The Gundumalli video song that was released a little before the New Year is still the talk of the town. The video produced by Ramprasad of MKRP Productions and released by Saregama Tamil has clocked almost 4.4 million views so far. As we were invited to take a look at the proceedings of the day, we zip past through the lanes of Triplicane and reach the Broadland’s House where some of the landmark Tamil films were shot — mostly that of Mani Ratnam’s like Nayagan (Naan Sirithal Deepavali song), Chekka Chivantha Vaanam (Puducherry lodge fight scene) and Vaanam Kottatum (Sarathkumar-Vikram Prabhu’s house). The dance number is choreographed by Gayathri Raghuram.
Director of Gundumalli, Aadhav Kannadasan despite being busy with the art director Dinesh, receives us and says, “We were discussing the paint colours and lightings. Initially we chose Cuddalore as the location to shoot the song. There is an array of colourful apartments and alleys in the beachtown and we thought it would be apt to shoot the song there. The song is about two people getting engaged and we wanted to create a tone that is similar to Mariyaan’s Innum Konja Neram Irundhaal song. But due to time constraints and restrictions, we zeroed in on Broadland’s House.”
A dais was set in which Shanthnu and Mahima were made to sit for the engagement sequence as the music composed by Jerard Felix is being played. When we think of Shanthnu in a music video, the first thing that comes to our mind is an electrifying dance step. However, we see Shanthnu and Mahima indulging in slow moves.
Taken by surprise, we ask Shanthnu, if he was looking forward to slow dancing when he signed the project, he smiles. “Which is one of the reasons I signed Gundumalli. The first thing Aadhav told me was neenga aadakoodadhu (You don’t have to dance). I went by Aadhav as to how he has visualised it. I prefer to go by my directors’ vision. In this he wanted to highlight the chemistry between me and Mahima. I took it in the right stead and we have emerged successful from it,” says the actor. Talking about garnering a record 5 million views so far. “There were people who were sceptical about how the song would be received, when we played it to them initially. After the release of it, they started loving it. Saregama too has promoted it well so that it reaches the mass as a commercial film would do,” he adds.
Meanwhile, Mahima Nambiar joins us and her weight loss transformation is the first thing that we notice. “I have lost around eight kilos during the lockdown. In fact, I did it at home and not at the gym. I made a diet chart and some workout,” she opens up. We also spoke about the chemistry she shares with Shanthnu once they are in front of the camera. “I landed this song because of Aadhav. We have known each other for the last seven years. A few months ago, he told me about the idea of making a video song with a group of friends. I heard the song and I liked it. It was also contrasting to how I looked in Magamuni. I sported a mature look in that film while this is totally different. At that time, I didn’t know that Shanthnu would be my co-star. Our camaraderie is shaping up well for Gundumalli,” she says.
Mahima looks around the sets as we ask her if she would love to have such a colourful engagement as well in the future. She laughs and says, “Why not? I love the vibe around the colours and I would love my engagement to be this way.”
Aadhav joins us after fixing the next shot as Shanthnu says, “Aadhav knows what he wants and he is going to carve a niche for himself as a director. Aadhav smiles and thanks Shanthnu and makes it clear that they are not here to make a song for the sake of it. “We are all on the same page. After the surge of OTT, songs have failed to find a place in the middle of a narrative. So, music videos are the next big thing,” he says.
Aadhav explaining the shot to Ramprasad Photos: Manivasagan N
Gayathri Raghuram with Aadhav