August 29, 2011 Y. Sunitha Chowdhary
Vijay had the script and didn't know how to go about it till he found the producers. They saw his previous two films, trusted him and believed that he can take it to the next level and thus began his spade work that lasted eight months. He elaborates, "I read more than 100 books, visited the library and met writers like Muthaiah and Narasaiah who knew a lot about Chennai during Independence. The whole idea was to take the viewers to 1940s and show them how Chennai looked then. There were only two buildings at Madras Central. The love story is set against this historical backdrop. Every day we would work with 400 to 700 junior artises."
While recreating the era with precision was an onorus task, the thought of a British girl falling for an Indian boy was baffling. The director got all his actors from London, each of them were professional actors but Amy was a novice, she had no experience. Vijay quips, "I auditioned 180 girls in London and eventually saw her on the net, told Arya I found my heroine. Her face was round and she exuded 'lakshanam'. She was 17 then, brilliant and incredible; none could match her work. Gautham Menon calls me and says she is my best find. You don't have to teach her to act."
All of Vijay's films have human values and there is some unique quality about them. Here the CG was big. The director signs off, "I don't know how many films I will direct but I want to explore different genres. I put in 100 percent for my work but never see the film after it releases. I haven't seen Nanna too. My first film 75 days, 2nd film 100 days, Madrasapattinam 100 days and Nanna has crossed 50 days."