Director Adhik Ravichandran is a happy man these days after the spectacular response to his latest film, Mark Antony, starring Vishal and S J Suryah in the lead roles. The time travel sci-fi entertainer features several big highlights, including bringing late iconic actress Silk Smitha back to life on the big screen. With Mark Antony witnessing a strong turnout in theatres even during the weekdays, Adhik recently sat down for an interview with National Award-winning film critic Baradwaj Rangan, the Editor-in-Chief of Galatta Plus, and explained why he didn't include a song for Silk Smitha, while also opening up on setting the stage for her scene in a bus with Vishal and S J Suryah's characters.
Adhik explained, "Everyone asked during the story discussion about a song being placed in that situation since it's the scene is set in a club. But, I explained that the nature of the scene is that Silk Smitha is meeting a don for help because of a problem in the industry. She cannot trust anyone in cinema and asks them for help because she believes there are people who will kill her and label it as suicide. So, the dialogue that he says at that point is the main factor in that whole conversation. 'I haven't come here for you or advocate Selvam. I've come here for the Vijayalakshmi who has come out on top despite the patriarchy in the cinema industry', this dialogue he says is the key. So, we were going to talk about Vijayalakshmi and not Silk Smitha. If we were going to highlight Silk Smitha, we could have managed with a song, but that was never my intention."
Talking about the Silk Smitha scene further and how hard the entire CG process was, Adhik said, "When the 'Oo Antava' song became a huge hit, I was told that we could include something similar, but I said no because I was trying to change the way I was making films. I felt their conversation in that scene would be enough because when we're bringing an iconic star like Silk Smitha, it should be very little. When the screen space for that character is minimal, we will be able to escape. If we give a bigger placement, we'll get caught. I didn't want to show her for more than two minutes because it was extremely tough to replicate Silk Smitha's structure and face. We found a lookalike to portray the character, but we wouldn't be able to manage with her alone. If the makeup isn't going to be right for her, that scene would not work out. We approached many people for those computer graphics (CG) within the budget in our hands. When they all said they couldn't work on it, Prasad Studios in Chennai came forward and said that they'd give it a try and the producer gave a budget for it. The credit goes to the producer for pushing it and Prasad for the CG because that portion cost a lot. They told me beforehand that the scene would work out, but were doubtful whether it would match my expectations. But, we kept pushing on the minute details because the people were dismissing it during the output saying the character on the screen wasn't resembling Silk Smitha. I assured them and we slowly molded the character bit by bit."
Watch Adhik Ravichandran in conversation with Baradwaj Rangan in the video below: