The Tamil –Telugu actor Vishal Krishna’s 25th film Sandakozhi 2 has opened to roaring crowds singing and dancing in the theatres as they do for Rajinikanth’s films.
Vishal sees Sandakozhi 2 as a litmus test. “It is my most expensive film to date. I am also a producer on the project, so I know exactly where and how the film was shot. Though we shot the film in Madurai the main set of a Madurai mela(fair) where a lot of action takes place was erected in Chennai . It remained functional for more than two months.”
Vishal who is now regarded as one of the foremost star-actors of Tamil and Telugu cinema says the Sandakozhi franchise fell into his lap by default. “I was lucky. When the role was first conceived more than ten years ago it was offered to two big stars(Vijay, Suriya) . Both said no. They wanted to play both the main roles of father and son.”
In Sandakozhi 2 Vishal plays the son while his father is played by veteran Tamil actor Raj Kiran.
“It is essential to be true to the script, and not hog the limelight. I realized this early in my career.I’ve been trying to do films where the script is the hero, and not just me,” says the softspoken actor.
Sandakozhi 2 is Vishal’s most massy entertainer ever. “I’ve worked hard on the action and the dancing. My co-star Keerthi Suresh had to perform some really massy dance steps with me. We had a lot of fun dancing. I think that sense of enjoyment shows on screen.You can’t fool the audience into believing in what you don’t believe in.”
How does he react to his rising popularity? “I want my fan base to be used to spread awareness on social issues, to work on improving condition for the improvement of the girl-child’s education.”
Another social issue that Vishal has been working on is film piracy. Before the release of Sandakozhi 2 he was instrumental in stopping the film’s release in a slew of theatres in Chennai.
Says Vishal, “I think movie theatres need to take the responsibility for piracy far more seriously. They can’t just wash their hands off saying audiences secretly record film on their camera. If some patrons steal a popcorn machine would the theatre management not take responsibility? I think it is very important to curb and eradicate piracy from theatres. Our attempts in this endeavour are working. We took stringent action against theatres for Mani Ratnam’s Chekka ChivanthaVanam. Now we’ve done the same with my Sandakozhi 2.”