INT: Many big films & series keep story simple, we keep fairly complicated: Suzhal creators Pushkar-Gayathri

In an exclusive chat with Pinkvilla, creators Pushkar and Gayathri open up about the first long-form Tamil original, set up in a small town and much more.

Updated on Jun 24, 2022 03:59 PM IST  |  91.5K
Suzhal creators Pushkar-Gayathri
INT: Many big films & series keep story simple, we keep fairly complicated: Suzhal creators Pushkar-Gayathri
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The first long-form scripted original series of 2022 in Tamil, Suzhal – The Vortex has come out as an exciting surprise for the audience. In terms of execution, narrative, and casting, Suzhal looks spectacle. Headlined by Aishwarya Rajesh, Kathir, and Sriya Reddy, and directed by Bramma and Anucharan, the much-talked-about series is written by Vikram Vedha makers Pushkar and Gayathri. 

In an exclusive chat with Pinkvilla, creators Pushkar and Gayathri open up about the first long-form Tamil original, set up in a small town, and much more. 

Excerpts from the interview: 

Suzhal is an eight-episode series that hopes to open the floodgates for Tamil content to become global. 

G: While writing the script we did not look at any aspects but since we come from a feature background, we were trying for a long format content. We didn't think of anything sort of like release timing, OTT release. 

P: The basic idea was that we wanted it to be an Indian show, in the sense as we will not try to make the series that is already made in the US, Korea, or any of those places. We wanted to maintain the Indian story-telling in terms of how we portray emotions and how relationships and faith work. 

G: Music and visually-wise also, we wanted as Indian and big. 

Can you share the process of writing since, with Suzhal, it took almost 3 years? You guys also made a huge decision to move out of Chennai and shoot at different locations. 

P: All our previous projects are pretty much based in Chennai, which we call Madras. We had not travelled out of Madras for the shoot at all so when we were writing it in 2014-15, we were looking at setting it in one of the industrial suburbs outside the city but that decision changed because we wanted a close community, a community where people know each other. And in the metro, people keep moving in and out all the time so we wanted the community which had been together for some time, have shared cultural history also. So we decided to move to a small town for the shoot. 

I want to highlight 2 things from the series- 1 is the cast and crew, 2nd is the Mayana Kollai festival which many are not aware of. What was the idea behind it?

G: Mayana Kollai is actually a micro-festival and even people in TN are not so familiar with it. It is celebrated in small pockets. We had the story and then we were looking for something which will add X-factor and we got this idea. We were talking to the driver about it and the myth about the festival, which gave us a eureka moment. 

As directors and storytellers, how do you take it when what you conceive does not make it to the screen or say in the final cut?

P: In the process of writing, there will be a bunch of ideas that will be written out fully and then edited. Even in Suzhal, there were a couple of tracks that were edited out at the writing space itself but from the script to screen, there is hardly anything that is removed. Somewhere I think, we all work towards what is required for the story and the story takes a life of its own. It starts demanding stuff, and then, you have to flow with the story. You have a bit of control but beyond a point, it is the story that controls the writer. 

Was it tough to not direct Suzhal?

G: That was one of the toughest we have made in our life. We are pretty attached to the project but we also had some other commitments also. We thought of taking it after that but Amazon came to us saying the script is solid, you guys should get directors from outside. We got Bramma and Anucharan onboard and have liked their work, we are very happy. 

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As storytellers, what is your formula for maintaining a fine balance between style and commercial elements? 

P: We do believe in storytelling that is inclusive and the same is with Suzhal also. It is pretty easy to go somewhere niche where people have seen 100 series, and are very up to date with what's happening around the world. Here what we are doing is connecting with a larger audience. 

G: A lot of big films and series keep the story very simple but we come with a fairly complicated story. So our idea is to make it as accessible as possible. In terms of pitching, and pacing, we wanted to keep it in a way that reached a lot of audiences. 

P: I guess cinema, story-telling itself, you can go both ways. There are certain films and series that are meant for a small niche audience but we are not pitching them like that. 

Also Read|  Exclusive: With Hrithik Roshan, Saif Ali Khan, Vikram Vedha to be a brand new film: Directors Pushkar-Gayathri 

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Credits: Pinkvilla

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