'Bollywood Baadshah' Shah Rukh Khan's latest box office money-spinner Jawan has grossed more than 700 crores at the box office and marks the big debut of several leading Tamil names in Hindi cinema, including director Atlee, 'Lady Superstar' Nayanthara, composer Anirudh Ravichander, cinematographer GK Vishnu, and editor Ruben. Acclaimed art director T. Muthuraj, who is also a part of Jawan, recently sat down for an exclusive interview with Galatta, while also addressing the claims of a scene in the mass action entertainer being copied from Academy Award winner Mel Gibson's epic historical action-adventure Apocalypto (2006).
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Muthuraj explained how there was plenty of research done prior to the production of Jawan in regard to how ant bites are used for treatment in some cultures. He said, "The practice of ant bites to stitch and treat wounds already exists. When we did research on the methods of Ayurvedic and tribal treatments, we came to know that the technique was also referenced in Apocalypto. And, the Jawan team has done it now. [In such an instance], it cannot be claimed that it's been copied from Apocalypto, right?"
Upon being queried about the repetition of such scenes in films, Muthuraj said, "I myself would share my views with Atlee that some scenes have already been done. There are some things that we know and we don't know. We cannot spoil the flow for just that. We have gone to do a Hindi film from Tamil Nadu. Some are saying the scenes are similar to what one sees in a Tamil film. But, the film is being made in Hindi, right? Atlee's point of view is that we're doing a Hindi film. And, to make a Hindi film, they usually bring on board a Hindi director. If they're asking us to make a film, it comes down to why are they calling us to make a film there. They have called us to make a film because they like the style of masala in our films. It's all about how a Tamil person will make a Hindi film."
Muthuraj further explained his role in the films he works on and said, "I'm working with all kinds of directors. What I will do is visualize a director's vision. I have a few limitations there. I will not go into the concept and tell them what to do and what not to do. Whatever you're thinking, I'll help you with the visualization. If I were to envision something, I could go and make a film of my own. Why should I work on their films? I'm there to execute their vision into visuals."
Watch art director T. Muthuraj talk about Jawan in the video below: