After starting off as a cinematographer with Vijay’s Priyamudan back in 1998, Vijay Milton’s career has taken lots of turns to both the black and the white sides.
With aspirations to do it all by himself brewing in him since long, Milton took the plunge to become a director in 2006 with the Bharath starrer Azhagai Irukai Bayama Irukarudhu. Unfortunately, things didn’t work out in his favour and he went back to cinematography for a few more years. In this time, he did projects such as Deepavali, Kadhalil Vizhunthen and also the award winning film Vazhakku En 18/9.
Come 2014, Milton’s career made a somersault with the director in him delivering a blockbuster with Goli Soda. The film, with new and relatively new faces, became a rage and ended up becoming a successful venture.
Milton became the talk of the town, and his directional aims started to kick in full swing.
However in 2015, Milton’s big ticket film 10 Endrathukulla with Chiyaan Vikram bombed at the box office, and the director had to take his props back to the drawing board and start again. After crossing more hurdles, Milton came back with the underdog film Kadugu in 2017 to regain his lost glory.
Widely appreciated in and out of the industry, the film was his actual second chance in Kollywood. Today, Milton sits as a producer, director, cinematographer – awaiting the release of his Goli Soda 2 on June 14.
TNM caught up with the director for a quick chat on what to expect from the film.
“The first part of Goli Soda was about identity and proving who you are to the society. In the same way, Goli Soda 2 also talks about the equation of an underdog and what small space he needs for himself in the outside world,” Milton explains the crux of the film.
“This is not an actual sequel, I have another script in mind for what exactly happens after Goli Soda 1 gets done. While the heart of the story and the morals stay the same, Goli Soda 2 will have its own shade of situations and sequences.”
Goli Soda was hugely praised for its action blocks, particularly the unforgettable market fight scene. In Goli Soda 2 as well, Milton promises that the action would play a part of its own.
He has also used his trademark skills of handheld cameras to film the stunts.
“The entire second half is dipped in stunt-work. When it comes to debutant actors performing stunts, it is very hard to bring about the excitement as the audience would get disconnected easily. All credit goes to Supreme Sundar for making it happen in the way we wanted. There is a 20-minute-long action block which will be largely talked about after release,” he says.
Midway through the conversation, Milton gives us an interesting fact that close to eight directors have acted in this film.
“Samudhrakani, Gautham Menon, Rohini, Saravana Subbiah and Vincent Selva are the names which immediately come to my mind. The sets used to be packed with expertise, I used to get many inputs, which I ultimately never considered (laughs). There was a comfort zone.”
On Gautham Menon’s inclusion in the film, Milton says that this was something he had in mind right from the scriptwriting stage of the film.
“It’s like an instinct. We write the role with somebody in mind, and luck by chance, the same person walks into the role. Gautham Menon was initially skeptical, but after hearing the whole story and his role out properly, he agreed to be on board. His voice, look, mannerisms and peculiarity are a huge USP for the film,” he says firmly.
Even though Milton has struck it big managing small actors, his film with Vikram, 10 Endrathukulla didn’t work out. Ask him about the reason for the failure, Milton says with a smile, “Ask Vikram sir himself, he will not regret doing 10 Endrathukulla. There are a lot of factors which could have affected the fall, but you cannot pinpoint a single reason. I was satisfied with the shoot, but on the VFX side, we had huge hurdles with the company being sealed for not using authorised software. We had to start the whole process from scratch, and that might have been the major turn off for the audience.”
Despite the Kaala storm, Goli Soda 2 has managed to gather close to 240 screens for release in Tamil Nadu. At a runtime of just 1 hour and 58 minutes, expectations are set for a film that should be close to the first. On Thursday, we will know.