Time now for Ajith fans, audience to get back to us with #ValimaiUpdate: H Vinoth

Vinoth clarifies that Valimai has everything that the audience would look for in a good film. We started off the film’s shoot before the pandemic and faced a lot of hurdles on the way. Then we planned to release it for Deepavali, then came Pongal. Now we are here to compensate for the delays in festival dates.
Time now for Ajith fans, audience to get back to us with #ValimaiUpdate: H Vinoth
H Vinoth, Ajith in a still from Valimai

Chennai

In this freewheeling chat with DT Next, the director talks about the journey of the much-anticipated Valimai that releases this Thursday, and the challenges the crew met while shooting for the project. He also gets candid about his impostor on social media, and tells us how the team reacted to Valimai Update trends when they were shooting for it round the clock
While there is a lot of talk going on outside about Ajith aka AK’s Valimai, the captain of the ship is composed. Right from the day the film went on floors to almost presenting it to the audience in a few hours, there are still rumour mills doing the rounds surrounding the project. Such is the magnitude that Valimai has managed to create in all these months. On Tuesday morning, reports did the rounds that Ajith recently visited H Vinoth’s house. To which Vinoth replies, “Fake”. Another rumour is that Ajith has screened the film for his parents recently. Again Vinoth calmly says, “Fake”. “He watched the film and said that he is proud of being a part of the project. It was Boney sir who watched the film with his family,” he clarifies. As we address Ajith as AK to Vinoth, he laughs, “Most of you have gotten used to calling him AK or Ajith. I still haven’t. Out of my admiration for him there are times when I end up calling him Thala.”
Vinoth clarifies that Valimai has everything that the audience would look for in a good film. “We started off the film’s shoot before the pandemic and faced a lot of hurdles on the way. Then we planned to release it for Deepavali, then came Pongal. Now we are here to compensate for the delays in festival dates. In all these months, the audience’s way of watching a movie has drastically changed. However, Valimai will still be relevant and would meet or exceed their expectations. The movie may or may not be liked by everyone but for me it is a memory of a lifetime. I will cherish this experience of working with Ajith sir forever,” he says.
Valimai is Vinoth’s second collaboration with Ajith after Nerkonda Paarvai. “Nerkonda Paarvai, according to me is a teaser to Valimai. That is the movie in which I learnt how to handle an actor or work with a star. It gave me a sneak-peek to how a director should be responsible in handling a stardom of Ajith sir’s stature, and what his fans would expect of him on the big screen. So, thanks to Nerkonda Paarvai,” the director opens up.
Vinoth, who is known for his unconventional writing style with films such as Sathurangavettai and Theeran Adhigaram Ondru says that Valimai will not fall anywhere in between being a Vinoth’s film or an Ajith’s film. “Valimai is clearly an AK film. When a star is on board it surely is a star’s film. There will be moments where AK fans will jump out of their seats. Also, the movie revolves around mother sentiment. We have packed it neatly,” he says.
Valimai was shot across various schedules in Hyderabad and Russia. Vinoth says it was a huge challenge to complete the film and the team has done their best to maintain the continuity. “Ajith sir commits himself to a film only after he is 100 per cent sure about it and goes on to give his 200 per cent. When Covid struck, he said Naan vandhu nippen. Enniku eppo enna kooptalum (I will be there whenever you need me or whatever it takes to complete this film). People transformed for good or for bad during the first lockdown. We worked closely with the VFX team and ensured that the continuity doesn’t go for a toss. We somehow wanted to bring the film to the audience in the best quality that we could. Also, the entire star cast was supportive. Sumithra ma’am came to the sets despite being a senior citizen. Karthikeya, Huma, Acyuth Kumar, Pearle Manney, Bani, GM Sundar, Chaitra Reddy, Pavel Navageethan and Raj Iyappa enjoyed being on the sets. I didn’t have to handle them,” explains Vinoth.
Apart from Covid, it was the hashtag of Valimai update and H Vinoth’s fake social media handle that were the talk of the town. Vinoth laughs and says, “There are certain things that will reach your ears no matter how much you try to avoid them. My friends or my assistants kept sharing memes and posts on Valimai updates, and what my impostor was up to on social media. I can’t do much about the fake ID but we have given all updates related to Valimai. It is now the audience’s and AK sir’s fans to get back with updates after watching Valimai. The team is waiting to hear from them.”
Vinoth also shares with us about Ajith's reaction to the entire euphoria that is going around Valimai's release. The director says, "All Ajith sir had to tell us was 'This too shall pass', I have seen people saying this in times of adversity. But Ajith sir manages to use this when people are celebrating him. This is something for which we look up to him."
The trio of Ajith, Vinoth and Boney Kapoor are all set for their third consecutive project, AK 61 that will go on floors in March. “Some films will have a hero and a villain. That is not the case with AK 61. Ajith sir is the hero of the film as well as the villain. We are excited about it,” he smiles. The look of AK 61 went viral a few days ago. “It’s AK himself who designed his look. When he heard the narration he rightly believed that this look would suit his character,” he says.

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