K S Ravikumar and Kamal Hassan. Now, after a long break from films, he is back with Aasal, starring Ajith, for whom he the earlier wrote in Villain. He’s also doing a comedy role as Don Samosa in the film.
Its nice to see that you are back in films; you’re also writing the screenplay of Aasal, after so many years.
It was a deliberate decision to keep away from Tamil films as writers are not given their due. In 50s and 60s you had powerful writers like Annadurai, Kalaignar Karunanidhi and Kothamangalam Subbu. But over a period of time, writer went on to become director, producer and an actor. The concept of the film writer was reduced and they were poorly paid. I strongly believe that content the king and for that, you have recognise writers.
How did you become a part of Aasal?
I was called in by Ajith to help out the writing of the script. We shared good vibes during our Villain days. Ajith respects writers and he also understands the importance of a script. Saran the director is a great improviser on the sets, and Ajith’s contribution was great.
What is the one-line story of Aasal?
It is an MGR-meets-Sivaji film, meaning action and sentiments have been woven together. The story is about an international negotiator and middleman, who is betrayed by his kith and kin. How he takes vengeance against those who betrayed him forms the rest of the story.
Does the film have all the regular items associated with a Tamil superstar action film?
Aasal is completely new in concept. There are no punchlines by the hero and no dialogues of other characters praising his skills. Ajith has hardly three pages of dialogues in the entire film; hence the tagline — power of silence. There are no scenes or close-ups trying to create a halo around the hero. All the characters have been given equal footage. There are seven villain characters, but each has a different characterisation.
Why did all the three of you share the credits for story, screenplay and dialogues?
It was I who suggested that Ajith should be given credit for his contribution to the script. Almost the entire talkie portion of the film was shot in France and Malaysia, while a few songs were shot on studio sets in India. Normally, it is the other way around. At every point, we discussed the story and presentation as Ajith wanted it to be logical, but at the same time entertaining. One day, around midnight, while we were discussing the film, both Saran and I suggested that Ajith do the father’s role (which is very crucial to the narration) as well. He readily agreed. Ajith was there throughout the mixing and editing; so, he deserves to get credit for it.
Your future plans…
I’m trying to promote independent cinema. In my next film, I will be playing a hero and directing it. The film’s in English and is titled I Love America; it’s a Mr Bean type of film and a tribute to my guru and role model Allen.
Source: Times of India (Dated: 5-2-2010)