EXCLUSIVE: More than the actors, I give importance to the story, says ‘Garudan’ director RS Durai Senthilkumar

Durai will next team up with actor Legend Saravanan and is excited about the project. He says he doesn't think any less of the opportunity.

ByHaricharan Pudipeddi

Published Jun 05, 2024 | 9:30 AM Updated Jun 05, 2024 | 11:49 AM

Director RS Durai Senthilkumar is basking in the success of Garudan

Filmmaker RS Durai Senthilkumar can finally breathe a sigh of relief as his latest film, Garudan, has set the cash registers on fire.

A rural revenge drama, Garudan has taken the fourth-best opening for a Tamil film this year.

As per trade pundits, the movie is expected to gross over ₹20 crore in the opening weekend in Tamil Nadu.

With no major Tamil releases set to hit the screens in June, Garudan is sure to have a long run, especially in B and C centres.

In this chat with South First, Durai Senthilkumar opens up on the journey of Garudan and the experience of working with Soori, apart from his long-standing association with Vetrimaaran and Sivakarthikeyan.

On Garudan journey

Garudan is a rural revenge drama

‘Garudan’ is a rural revenge drama. (X)

The film started as an idea from Soori, begins Durai Senthilkumar.

“My producer had Soori’s dates and called to ask if I’d like to come on board. When I gave my nod and met Soori, he came up with the initial idea of Garudan. During our conversation, he told me about a person he encountered in his life, as well as the world around him. That’s how Sokkan was born.”

In the film, Soori plays Sokkan, a highly loyal and trustworthy aide to Unni Mukundan’s character, Karuna.

Karuna responds so well to Sokkan’s loyalty that he won’t even look at anyone. “This trait became the main attribute of Sokkan when Soori talked to me about it. Using this character as inspiration, I created the world of Garudan with all the other characters,” Durai Senthilkumar smiles.

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Soori as Sokkan

Soori in 'Garudan'. (Supplied)

Soori shines as Sokkan in ‘Garudan’. (Supplied)

Durai Senthilkumar is all praise for Soori for his performance as Sokkan in Garudan.

Applause from audiences has flooded the actor’s way since the film’s release. Soori had no trouble getting under the character’s skin, Durai says about the experience of working with him.

Because Sokkan was someone Soori saw in his life from a close quarter, he was able to internalise him easily and we were able to extract his desired performance without any difficulty.”

Durai recalls that they wanted Soori’s performance to be realistic.

“It was a simple idea. As I discussed it with Soori, I told him that it would be best to keep things real. Since Sokkan had no interaction with city life, Soori was able to make it believable. If Soori were Sokkan, what would he do in such a situation?”

The filmmaker was equally appreciative of Soori’s involvement in the action sequences.

“It was important for the action to be realistic and intense, like an extension of each character. Soori had quite a few sequences and worked hard for them. He got injured a few times while shooting those.”

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Durai’s association with Vetrimaaran

Durai Senthilkumar’s association with Vetrimaaran goes back a long way. They both assisted veteran filmmaker, Balu Mahendra.

Not long ago, reports emerged that the story of Garudan was penned by Vetrimaaran.

Durai clarifies the rumour: “Vetri sir didn’t write the story. As I had said, the idea came from Soori and I developed it with my team. But I wanted to include Vetri sir’s name as I believed he brought me luck but he was against the idea.”

Further elaborating on their association, the director says he and Vetri discuss a lot about films and each other’s work.

Durai worked as co-writer and second unit director on Vetrimaaran’s Viduthalai Part 1 (2023).

“When Vetri sir was making Viduthalai, he asked me if I’d like to help him with the project. Back then, I was supposed to do a film under his banner and it was getting delayed. I was free, so I decided to join him on Viduthalai. I saw it as an opportunity to be part of cinema. For me, it’s important to be working. It doesn’t matter if it’s mine or someone else’s.”

Future collab with Sivakarthikeyan

Durai Senthilkumar with Sivakarthikeyan and Dhanush

Durai Senthilkumar with Sivakarthikeyan and Dhanush. (X)

In his career thus far, Durai worked on two films each with Sivakarthikeyan and Dhanush. He made his directorial debut with Sivakarthikeyan’s Ethir Neechal (2013), produced by Dhanush.

On his possible future collaboration with Sivakarthikeyan, the filmmaker says, “Siva and I are good friends. We do keep discussing ideas now and then but nothing quite has excited us to be collaborating immediately. Also, he’s busy with his projects and I have my commitments, too. We’d love to work again but things have to fall in place. We can’t force the process.”

After delivering a hit with Garudan, Durai Senthilkumar will next team up with actor Legend Saravanan. He’s excited about the project and says he doesn’t think any less of the opportunity.

“More than the actors I get to work with, I give importance to the story. It’s the story that’ll draw audiences,” he signs off.

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