Aaranya Kaandam Movie Description - Yuvan Shankar Raja


In August 2007, following the success of his film Chennai 600028 (2007), speculation over S. P. B. Charan's next production venture arose. While initial reports suggested that he would produce Achamundu Achamundu, starring Sneha and Prasanna, Charan opted to produce a film titled Aranya Kandam, to be directed by a newcomer Kumar Raja and starring newcomers. However, despite announcing the project, it was called off later that year and Charan started producing the film Kunguma Poovum Konjum Puravum in May 2008.

In late 2008, while Kunguma Poovum Konjum Puravum was in post-production stage, reports surfaced that Charan and Kumararaja were going to revive the project, with noted Bollywood actor Jackie Shroff being roped in for a leading role, making his debut in Tamil cinema. Director Thiagarajan Kumararaja was revealed to be a former Loyola College student, and popular advertisement filmmaker, who has also directed several short films, including the short film Becky, which was awarded the first prize at the one-minute film competition 60 Seconds to Fame. Kumararaja had previously written the dialogues for the 2007 comedy film Oram Po as well. He got the opportunity to work with Charan, when Pushkar-Gayathri, the director duo of Oram Po, had suggested him to approach Charan, who listened to the storyline and immediately agreed to produce the film, "in a matter of time" as Kumararaja cites. The film was formally launched on 18 December 2008 at the Kodandapani Studios in Chennai.


The script was written by Kumararaja himself, which he had finished in 2006. He cites that he wanted to make a "racy film" and wrote the climax part first, which would be the "raciest part of a film". He then wrote "multiple story lines with three climaxes" as he felt that one climax was "not enough for a feature film", which eventually turned out to be a "leisurely paced film, taking its own time to unfold" and not a racy film as intended. He cited that, while writing the script, he was sure that it was meant for a matured audience and not for children, "primarily because of the content". the film was an adult film for a mature audience and not for children, "primarily because of the content".Kumararaja went on to add that there were "no hero and no villain introduction scenes, there are no love scenes, no sentimental scenes" but nonetheless considered his film a masala film and not an experimental film. His inspiration behind the film was revealed to be The Godfather as well as the thought of "how someone becomes a gangster and continues to be one", clarifying that Aaranya Kaandam was not a biography or history of a gangster but "a page out of the life of a gangster".


When announcing the film, Kumararaja had already roped in Jackie Shroff, debuting in the Tamil film industry, Ravi Krishna, Sampath Raj of Saroja fame along with Guru Somasundaram from the Chennai based theatre group Koothu-P-Pattarai. Shroff was said to play the role of a "hoodlum", who was chosen after Kumararaja had apporached several other Tamil actors, who refused the offer, fearing of their "image".According to the director, the role required a senior person and Shroff had fit the role "completely". Speaking of his role, Shroff remarked that he had done things in the film that he hadn't dared to do in the past 30 years of his career, quoting "I am literally a monster in the film. Actually, I am more like a coconut — hard on the outside, but a veritable softie inside". Ravi Krishna plays a "lover boy", whose role, he claimed would be totally different from his earlier roles. Ravi Krishna was Kumararaja's first choice for the character as he had written it with keeping Ravi Krishna in mind. Sampath Raj enacts the role of a gangster named Pasupathy. Kumararaja finalized Guru Somasundaram for the character of Kaalayan, after he had seen him performing the titular character in Koothu-P-Pattarai's play Chandrahari. Kumararaja had stated that the voice modulation and pattern of the Kaalaiyan character was based on Somasundaram's performance in the play Chandrahari, which eventually resulted in casting him in the film. Somasundaram cited that the dialogues were also written "keeping the artist in mind".

Yasmin Ponnappa, a popular Bangalore based model, who had appeared in television advertisements and won many beauty pageants, was selected for the role of the lead female character. Her role was, however, written for Pooja Umashankar, keeping her in mind, who couldn't accept the offer as she had given her dates to Bala's magnum opus Naan Kadavul. The details about the crew members were also published, when the film was announced in early December. P. S. Vinod was chosen as the cinematographer, who had earlier shot films like Musafir and My Wife's Murder, while Videsh was announced as the art director, 'Super' Subbarayan as the stunt master and Kalyan and Ajay Raj as choreographers. Vasuki Bhaskar was appointed as the costume designer. However, during the making of the film 'Super' Subbarayan was replaced by his son Dilip Subbarayan.


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