TNM caught up with the director to talk about the world of 'Maari 2', on what to expect in the sequel and his thoughts on experimenting with different mediums.

Sai Pallavi is a very dedicated actor Director Balaji Mohan on Maari 2Facebook/Balaji Mohan
Flix Interview Sunday, December 09, 2018 - 11:52

Director Balaji Mohan’s Maari 2 trailer that released on Wednesday has gained over 12.4 million views on YouTube so far, and the director tells us that the response so far has been extremely encouraging.

Dhanush who plays Maari, the eccentric gangster we saw in the first film, reprises his role in the sequel as well. Robo Shankar and Kaloori Vinoth who play his faithful aides are retained from the first film. Maari 2, however, has four new characters - Sai Pallavi, Tovino Thomas, Varalaxmi Sarathkumar and Krishna - with interesting character sketches. TNM caught up with the director to talk about the world of Maari 2, on what to expect in the sequel and his thoughts on experimenting with different media. Excerpts from the interview below.

How was it going back to the world of Maari?

Maari 2 is woven around the same character we saw in the previous film but here, he will be seen facing a new set of situations. His nature remains the same but the setting will be different. It was interesting to revisit what we did three years ago.

In what aspect will Maari 2 be different from the first?

While the first film remained a fun, mass entertainer, there will be a lot more emotional content in the second. The story is a lot more rounded and will have better emotional connection with the audience. The new characters will play a big part in Maari 2 and the story is a lot more layered. The fun aspect of it is retained from the first but we’ve tried to make its content better.

Tell us about Tovino’s character in this film. Beeja looks interesting…

Tovino is a very dedicated actor and he has come up the hard way. There is a lot of scope for his character in this film and that’s also a reason why he agreed to do it. You would’ve heard these dialogues in the trailer. He says he’s the God of Death and that Maari is hard to kill. Beeja has another name in this film - Thanatos. In Greek, it means God of Death, which fits his character perfectly. They both make a very good hero-villain pair.

Also, Maari 2 has two very versatile female actors - Sai Pallavi and Varalaxmi. Tell us about their characters.

Both Sai Pallavi and Varalaxmi play an important role in this film. In fact, Varalaxmi’s character plays an important role in the second half. She plays her part of an honest and strong government official very convincingly. Sai Pallavi, on the other hand, is a very fun character. She’s got funny scenes with Robo Shankar and Kalloori Vinoth. However, she does have a very emotional side as well. She’s done a great job handling both perfectly since hers is a very nuanced role. For the scenes where she had to cry, she did so for real - a very dedicated actor.

Both Sai Pallavi and Dhanush are excellent dancers. Can we expect some good dance numbers?

Yes, we’ve got two exciting, foot-tapping numbers. One is a typical ‘kuthu' song. But there’s a melody song in Maari 2 which will be a surprise for many. Ilaiyaraaja sir has rendered it. The song itself is very important to the film.

There was quite a delay before you could release Maari 2. Did that affect the film in any way?

We had actually wrapped up shooting long back and there was no particular delay in shooting the film. The TFPC strike was the only delay we had to face. Also, Dhanush’s Vada Chennai had to release first and there had to be a decent gap after that to release Maari 2. We were waiting for the right time.

You’ve also done web series. In fact, you started your career with a short film. How important is it for an entertainer to keep experimenting with different platforms?

I, in fact, prefer experimenting with different mediums. The format of web series gives you a kind of freedom and more variety. Some people have found comfort in the big screen and they work in one format only but I’d like to keep doing web content in parallel. It is interesting to keep shifting gears on and off.

All photos: Facebook/Balaji Mohan

The MeToo movement has outed many big names in the industry. Stars like Aamir Khan and Akshay, in Bollywood, have said that they will not be working with those who've been outed. As a director, what would be your stance?

Workplaces have to be made safer environments. If someone has been outed and it has been proved, I would definitely not want to work with them. It has to be taken seriously. I do not want to comment on those who have a different opinion. 

Become a TNM Member for just Rs 999!
You can also support us with a one-time payment.