Director Gopi Nainar is making his debut with the much awaited Aramm this week. But however, he first stepped into the spotlight during the controversy around Vijay’s Kaththi. “Aramm’s script or story has nothing to do with that,” clarifies Gopi Nainar as we begin talking about the Nayanthara starrer. “I had approached several producers and companies after writing the script. Many of them felt it won’t be commercially viable,” divulges Gopi. It was during such meets that he met Rajesh, who is the producer of Aramm. “He was the one who made me meet Nayanthara,” says Gopi. “After listening to the story, she supported the script and she would act in it. This film is an opportunity given by Nayanthara.”
However, the movie wasn’t initially conceptualised with a female lead. “For me, the role was that of a collector. I hadn’t assigned a gender to it,” says Gopi.
Positioned as a movie that carries an important social message, Aramm talks about water scarcity. However, it is ironic that the film is being released at a time when Chennai is looking up at the skies with feared reverence. Gopi believes the timing will not affect the movie’s reach. “Floods or droughts are problems that arise from mismanagement of water. We have occupied land that used to be water bodies. That led to the floods. These are incidents related to water and also problems that come when land is grabbed,” he reasons.
“The story tries to tell that the government is not doing much to help when normal people get affected. This would be the case whether it is a flood or a drought,” he adds.
Aramm is making no qualms about its social and political relevance, but Gopi says that the movie is not anti-government. “The people are the government. Every single person who satisfies their needs belongs to the people’s government. The people who refuse to meet the demands of the masses are against the people and by extension are against the government as well. The logic doesn’t change if they are in power,” states Gopi.
At a time when films are facing pressure from political parties after it had been censored and released, will Aramm’s content face repercussions? “I am not saying there won’t be any but there shouldn’t be,” says Gopi. “Technically, Censor is in itself against absolute freedom of expression. When films that have been censored are criticised, it is against the CBFC and not the film. Such criticism questions the existence and functioning of the board.”
Talking about his leading lady Nayanthara, the director is profuse in his appreciation for her work. “This is a story that happens in one day. Nayanthara is an IAS officer who works to protect a family from danger due to an incident. Thus, the film is one-dimensional, as in it is purely focused on the issue at hand. Her role will shine through the length of the movie,” he says.