RJ Balaji is presenting his third directorial, Veetla Vishesham, which has been released in theatres today, June 17. A fun-filled family entertainer, the film has been produced by Boney Kapoor's Bayview Projects LLP banner in association with Zee Studios and is an official remake of the smash hit 2018 Bollywood film, Badhaai Ho. The radio jockey turned actor/filmmaker, who earlier made the political satire LKG (2019) and the devotional fantasy film Mookuthi Amman (2020), has teamed up once again with NJ Saravanan in co-directing Veetla Vishesham, which has been promoted extensively and is currently the talk of the town. In that light, RJ Balaji sat down for an exclusive interview with National Award-winning film critic Baradwaj Rangan, the Editor-in-Chief of Galatta Plus, to talk about his experiences as a filmmaker and the career shift from his days in radio.
RJ Balaji said, "You have to plan your own future, your own career. You need to know what will work and what won't and the difference between what is right and wrong. This is where it all started. I realized I have to do this for myself because nobody else will. But, once I started doing this, I realized there are more people involved than me. There's a trust factor I see in these two films (LKG and Mookuthi Amman). If you see director Lokesh Kanagaraj, he is a close friend of mine, he's shown me his films and I've shown him my works and we discuss. So, when it comes to that brand, do I need a star to do my film? The answer is certainly not. I'm my own star. The film I make is my KGF. So, at that point, there's that trust factor that comes into application." He added, "After these two films, wherever I go there's a view about my films that they will be good and jolly. And, I'm not saying this about the reviewers. I've seen people from all walks of life saying they loved Mookuthi Amman. Before releasing the Veetla Vishesham trailer, when I started promoting the film, there was a belief that I won't mislead anyone. Initially, I did LKG with the hope of bringing returns for my producer, and that eventually moved to the point where I wanted people to watch my films with their families. It became my top priority that they don't leave home disappointed. So, the learning has been that I don't have to play to my strengths, but I just want to keep people happy and entertained with my films. Furthermore, I'm happier doing one film at a time than multiple projects. I'm able to concentrate on making the film and taking it to different places. This is now my 30th interview for this film. I'm not complaining. I love and enjoy doing this. So, when I do one film, I'm able to entertain and give the audience what they want. Earlier on, I used to play a little safe using my strengths, but now I'm focused on doing what will make others happy and that has been my biggest learning."
Watch RJ Balaji talk about his experiences after becoming a filmmaker in the video below:
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