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(Vikram, Anita, Jaya Sheel)

‘Samurai’ is one of the first films that hero Vikram signed after the release of ‘Sethu’, but it is only now that the film has made some headway and nearing its shooting schedule. Produced by S.Sriram of ‘Alayam’ who had earlier co-produced ‘Bombay’, ‘Chatriyan’, ‘Thiruda Thiruda’, ‘Aasai’ and ‘Nerukku Ner’ with Maniratnam, the film is directed by debutante Balaji Shaktivel who has also conceived the story and screenplay. Balaji had assisted Shanker in many of the director’s films. Novelist Pattukkottai Prabhakaran pens the dialogue.

With Vikram is paired Anita who has since acted in the Manoj - Kunal starrer ‘ Varushamellam Vasantham’. Yet another female lead is played by Shreya. Jaya Sheel, Nasser, Chinny Jayant, Anbalaya Prabhakaran, Bindu Panicker, Kollam Thulasi, Anupam Shyam, and Piyuz Mishra from Mumbai also play crucial roles. Apart from this, there are some actors from N.F.D.C., and the theatre group ‘Koothu Pattarai’.

Shooting commenced at Chenni and the unit then moved on to locations in Kuttralam, Ooty, Andhra, U.P. and Bihar. Song sequences were also shot at exotic locations in Syria. Some scenes were shot on the lead pair in the forest areas of Kerala which was also the location for a song shot on Vikram. Again, a lavish set was erected at the AVM Studios where Vikram, Anita, and new-face Shreya took part.

Says Vikram, “It’s my most exciting role to date after ‘Sethu’. I like the way Balaji works. He is a perfectionist and knows exactly what he wants. At times he reminds me of Bala, in his confident takings and his passion for cinema. My role is very interesting, and there are scenes where I do yoga and meditate in the film. In the opening scene I perform a very difficult Yogasanam. I attended yoga classes for that."

Says director Balaji, “There is a Samurai in each one of us. It may lie dormant, but when it is kindled it comes out in full force. Here, it is a character who takes a big risk in life. He always carries a knife with him, and once he pulls it out of its sheath under provocative circumstances, he doesn’t put it back till he has achieved his aim. Such a man faces a problem in his life, and the repercussions of it forms the rest.”

Cinematography is by Sethu Sriram (Assistant to Santosh Shivan); music is by Harris Jairaj; editing by V.T.Vijayan; Thotta Yadu and Thotta Tharani design the sets; dances by Kalyan & Tharun Kumar and stunts by Vikram Dharma and Kanal Kannan.

Malini Mannath
published on 13th June 2002 

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